I lie in my bed and stare at the ceiling. Dad covered them with glow-in-the-dark stars for my tenth birthday. I think of leaving for the mountains and I’m filled with a mixture of agony and relief. In a way, I don’t want to leave this place; memories of my father, as painful as they can be, are everywhere and it’s all I have left of him now. But in another, I want to start fresh, even if we have to live in huts or caves or whatever they’re planning on doing. The thought unnerves me a little, like any unknown thing, but it’ll be good for mom to leave here and be around others. And I’ll be able to see Jacks and Luxxe more; I desperately need their company.
A knock on the front door startles me. It was too loud to be Jacks or Luxxe. A man shouts through it, but I can’t make out what he’s saying from here. Our dog is going wild.
Mom stirs on the couch and I wait to see if she’ll get it.
The man shouts again, and her feet patter my way. She finds me erect on the bed with my covers wrapped around me in a cocoon. Her eyes are huge white saucers, and she presses her finger against her lips to keep me quiet before she shuts my door and sprints away.
Alone in my room, I hide inside the space between my bed and the wall and snatch a book of Robert Frost poems on my nightstand, hugging it close for comfort. To distract myself, I try to recite The Road Not Taken but can’t focus enough to do so. My heart gains speed as panic courses through me. Whoever is on the other side of the door has her worried. Are we in danger? I’ve never wanted my dad more than I do in this moment. This isn’t right. He should be here to protect us. If I wasn’t so scared, I’d pay more attention to the anger writhing inside me. I hope whoever took him from us is dead. I hope they’re gone for what they did.
The man shouts louder this time and bangs three times on the door. I still hear our dog, but where’s mom? I don’t hear mom!
After an eternity, she shows up again with a bag slung over her shoulder and points to my cracked window. She wants to escape. But where would we go? I nod silently and stand, slipping the book into my waistband.
A loud bang rattles our apartment, and the living room door hurls into the kitchen. Splinters of wood lie in its wake. In one swift movement, mom snatches me by the arm and heaves the window open the rest of the way.
The thumping of loud boots fills our apartment, and to keep from screaming out, I bite my tongue so hard it bleeds. The men in uniforms, they’re here for us.
Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare time to writing Fantasy, Paranormal and Sci-fi novels.
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Iris (Novella: The Captivated Series) Available now!!!
Fight for Me (Book Two: The Captivated Series)