I checked for a pulse as gently as possible. She had one. She also had what looked like a gunshot wound to the abdomen. I had a combat first-aid kit on me. I applied a bandage to the wound then I called for an ambulance. There were shell casings everywhere but no guns. I went to get up and search, but TC grabbed my wrist. She said, “hurt my babies and I’ll gut you.” She then seemingly passed out. As I searched Dan pulled up in a Humvee. When it was clear I gave him my guns and told him to go. We didn’t need any bad will with the locals. The medics arrived then the police. As they franticly worked on her the police questioned me. I went with the medics as the police took control of the scene. I left Tina’s Honda back there. At the hospital I met up with David and the others. They wheeled TC into surgery right away. We found her, but we weren’t done.
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Nine hours ago.
Tina with help from the local law pulled up all the available cameras in the area. She found the image of a cargo van pulling out of their driveway then running a red light. A red-light camera gave us the plate. The plate gave us the name of the owner. In this case it was a rental company and luckily for us they have a GPS system on their cars and trucks, so they can locate them. It spoke to the nature of this abduction. A larger or longer planned plan would have gotten their vehicle from another source. It’s like they wanted us to find them. Using the information, we plotted their route for the day as well as their final location about three hours ago. I split up the workforce into four teams making myself the fifth team by myself. Just how I like it. David said he was going with me. I said, “no you need to be with your children.” He replied, “my wife will be with our kids when we find her.” I didn’t have time to argue with him, so I clocked him. I told Tina, “when he wakes tell him I will give him the key.” She gave me that dog cocked head look then nodded when I brought out a chain with locks. He may end up hating me but I’m not going to help make his kids orphans.
Thirty minutes of driving got me to the first site they spent any time at. It was a strip joint. Happy Haole’s Hard on. Haole is the Hawaiian word for basically white people. Its pronounced like howely. It’s a strip joint that caters to the lower class of tourists with all Polynesian, Chinese and Japanese ladies as dancers. You know for that Hawaiian feel to your lap dance. Grass skirts and nothing else. I went in and asked around. With no pictures I had no success in finding any information. This club was like most of these clubs. Once you get past the temptation of the naked women it was all dark and depressing. I knew I had something bright and wonderful back home. I went back to the parking lot to find my car on blocks and the tires gone. I wonder if that ever happened to Magnum?
I called for a tow truck and then I called Tina. Just as soon as she said my name David took the phone. I won’t repeat what he said but let’s just say he wasn’t my biggest fan. He gave Tina the phone back and I told her what happened. After she stopped laughing she said she would come there and I could take her car. I asked, “besides all the cursing, how is he?” She told me that David asked one of his daughters for help. She had him walk out as far as the chain would go. Then she went to a cupboard and grabbed a bag of cookies. She sat just outside of his reach eating the cookies. At one point she had reminded him of a day he hit a fire hydrant because he was mad about a parking ticket. She was worried about him and she also wanted a cookie. After an hour a tow truck and Tina arrived. Tina has a 1985 Honda Civic, red, blue and some sort of primer color. Luckily it had an automatic drive. I said to her, “we need to pay you better.”
I left her with the car and I went back on the trail. As I left I think I saw her going into the club. Well, I guess that is just none of my business. The next stop they stayed at was a hardware store. I met with the stores security. We searched the security system for any shots of the van and the driver. We got both. They bought two metal wash basins, two car batteries, several car jumper cables and some various other supplies used in the torcher of people. I need to send the pictures without letting David know about what they bought. If he knew he just might bite through the chain. Or his leg. There were three men in the van. One of them stayed in the van while the other two went in and bought the torcher kit. The man in the van look middle eastern while the other two were a special kind of redneck. Think the movie Joe Dirt with the mullets, cheesy facial hair, trucker hats and sleeveless flannel shirts. Almost more of a costume rather than everyday wear. In fact, it was just a little too much to be real.
These are short stories I wrote. Some are connected to the larger books I am working on others are just for the fun of story telling.
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