wow, it sure takes a lot of effort to write every night! I'm giving this my best shot and I truly appreciate you folks that are giving me encouragement,(Marlene) it means a lot to me.
Amy woke up screaming!!! Someone was holding her down and was breathing in her face. It couldn’t be! There was no way that they had found her, this could just NOT be happening again. “Oh please God, not again!”
Shelia was the one who finally managed to jimmy the door lock. She had found a little piece of metal by the back door; it was pretty thin and was just about the perfect size to slip between the two sides of the lock. She carefully slid it in to the gap and while everyone else was off checking windows and looking for a spare key, she just wiggled it around and up and down and finally it sort of just ‘snicked’ and the door was unlocked. She hollered for the others to come back there with her, telling them the door was open now. They all ran up to the door and the four of them opened it wide and went into the church. They didn’t know where to find a phone in a church, all any of them knew about were the Sunday school rooms and the sanctuary, so they started looking around the building. While they were trying to navigate around in the dark JoAnna found a light switch and when she turned it on it almost blinded them it was so bright. It felt wonderful to have light after all that time in the dark, even the light on the front porch didn’t give this kind of welcoming warmth. They let go of a tension they didn’t even know they were gripped by, and breathed just a little easier, with a light on in the room. They looked all over the church and finally came to what must have been the Pastors office. That door was not locked and they had no trouble finding a light on the desk. They also found a phone!!! They were ecstatic. Jennie grabbed the handset and putting her finger in the opening at the “O” she quickly dialed the operator. They were finally going to get someone to come help them. They were so relieved.
“Operator” said a voice on the other end of the phone. “Help us, please!” Jennie said quickly, “we need you to send the police. Our friends were attacked and one of them is missing!” “is this a joke? Because if it is, you will be in big trouble young lady.” The operator said. Obviously there were a few too many prank calls being made lately, and she was having a hard time believing this plea for help was real. “NO!!” Jennie almost yelled the word “This is NOT a joke, they took Amy and we need the police to help us find her! Hurry, please hurry” The operator was silent for a moment, probably trying to assess the validity of the claim, then she said “calm down sweetie, I’ll get the police for you. Hold on, I’ll connect you.”
When the police contact person came on the line, he acted quite a bit like the operator had, saying “I really hope that this is not a joke. It would be a serious mistake to make a false report to the police.” Jennie was almost crying she was so frustrated. “THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!” she yelled “our friend is missing, doesn’t anybody CARE?!?” “Calm down! Tell me what happened” Jennie quickly blurted out the facts of the attack and the abduction, stressing that they had not been with Bret and Amy when the attack occurred. And trying, without any great success to estimate the time that it had happened. As she stood there talking on the phone, the other three were prompting her with stage whispers, trying to help her. Finally the Officer said “tell me where you are now and I will have an officer come talk to you. I believe you and we need to get to work on this case right away.” This stumped Jennie for a minute, none of them knew where they were, all they knew was that they were in a church building on Collins Avenue. Then it occurred to Shelia to look in the desk for something with the address on it, like a bill or return address labels, or even just the name of the church or pastor. They found a letter to the pastor in the first drawer they opened, it was addressed to
Pastor Alton Morgan
c/o Eastside United Methodist Church
1290 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33141
They relayed this information to the officer and he said “stay where you are and an officer will be there soon.” He asked them if they knew how far they had walked or how far back up the road their friends were, but Jennie told him they had no idea, they just know that they had been walking for what seemed like hours.
After she hung up the phone, Jennie took a deep breath and flopped down in the chair behind the desk. She was so tired and she knew that they still had loads of things to do before they would be able to rest. As she was sitting there she realized that the sky was lightening just little, and that this night of horror was coming to a close. At least for them it was, she had no great hopes that it was over for Amy, but she knew that she couldn’t dwell on that or she would go nuts with her frustration at not being able to save her friend. She looked at the others and asked if anyone was going to call home and let their folks know what was going on. Slowly they all shook their heads ‘no’ when Jennie raised her eyebrow questioningly Harv answered for all of them. “I don’t want to talk to my mom and dad until I can tell them something good. I think that the police are the ones that should be telling them about this, not me.” “My folks are probably half crazy with fear right now, what with me not coming home last night” Shelia said, “but they knew I was going out with a group, so they wouldn’t have started to worry until just a while ago. I can’t tell them something like this over the phone, I just Can’t” JoAnna nodded her head in agreement, “I agree, not over the phone. When I tell my parents about this I want to be where they can touch me, otherwise they will never believe that I am all right. I want to be where Mom can hug me and make me feel safe again, if I ever feel safe again.”
In less than a half an hour a patrol car with two police officers in it arrived at the church. The teens spilled out the front door and ran up to the car, all talking at once in their rush to tell the police all that they knew and get on with finding Amy and making sure the rest were ok. The officer in the passenger seat tried to calm them down as he stepped out of the car, telling them that they would get to the bottom of this, just tell them what had happened.
One again Jennie found herself reciting the facts, or at least the facts as she remembered them, and it didn’t seem to get any easier with the repetition. Finally the officer said that they needed to get in the car, and they would go looking for their friends. With as much speed as they could muster, the kids piled into the back seat and started giving the police man who was driving directions to the site of the attack.
Meanwhile, Carol, Fred and Jason were walking dejectedly up the road, again the frustration was emerging at their inability to get any help. They had walked for what seemed like an hour, when they saw lights coming toward them on the road. They were scared, but they knew that they couldn’t let that stand in the way any more. They had to get help and the only way to do it at this point was to stop this car and make them take them to the police! They looked at each other and then stepped into the middle of the road. Carol stood right on the center line, with Fred in the middle of the lane on her left and Jason blocking the one on her right. And they waited for the car. They were scared, there was no way to know who was in that car, but, fear or no fear, they were not going to run and hide any more. They were determined to make this happen.
The car slowed to a crawl and Carol heard someone yell her name from inside. “Harv? Is that you?” she asked. Harv came bounding out of the back seat of the car yelling that they had the police and what the heck were they doing here and not back with Bret? It was mass confusion for a few minutes as the seven teens tried to all talk at once. The ones in the car telling the others how they had gotten the police to come and the other three assuring them that Bret was not alone, that they would Never have left him alone, how could they even Think that?
Finally the officer managed to get them somewhat under control and started questioning the new arrivals. It didn’t take long for them to explain why they were walking and how they were so relieved to see that the police were here and to hurry back to Bret and the others. By this time the sun was coming up over the horizon and they could see again. They noticed just how dirty and disheveled they were after spending the night out on the beach road, trying to get help. The officers were not sure how they were going to get all seven of the teens into their car in order to make it back to the crime scene, but they were not going to leave any of them on the side of the road, so. They finally just told them to cram themselves in the back seat and hold on, they were going to drive slowly and carefully, and in the meantime radioed in to have another squad sent out to help them.
By the time they got back to where Bret and the others were waiting the sky was bright with the morning sun and Bret knew it was a patrol car long before it got close. He felt such a sense of release, knowing that there was finally someone there to take over and make sure all the right things were done to find Amy.
Thrashing and screaming Amy rolled over trying to throw off the person holding her down. She didn’t know what to do, but she knew she wasn’t going to give in again, without a fight! They were going to have to kill her this time, she was not going to let them hurt her again! “NO!!” she screamed “get off me! Leave me alone! Let me go! HELP! Somebody help me!” And amazingly, the weight lifted off of her and she scrambled to her feet, wildly trying to back away. She had not even realized that her eyes were still closed until she tripped and fell backward onto the sand. When she hit the sand her eyes popped open and she saw her new ‘attacker’. She almost couldn’t believe her eyes, she rubbed them and then looked again. It was a great big shaggy DOG! Just a dog! Not a human. Not those men. Not someone who was going to hurt her. Just a dog. A dog who thought she wanted to play and was jumping around in the sand with his butt in the air and his head down. She started to laugh. She laughed until the tears ran down her face. Where there was a dog like this there had to be people and if there were people then she was safe. SAFE! Something she wasn’t sure she was ever going to be again.