Bret awoke some time later to see the faces of his frantic friends hovering over him, shouting questions and totally freaking out. He couldn't understand what was going on, the last thing that he remembered was that he and Amy were walking down the beach, what the heck had happened. What was he doing laying here and why were they all so upset? Ouch, man his head hurt! Where was Amy? He struggled to his feet, swaying and having a very hard time keeping his balance. One hand to his head the other outstretched to help keep him steady and also in a plea, to anyone, to answer his questions. But no one did. They just got quiet and stepped away from him. He was scared. He didn't know what to do. His friends were not any better; they were scared and didn't know who to turn to. Usually it was Bret who took control of a situation, and told everyone what to do, but this time he was confused and hurt and starting to panic. Finally, Joanna came over and put her arms around him, holding him tightly and telling him that it was all right, they would find Amy and everything would be ok. Let's just get to a phone and call the police. He had been attacked and they need the cops to come take charge. The group walked out to Collins ave and started looking for a phone. The road was deserted and they couldn't see a light in any direction. They didn't want to just walk away for fear that they would not be able to find the spot again, but they also didn't want to just sit there waiting and hoping that a cop would come down there on patrol. Splitting up seemed like the only option. But who would go and who would stay? and which direction to go in? they couldn't remember what was out here on this stretch of the road...none of them were real familiar with the area and it was dark and a bit on the frightening side. There were a total of twelve teens in the group, and now, with Amy missing they were down to eleven. They know that Bret couldn't really walk that far so that left ten to find help. It was decided that Bret, Jason and Carol would stay, sitting on the side of the road waiting. Harv, Joanna, Jennie and Shelia would go one way and the remaining four, Alex, Erin, Fred and Valerie would go the other way. They were scared but they were so worried about Amy that they knew they had to do this. None of them had any idea what time it was but it was agreed that they would walk for 2000 steps and if they had not found anything or anyone by then that they would come back and they would regroup and see what else could be done. The three that were left sitting there were having a very difficult time waiting. They had nothing to occupy their minds and they were scared. Time crawled by, seeming to not move at all.
As Amy was carried away, crying and struggling, she couldn't believe that this was happening. Why were they doing this? What had they done to Bret? What were they going to do to HER? How could she get away. What could she do? She had never even imagined anything like this happening to her and had no earthly idea what she could do to get out of a situation like this. She knew that she didn't have the ability to fight off the two of them and they were out here in the middle of nowhere so even if they took the hand off her mouth, no one was likely to hear her screams. That was the way they had planned it, of course, she thought. And then she started thinking about all the horror stories her parents had told her about, the ones where the 'bad' girl was raped and killed because she hadn't listened to her parents about how she dressed or how she acted. Amy had always blown those stories off, knowing her parents were just worry warts. Now she wished she had listened a little closer, she might have had some ideas about surviving if she had.
She was getting so tired...her struggles were getting rather feeble and her tears were running down her cheeks in rivulets thru the sand that was clinging there. She decided that if she were going to survive this ordeal, she had better start using her brain. She didn't see a way out of this mess, yet...but she just knew, deep in her heart, that she Would make it out of this alive!!! She didn't know how yet, but she was determined to do it, no matter what, this was NOT going to be the end for her, she had dreams and she was going somewhere and it wasn't going to end here, in a mess on the beach, just because two evil men thought they could stop her. And with a single mindedness that her parents would have recognized as her stubbornness, she started planning her escape. Not knowing what was in store, she could do no more then shore up her courage, but she would get away.
As Harv trudged along his heart was so heavy…he knew the chances that they would find Amy were getting slimmer by the minute. The longer it took to get help the less chance they had of getting to her in time. But he didn’t know of any other way to go about finding help. Their idea of splitting up made all the sence in the world, but it just didn’t feel right. They should have stayed together and followed the footprints in the sand and went after those bastards. Then his mind went the other way and he realized that even though there were more of them, they were just kids and those men had already demonstrated that they were not afraid to hurt anyone. Just look at Bret! Harv seriously thought that the men had meant to kill him, and the fact that he had a really hard head is all that had saved him. What if they had other weapons? Besides the thing they had used on Bret? Like knives or guns, what would the kids have done then? They would have been in even more trouble. But it just felt wrong to not go haring off to her rescue, like they did on TV. But he was smart enough to know that tv wasn’t real, and that they could all get killed if they didn’t handle this correctly. They needed help and they needed it fast and they were just plodding along like a bunch of old ladies!! He turned to Joanna and Sheila and shouted “we need to hurry!! The longer it takes us to find the cops, the longer those bastards have Amy!! Can you run? Just for a while?” The two girls looked at each other and then back at Harv, trying to figure out what had set him off. “We have to hurry” Harv cried, “I can’t stand not being able to help her. Come on!” They both nodded yes and the three of them started running down the road. It made all three of them feel better to be moving fast. Like they were actually doing something to find her, instead of just wandering leisurely down the road on a late night stroll.
Alex was feeling very much the same as Harv at that moment. Helpless and at a loss for ideas, he turned to his three companions and with an almost desperate intensity he pleaded with them to walk faster. Erin, Fred and Valerie felt pretty much the same way and started walking much faster and soon the four of them were running down the road like the devil himself was after them, which is how it felt to them. They didn’t know where the men were who had done this, nor what they were doing with Amy. Not even if she was still alive. And if she were dead, were those men coming after them? Were they in danger right this minute? Once again panic threatened…but then
The men carrying Amy were getting tired; they set her feet on the ground, telling her that if she tried to run, they would kill her. They warned her not to yell either. They stated that if she did everything she was told, then she would be ok, they wouldn’t hurt her and she could go home to her parents that same night. For some reason, she just couldn’t believe that. They had bashed her friend over the head, maybe even killing him, forcibly carried her away, kicking and screaming, and they thought she was dumb enough to think they were not going to hurt her? If she had thought she was in trouble before, she knew she was now! She didn’t know exactly what they had planned for her, but she was pretty sure she would never be ‘ok’ again. But, she would survive, that was a fact. She would survive. She was strong, she was smart and she was NOT going to be beaten by a couple of stupid men!!! Her head was whirling with thoughts and fears, but the one thing she kept hearing was ‘stay calm, do as they say, and wait for an opening – then RUN LIKE HELL!!!” She clung to those thoughts…they were a plan and all she had right now.
Amy was right, they hurt her. They hurt her badly, over and over again. They took turns, watching each other and cheering. Egging the partner on to even greater acts of depravity than either would have ever perpetrated on his own. Amy passed out at least a couple times, from the pain and the trauma, but each time when she awoke, she would search thru her exhausted brain and find her new mantra “She would survive. She was strong, she was smart and she was NOT going to be beaten by a couple of stupid men!!!” And it sustained her. She did not try to fight them, she didn’t have the skills or the strength, she didn’t try to be quiet or strong, she cried, she screamed, she begged them to stop – and all the while that mantra was streaming thru her head, keeping her alive.
After an unknown time, they stopped. They were exhausted and had run out of horrible things to do to her. Now that they were done, they talked about what to do with her. They had made no effort to conceal their identities from her, so they couldn’t just let her go. They discussed different ways to kill her. Amy was laying there, in the sand, totally beaten, listening to them plan her death and thinking about her survival. She mentally assessed the damage they had inflicted upon her and knew without a doubt that she could not out run them. But, she was laying in the sand and could still hear the waves, so they must still be on the beach. Maybe if she were to jump up and run into the ocean they wouldn’t be able to swim after her as fast as they could run after her. She was a strong swimmer and very comfortable in the water, she could swim for hours. If she could just stay ahead of them for a while…hey, maybe she could convince them that she was drowning!!!! And they would stop chasing her, figuring they could let the ocean do their dirty work for them! If she went under a couple of times, hyperventilating each time, then just stayed under, and swam parallel to the shore for as long as she could hold her breath….it might work. It was the only plan she had at this point. And they were catching their second wind. If she were ever going to try, it would have to be soon. She thought that she should really try before the sun came up…making it harder for them to see her, would make it harder for them to catch her. She rolled over on the sand and made retching noises, pushing herself up onto her hands and knees in an effort to catch her breath. The men looked over at her and almost laughed, saying things like “it looks like we won’t have to do anything after all, she’s going to puke herself to death” and other crude remarks. She was using this ruse as an effort to gain her feet without alarming them or alerting them to her real intentions. Also it was giving her a better idea of just how hurt she really was. This wouldn’t work at all if she could not at least run to the water. She staggered to her feet, crying and clutching her throat, doing her best to act like she couldn’t breathe. They just sat and watched her. The plan was working! She staggered around, heading in the general direction of the sound of waves, and timed her next move to one of the times they looked at each other laughing. Then she took off running just as fast as her abused body would allow. And it turned out to be just fast enough. She had taken them off guard, just as she had hoped, and she had a pretty good head start before they even realized that she was making a break for it. And at that, they didn’t really believe she had it in her to out run them. And they were right, she didn’t, but she wasn’t planning to out run them, as they soon found out. She lurched into the water, gasping for breath and trying with all her might to wade faster. She fell and did an awkward crawl/run into deeper water. The men followed her, laughing and making crude jokes about sharks and giant sea monsters and yelling that she would be better off if she let THEM kill her then to let the man eating shrimp get her. She kept up her wounded bird charade a bit longer, until they could tell that she was out in deeper water and then she went under! When she popped back up, she struggled to stay atop the waves, crying out and quickly going back under. She did this again and saw that they had stopped and were just watching her ‘drown’, smiling as they did so. She took several deep breaths and went under for the last time. She had taken a good long look at the shore and hopefully had gotten her direction of travel set. She kicked off the bottom in the direction she thought was parallel to the shore and started swimming underwater as strongly as she could. She did her best to set a pace in hopes that she could stay under longer. It seemed like an eternity, her lungs were burning and she HAD to breathe – she slowly came to the surface, facing up and just let her nose and mouth break the surface of the water. She took shallow breaths until her lungs felt human again, then submerged again and continued swimming. She didn’t know how many times she had repeated this pattern when she realized that she was loosing it. She needed to find out where she was and needed to rest. She once again broke the surface, glancing around carefully. Seeing nothing alarming, she rolled over onto her back and just floated. After a few minutes, she flipped over and started treading water while she searched for the men, the shore, or for help. She didn’t see ANY of those things! Oh it would be such cruel irony if she had escaped her attackers just to drown in the ocean because she got lost. She rolled over on her back again and just rested. Knowing that she had done all she could gave her a sense of peace and of accomplishment and she thought that if she just rested a few more minutes, then she could start trying to find the shore and someone to help her.