Summary: Lizzy Green once again finds herself in trouble when she is kidnapped by a desperate muurderer. Can she survive to see tomorrow?
"Lizzy, is this old jacket yours?"
"Yeah," I answered. "It was mom's."
My mother died in a car accident, a year ago, when I was thirteen. My father, who left her before I was born, appeared out of nowhere. He was granted custody of me, despite the fact that he had abandoned us all those years ago.
I kept my mother's coat as a memento, after dad disposed of all her things. It was the only thing left of the life she and I had lived together. It reminds me of all the times we would spend hours at the park across from our house. She used to tell me all sorts of stories, and play silly games with me. One of the snap buttons on the jacket is missing, the rich green color has faded some, and it still smells of her vanilla perfume.
One memory stands out more than any other. It was about two years before she died, on a sunny spring afternoon. We lay on the grass, gazing up at the clouds as she told me of the time I had spent a whole night with a murderer.
"Somehow, you convinced him to turn himself in," she had laughed, ruffling my hair.
I cannot really remember it very well, as I was only five at the time. I only remember someone calling me Mouse, and singing to me. I do not even know if this is the right memory, or if it was just a dream.
"Do you actually wear this ratty old thing?" My father demanded as he entered the living room where I was sitting.
I shrugged. "Sometimes." I only did it when I was desperate to feel close to her.
Over the top of the newspaper I was reading, I could see my father scowl, gazing at the jacket distastefully. "Don't you have something nicer?"
I sighed in annoyance, as I stood up. "It reminds me of her," I snapped, reaching for the coat he held in one hand.
"I understand, but," he said, pulling the coat away slightly. "It's a rag. You can remember her while wearing something nice."
I glared and snatched the jacket away, like he was disrespecting her memory just by touching it. Why did he always expect me to float around in perfectly stylish cloths all the time? He kept stuffing me in these ridiculously formal outfits, saying that I would get more respect well dressed . Like it mattered to me, I wasn't some uptight police officer with something to prove.
"What do you know about it? Just because I'm your daughter does not mean you know anything about me!" with that I stormed away, ignoring his attempts to stop me. I slammed the door to my room, and flopped down on my bed.
"He just doesn't get it," I whispered to the little grey mouse sitting in a cage on the nightstand near my bed.
The little mouse, named Grey, twitched his whiskers at me. His food was running low, so I would need to pick some up later on. Unfortunately, considering how domineering and controlling dad was, he would probably come up with some idiot reason to keep me home. He never let me do anything for myself.
Down stairs, I heard the static and bleep of dad's radio. His voice rumbled back, and after a few minutes he told me that he was heading down to the station.
I did not answer, and before very long I heard the door open and close. After the sounds of the car receded I sat up, and pulled on mom's jacket. I pulled little Grey out of his cage and placed him in one of my pockets with a little stash of seed to keep him occupied. Then I headed downstairs and outside.
I kicked my foot through a pile of dead leaves angrily. My father and I always argue, because we are about as similar as night and day. I don't know what he expected when he found out he had to raise me, but it was pretty obvious he didn't know anything about parenting.
A light tinkling sound could be heard, as I pushed open the door to the store. An old man sat at the counter, reading a paper back, and there was a red headed woman trying on sun glasses. Other than that, the store was devoid of life.
I got the seed, and resisted the urge to grab a pack of gum that I did not need. By the time I got back to the counter, the old man had vanished, and the red head had migrated to the magazine rack. While I waited for the man to return, I gazed at the missing posters hanging on the bulletin board over the cash register, and listened to the radio.
"... Police are looking for a man who goes by the name of David Thorne, suspected for the arson that resulted in the burning down of an entire apartment building. It is cautioned that he shows signs of pyromania, and paranoia. He is armed and highly unpredictable. Citizens are advised not to confront him, but call the police hotline if he is seen." The reporter went on to describe him as thirty one, bald, caucasian, and dressed in a black trench coat.
My focus was broken by the return if the old man. "Is this all?" he questioned.
"Yes." the bell over the door tinkled, and I turned to look instinctively.
Standing there was none other than a man who fit the description of David Thorne perfectly. He had a Black gun raised, and was twitching spastically. His eyes were darting all over the place, and I half expected him to start frothing at the mouth. "Everyone down on the ground," he yelled, spittle flying through the air.
The red head started screaming and dropped to the floor, arms wrapped over her head, as if that would help against a bullet. The old man seemed frozen, staring stupidly at the madman with a gun. I dropped to the floor, as instructed, heart beating so fast I was sure it would burst.
"You! Old man, unload all the cash into a bag, pronto!"
The old man jumped, and shakily reached for something under the counter. From my position, I could just make out what it was. My eyes widened, recognizing the distinctive shape of a hand gun. What could the old man possible be thinking?
David Thorne seemed suspicious and he stepped forward warningly. "Hey!" before he could say anything, the old man pointed the shot gun at him and fired. The sound exploded in my ears, making them ring painfully, and I jumped.
The bullet missed David who was decidedly furious looking. I could here it making a shing noise as it rebounded off the wall, and then there was a sharp scream. We all looked at the sound, to find the red head crumpled Ina pool of her own blood.
All this had happened in less than two seconds, and my brain could not process what was going on. When the next shot sounded, I was still trying to figure out what had happened to the red head. My head whipped to this newest ear shattering noise.
The old man was staggering back from the counter, mouth gaping. A blossom of red was forming on his chest, growing rapidly.
My stomach lurched, and I started to dry heave. Oh god, oh god, oh god, I screamed in my head.
"Girl," load the cash, right now. Make any funny moves and I swear I will shoot you," David Thorne commanded, voice loud and panicky.
I staggered to my feet, resisting the urge to retch again. Everything seemed all twisted, and there was a loud thrumming in my head that was making it hard to concentrate, but somehow I managed to figure out how to open the cash register.
Part of me distanced it's self, and it felt like I was watching everything from outside my body. Someone must have heard the shots, the screams. They will call the police. I just need time. My hands were shaking so bad, I could not get a proper grip on the plastic bags.
"Hurry up, hurry up," Thorne snarled, waving his gun through the air violently.
I flinched, making me scatter the plastic grocery bags all over the floor. Carefully I reached down to pick one up, avoiding the dead eyes of the old man slumped against the wall. Carefully, so as to not startle the unstable man watching me I stood up again, bag in hand.
Just as I finished sliding the cash into the bag, I heard the sounds of police sirens. Apparently Thorne heard the as well, because he began to look around for an escape. It was too late though, and the squeal of tires reached my ears, as the police pulled up outside the store.
Like a cornered dog, David Thorne began to panicked. "You," he said, shoving the gun in my direction. "Over here now."
I hurried over, bag of money in my head.
Just as one of the police men began to approach the door, David grabbed a fistful of my hair, and rammed the gun against my head painfully. He dragged me towards the door, kicking it open viciously. "Everyone back!" he screamed, voice verging on psychotic.
The police froze, their expressions would have been comical, were it not for my position.
"Now that I have your attention," Thorne threatened, "listen closely. If any of you come anywhere near me, I will shoot the girl. Stay away!" he started to drag me towards a beat up old pick up.
"Lizzy!" a voice shouted fearfully. There, pushing his way to the front of the police crowd was my father.
"Dad," I called back, voice cracking in terror. Then I was shoved into the truck and we sped away with the loud chug of the engine. I twisted in my seat, watching as my father and the police climbed into the cruisers. They started to follow, but then the vehicle I was in lurched violently.
I twisted back around, so I was facing the front. We were hurtling along between traffic, and flying down random streets. Clearly Thorne was not one to pay attention to the rule of the road, as he was performing some tricks I thought only happened in movies.
It was almost scarier than having a gun pointed at me. At one point, we lifted up in the rims of the left tires, and I thought we were going to flip.
We didn't, and flew down a new street.
Grey chose this time to scamper out of my pocket and investigate what was going on.
Thorne glanced towards the movement, making the car dart to the right. "What is its name?"
"Grey," I stammered nervously.
He snorted, "nice, keep it obvious." We did a sharp turn and skidded down another street.
What a bizarre and unexpected conversation. This man was undoubtedly a lunatic, because one minute he was saying he was going to shoot me, then the next he was talking about my pet mouse. I think he was bipolar, along with the whole paranoid pyromaniac situation.
"I named him after someone I met," I answered, when Thorne glanced at me sharply.
He nodded, and turned his attention to his chaotic driving. Obviously he was trying to lose any pursuers, and he was succeeding. I could see no police behind us, in the trail of minor accidents and traffic jams his deranged driving had caused. Not that it would be hard to track him down with this trail of wreckage.
As though he was thinking the same thing, the madman slowed down, and began to drive normally. Although we kept passing down numerous twisted streets, his driving was far slower and more controlled. The chances of the police catching up or finding us had slimmed drastically.
I waited for Thorne to say something else, or ask another insane question, but he did not. His attention seemed focused on the road. His lips were moving in words I could not hear, and occasionally he would shake his head. There was no doubt in my mind that he belonged in a straight jacket.
Not that I would say anything. The gun was still sitting on the seat between us, a reminder that he could still kill me. I wondered if that was what he would do anyway. Would he kill me and dup my body in a dumpster like I read about in the newspapers? Or would he just dump me at the side of the rode, like an unwanted piece of trash. Heres to hoping for the latter.
I turned my attention to something a little less nerve racking. Grey was sitting on my lap, nibbling at a seed. He seemed unperturbed by this impromptu road trip.
Eventually I realized we were leaving the city. Buildings were growing more and more separated, and traffic was noticeably less. I glanced at David anxiously, debating on whether to ask him what was going to happen to me.
He must have noticed my gaze, because he turned to me, one eyebrow raised. "Yes?"
"Ah, um, what are you going to do with me?" I whispered, mouth dry.
"Nothing," he answered, shrugging.
I blinked, shocked by his casual reply. "What? You aren't going to get rid of me?" I blabbed in my surprise. The minute the words left my mouth, I cursed myself mentally. I did not want to give him any ideas.
"No," he said. "You are the only one they'll believe."
"Believe about what?" I asked, trepidatiously. What was going to make me say?
"That I didn't kill her. The woman, that wasn't my fault. And the man, he pulled a gun on me. I have to use you as a witness. They won't believe me, they think I'm crazy."
They aren't the only ones, I thought, listening to his hurried speech. "So where ate we going?"
However, Thorne seemed to have run out of words. Instead of answering he just scowled.
I did not press the issue. After all, if I wanted to live to see tomorrow, it would be wise if me not to push his buttons. Rather than speak again, I looked out the window silently.
On either side of the highway were fields. To the right were massive canola fields, and to the left golden wheat. When we turned onto a dirt road, the wheat fields changed to tall cornstalks, that had not yet been harvested.
After some time, we rolled to a stop in a clearing. In the middle of the clearing was a rickety farm house, and a rundown shed, sitting on the wrap around veranda of the house, was a man.
He looked to be a few years older than David Thorne, and was clothed in an old plaid shirt, grungy jeans and heavy looking work boots. He just sat there watching the truck. It was disturbing.
David sighed, and pulled the keys out of the ignition. "Come on."
"What?" I asked, not understanding what was going on.
"We are hopefully going to switch cars. Get out, and if you do anything stupid, I won't hesitate to shoot you full of lead."
I shivered, and crawled out of the truck, making sure Grey was securely tucked in my pocket.
David came around, and grabbed my upper arm, as if his threat was not enough to keep me from running off among the corn fingers dug in painfully, and I notice that there was an angry red burn on the back of one.
In his other hand, was the gun.
He lead me up the steps of the veranda, towards the man, who was still gazing at the truck. Was he crazy as well? David seemed to know him, so it would not surprise me if he was a serial killer suffering from schizophrenia.
The man turned his attention to David. "Long time no see, Thorne. What have you been up to?"
He did not sound insane.
"I'm in a bit of a tight spot actually. Can I take your car? The police will have an eye for anything like mine."
Luke shrugged. "Yeah, sure. What's with the kid?"
"Nothing. Don't mind her."
Luke glanced at me appraisingly, before standing up. "I'll get the keys to my ride, while you put yours in the shed, alright?"
"Yeah. Thanks again."
Luke shrugged and disappeared into the house.
David shook his head, and guided me down the steps and back to the truck, which he drove into the barn, as Luke told him to. I followed anxiously, wary of the weapon David carried.
When we came back out, Luke was back in his chair, fiddling with a ring of keys. "See ya round bro, stay out of the cooler."
Brother? Before I could ask, David was pulling me towards the side of the house. A dark blue car was sitting in the shadows. It looked old, and I wondered if it would even start.
It did, and soon, David Thorne and I were driving away from the rickety house and strange owner in a new car. My hopes of ever being found by the police dropped even further. My only hope now was that David would turn himself in. After all, what was the point of having a witness if one never used it?
We drove in silence, and after a few minutes, David turned on the radio.
"... Were last seen driving away in a white pick up truck. Elizabeth Greene is a fourteen year old Caucasian female. She is blonde, blue eyed and five foot five inches. Her father, Officer O'Brian asks that anyone with information contact him immediately-."
David changed the radio station. We sat in a tense quiet, before he cleared his throat and asked, "so, your name is Elizabeth Greene?"
"Yes." Did it matter to him, what my name was?
"Huh," was his only reply.
We continued on without speaking, for what seemed like hours, for some reason an old Beatles song, Yesterday, kept playing in my mind. Suddenly we came to the highway, and we turned back towards the city.
I glanced at David curiously, trying not to let myself hope too much. "Why are we going this way?"
"They expect me to be getting as far away from this city as I can. So we go this way."
He was hiding in plain sight. I wondered if he was a fan of Edgar Allen Poe.
The conversation ended there. David had returned to talking to himself, and I focused my attention on the scenery. The sun was starting to set, and everything was coated in a pink tinge. Normally I would be delighted, but today I was unable to appreciate the beauty because I was such with an insane criminal.
By the time we got back to the city, it was fully dark clock on the dash board read eight thirty. I was restless from being in the car for so long, and staying quiet for hours on end was taking its toll on me as well.
"So, what are you going to do now?" I asked, unable to keep my mouth shut any longer.
He glanced at me out of the corner of his eyes. "Getting fidgety?" he asked, not answering my question.
I resisted the urge to make a comment about his insane mood swings, and nodded.
"I guess that makes sense. I need to walk around for a bit too. Give me a minute to find a place to park."
Staring at him was inevitable. How on Earth could he act this way, like he was my father, taking me on a road trip? Maybe it was some sort of elaborate trick, and he was going to kill me after all?
When he did stop, it was near a trashy looking apartment complex. Thorne pulled up along the curb, in the back parking lot. He indicated that I could get out, but once again reminded me that he would be fine with shooting me should I try and escape.
We got out of the car, and I stretched, hearing my back snap satisfyingly. We walked around, for a few minutes, he stayed near the car, and I wandered towards a dumpster. All the same, I knew he would be keeping an eye on me.
I glanced up at the sky, wondering what my dad was doing right now. Was he at the station, trying to find me? Or was he out on patrol? I hoped he would find me, I hoped that the day would end well.
As I glanced back down, I saw one of the curtains twitch. A face was peering out at me.
All I could think to do was mouth a single word. "Help!" I did not know if the person understood, but I hoped that they would.
"Hey," David yelled, "do not wander so far."
I hastily turned around, and started back towards him. It was too late though, and he was already coming closer. "Sorry," I mumbled, hoping he would not freak out.
He glanced around, as if looking for some sign that we had been seen. Thankfully, he seemed satisfied. "Come on. We need to get back to the car." he turned and started to walk away.
I froze. His back was turned, and the gun was not in his hand. My mind screamed at me to run while I could. If I was quiet, and quick, I might be able to escape from him. Instinctively I spun on my heel, and dashed away, toward the more populated streets where I could blend in. Hopefully my mouse would not mind the jostling.
I heard David shout, and panic flared up inside me. I burst into a full out sprint. No one can out run a bullet though. He must have had the gun in his pocket, because the next thing I knew there was a searing pain erupting in my leg. I screamed, and fell to the ground.
I rolled over, caughing painfully from the impact of my collapse. Hopefully Grey was not squished. I could not dwell on that for long, as my attention switched to the furious criminal bearing down on me.
"You," he snarled. He drew back his foot, and kicked me in the ribs. "You can not get away from me," he howled furiously.
I whimpered, and curled into a ball. "Please just let me go!"
"Never," he hissed, crouching down next to me. "I need you. You will tell them to let me go. If they don't, you will die. You are my bargaining chip!"
I sobbed pathetically. The pain in my leg was excruciating. Everything was distorted by it, and it felt like he broke one of my ribs when he kicked me.
Suddenly there was a loud walking sound, and the alley became lit with blue and red. Something in me managed to look past the confusion of everything , and recognized the colors but could not place how I knew them. My mind was to chaotic, and focused solely on the warmth leaking from the bullet wound.
The air became full of shouts, and David disappeared from my side. There was a loud shot, that echoed funnily. Like I was hearing it three times at the same time. Footsteps pounded around me, and there were more shouts.
I shivered, cold, and frightened. What was going on? Suddenly something warm and soft was placed over top of me. I opened my eyes, which I had not noticed I had squeezed shut, to find my father tucking his coat around me.
"Lizzy? You are going to be alright, I promise sweetie." he brushed his fingers across my forehead. "The ambulance will be he soon, just try to stay awake, okay?"
I nodded, but I was so tired. My thoughts flew to my mouse. Was Grey okay? I hope he hadn't been hurt. However, I could think on it no more, as blackness surrounded me.
In the hospital, my father told me that a woman had called the police, saying that she had seen a young girl with an older man, looking very distressed. Strangely enough, the woman's name was Lucy Grey.
My pet mouse, was safe. Apparently, while I was passed out in the ambulance, he had appeared out of nowhere, and startled the emergency worker. According to dad, who had been there, the emergency worker would not go anywhere near poor little Grey, who was suffering from trauma himself.
Dad was being very kind to me. He came everyday, and brought a new bouquet of flowers every time. Also, he brought my iPod, so I could listen to the Beatles, and annoy the nurses by constantly humming Yesterday.
He blamed himself, I knew. He said to me, after I woke up from sedation, "I am so sorry Lizzy. I should have tried harder to get you back."
I told him it was not his fault, and it was one of the first steps I took to establishing a healthy relationship with him. I was ready to forgive him, I realized, for not being there while I was growing up. I also realized that he was trying his best to raise me properly.
"Dad," I said one day. "How come you left mom?"
"We were too different, she and I. If I had known she was pregnant at the time, I would have stuck around to help, even if I didn't live with her." he looked at me sadly. "I am trying you know. I just... This is all very new to me Lizzy, and I don't know how talk to you."
I came to the conclusion, that we really needed to have more patience with each other, and try and actually get to know each other. It would be hard though, because we were differ, though I suspected that we had more in common than I first thought.
Sitting in my hospital bed, listening to the The Beatles, I could not help but wonder what would happen tomorrow.