The Girl Within Chapter 1 continued

never checked the answering machine and I’d left my cell phone at home that day.  The rambling customer at work had tied up the line at the store.  They’d had no way to reach me.  There must have been a note somewhere.  I had simply overlooked it.
I ran into the kitchen and looked around carefully.  No note.  Maybe, they had been in a hurry.  I reached for the cordless phone and punched in my mother’s number.
“Hello?”
“Mom, are Chris and Daniel down there?”  I asked.
“No, why?”
The lower part of my body seemed to melt and I sank to the floor.  “Have you talked to Chris?  Do you know where they went?”
The tone of my voice revealed my panic and my mother picked up on it immediately, “I haven’t talked to Chris or seen either one of them all day.  What’s wrong?  Have you talked to Angie?” she finished in a rush without waiting for my replies.
Angie was my aunt that had babysat Daniel while Chris and I were at work.  “I’ll call her right now.  Do you think they could be with Dad?”
“No, he’s here in his recliner.  Let me ask him if he knows anything.”
I could hear the muffled conversation between my parents and I silently prayed he knew where my husband and son were.
“No, he hasn’t talked to them today, either,” my mother added as she came back on the line.  “Where could they be?” she asked.
My stomach lurched in pain at the question.  “Let me call Angie.  I’ll let you know once we’ve found them.”  I said goodbye and then quickly dialed Angie’s number.  In only the first moments of the conversation, I quickly realized Angie had no idea where the two were either. 
I wandered outside looking at the woods surrounding our home.  The next house was over a mile away.  When we had moved from the city to the remote property, I had loved the peace and privacy.  Now, I cursed it.  There were no neighbors to ask if they had seen anything.  I screamed Chris and Daniel until my voice grew hoarse and raspy.  I looked through the edge of the woods but saw nothing that indicated they might have been there.  I went back into the house and grabbed Chris’ cell phone.  I called every number in his contacts and recent call history.  Of the people I reached, no one had heard from or seen Chris since he left work that afternoon.  So far, Angie was the last person to see him and he hadn’t mentioned anything about leaving.  In fact, he had told her he was going to start cooking supper.  He must have never gotten the chance.  The kitchen was clean, everything in its place.  I checked my phone once again for messages, texts, anything.  Nothing from Chris.
I collapsed in the driveway after walking around Chris’ truck.  My hand touched something sticky-that was when I saw the blood.   Chapter 2