Chapter 2 The Girl Within

Chapter 2
 
I stared at the small pool of blood near the tailgate of the truck.  Even now, it was in shadow and I had a hard time seeing it.  I scrambled for my cell phone, which had bounced along the concrete driveway as I had fallen.  I scooped it up and dialed 911 frantically.
“Hello, what’s your emergency?” the dispatcher’s voice rang in my ears.
“Please,” I gasped, “please send someone right away.  Something has happened to my husband and son.”
I stammered through giving my address and when the woman asked what had happened I whispered, “I don’t know.”
I must have answered the rest of her questions but later I didn’t remember any of it.  I looked up as I heard sirens wailing and saw the sheriff’s car turn in the drive.
“Ma’am, are you okay?” a voice floated down to me.
“No, no I’m not,” I said quietly and pointed to the blood.
“Do you know what happened?” the sheriff asked.
I looked up to see a middle-aged man with some extra weight around his middle.  “I came home and they were gone.  No one knows where they are.  Then I found this.”  I pointed again to the dark patch. 
“Who was gone, ma’am?” the sheriff asked. 
I blinked, realizing I was talking incoherently.  “My husband and little boy-they’re gone.”  The tears started rushing down my cheeks, “Something terrible has happened to them-I know it.”  The sobs began to rack my entire body and I couldn’t stop them.  I grew scared, as I couldn’t get myself under control.
I felt a pair of hands on my back, “It’s going to be okay.  You’re in shock.”
I wasn’t sure how much time had passed when I finally drew a deep breath and the shaking and tears stopped.  I wiped my eyes and saw the EMT standing nearby.
“Why don’t you let me check you out?” he said.
“No!  I’ve got to talk to the sheriff right now.  I’ve already wasted too much time already.”  Horrible scenarios began to play themselves out in my mind.  Had someone murdered my husband to kidnap my son?  What were they doing to him right now?  My hands began to shake.  They could be out of the state by now.
“Sheriff, you’ve got to do something-put out APB, an Amber Alert,” I said frantically. 
“That’s already being worked on,” he replied.  “Let’s go inside and talk.”
He sounded too calm for my liking but I motioned him inside and sat down in an armchair facing the sofa.
“I’m going to have to ask you a lot of questions and some of them may not be too pleasant,” he began.
My heart started to pound, “Do you think they’re both dead?”  I cried.
“No, no, nothing like that,” he countered.  “Stay calm, ma’am.  We’ll find them.”
I took a deep breath.  “Okay, what do you need to ask me?”
“Do you know who may have done this?” the sheriff began.
I looked at him in disbelief.  “If I had any idea, I would have told you by now.”
He nodded as if he asked the question out of routine only.  “So no enemies that you know of?”
“No,” I shook my head.  “I can’t even think of anyone we’ve had a petty squabble with, much less anybody that would actually hurt us.”
He made some notes on a piece of paper, “Have you noticed anyone or anything unusual in the last couple of weeks?”
“What, like someone following us?”  I tried to think but couldn’t come up with anything out of the ordinary occurring.  “No, not that I saw.”
“Have you and your husband had any arguments lately?”
The question came out of nowhere.  I turned red.  We’d had a blowup last week about Chris not spending enough time with Daniel.  My thoughts must have been written plainly on my face.  I could see the sheriff mentally changing his focus.
“My husband wouldn’t have left without a word,” I snapped.  “And what about the blood?”
“At this point, we’re not even sure it’s human,” he replied.  “How did your husband and son get along?”
Fury replaced my fear, “My husband would never hurt our child,” I roared.  “Why don’t you get out there and do your job to find them instead of asking me these ridiculous questions?”
My anger didn’t penetrate his calm.  “We have to consider all angles, ma’am.  Is there anything more you can tell me?” 
I told him about the calls I’d made and that my aunt Angie was next page