She felt a rock in her throat as she read Sheriff John’s lips.
Jane: No, she can’t be.
She turned to David.
Jane: Give me your phone!
She practically snatched it out his hand and thanked herself for knowing Helen’s number by memory. She heard the ringing, then Helen’s voice…
Helen: I wasn’t able to come to the phone right now. Please—
Jane slapped the phone shut, and felt her hands tremble.
Jane: She’s probably out running around…you know getting some things together.
She looked at John and waited for him to agree with her.
Sheriff John: She’s not at her home, her daughter hasn’t seen her. We have to assume she’s missing so we can help her.
Jane: You think he…
Jane held her mouth—sobbing. Devastated, she leaned on David’s shoulder.
She couldn’t believe what was happening. She needed to feel things were normal.
Jane: Don’t you have to go to work?
David: I’ll stay if you need me.
Jane: It’s okay honey, go.
David: Keep me updated will ya?
Jane: Sure honey.
He kissed her on the forehead and left. She returned to her room; she wanted to go and search for Helen. Out of the hospital’s closet she removed a clear bag that had all her belongings. As she put on her clothes, she heard a vibrating sound. She ran to the bag and took out her phone praying it was Helen. She looked at the screen, but it was unknown number. She felt a sense of dread as she opened her phone.
Jane: Helen! Are you okay?! Where are you?!
She didn’t hear anything, except a white static noise.
Jane felt anxious; her life was spinning out of control.
Jane: Please Helen tell me something!
Sheriff John walked in and Jane pointed to her phone.
Jane: It’s her!
Helen: I’m in a steel container; he’s driving. I can’t breathe (takes deep breaths) I—on—ear—ater.
The call was breaking up, which made Jane feel even more desperate.
Jane: We have to do something!!
Sheriff John: (holds Jane by the shoulders) Calm down and focus. What did she tell you?
Jane: She’s in a steel container and she thinks she’s being transported.
John spoke into his radio
Sheriff John: I want everyone on the lookout for a steel cargo container being transported. (Looks at Jane) It’s time to do what you do best.
Jane needed to relax her nerves and think clearly if she expected to channel Helen; She sat down.
Jane: Get my brother.
She sat down in a chair as her brother held her hand. She thought about the day she met Helen. She was handing out fliers of her missing daughter Jasmin. She remembered how drained her face looked— the eyes of sleepless nights that marked her face. Helen had approached her and handed her a flier. Since finding her daughter, they had become great friends—partners. Jane felt herself relaxed and able to sense Helen; She was able to channel her energy. She closed her eyes and started to see landscapes as if she was staring outside a window– driving. Suddenly, everything went dark; only a tiny bright light.
Helen: (sobbing) Jane, if you’re seeing me, I don’t know where I am. We’ve stopped now and all I hear is water.
Jane: They’ve stopped; she only hears water.
Helen: I just want you to know Janey it is not your fault. You did everything you could. Whatever happens to me honey it is not your fault. There are just some sick people out there. If you hear me Jane, please don’t cut me on your back.
Jane was trying to stay focus even though she felt her chest filled with pain.
Helen: You saved me when you saved my daughter. So, don’t you dare go cutting yourself… Tell my daughter Jasmin I love her and that I am so proud of her.
Jane couldn’t bare hearing her voice.
Helen: Tell her I wish I was there for her more. (cries) Just promise me you will find that bastard and make him pay for everyone he’s hurt.
Jane couldn’t hold on no more and opened her eyes tear filled eyes. She tried to control her sobs, but felt like she was suffocating.
Jacob: Is she alive?
Jane: (nods) yea, I don’t know for how long.
Jacob: You need to go back, but don’t go to her, look around anything that might help her.
Jane closed her eyes again and try to channel where Helen might be. She flew down the highway and quickly saw the number 204.
Jane: Marker 204
Jacob: What highway?
Sheriff John: All units stand by…
(radio: copy that)
Jane saw a pickup truck with a red steel cargo container. She tried to hang on to Helen’s essence, but it was hard. She wasn’t use to viewing the surroundings except from the person’s eyes. Before she entered the steel container, she quickly saw a mustard seed yellow sign with the word “stone”. Jane flung open her eyes and got up.
Jane: Brickstone Highway!!
Sheriff John: (over radio) All units head to marker 204 on the Brickstone highway. Suspect is armed and dangerous.
She couldn’t breathe; the cold steel against her back. She held the cellphone tight in her hand; sweat making it slippery. Her face was moist with tears—she had been crying since she woke up in the container. She didn’t even remember how or where he took her. Helen wondered if he checked for a phone or he left it on purpose. She looked at the time, 6:26 p.m. her phone battery at twenty percent. She pressed her head against the wall and looked into the darkness.
They had stopped ten minutes ago; she wondered what was happening. She suddenly felt a jolt as the container moved back. She had nowhere to hang on to. She stood breathing hard, her heart pounding at her chest; the way she wanted to pound the door. It stopped; she laid against the wall looking at the shut doors; expecting him to open it. The steel container started to lift up leaving the container slanted up. To reach the exit of the container she would have to climb up; the way children do on a slide.
Helen:(yelling and crying) You fucking bastard!!
She knew cursing at him would probably make things worse, but she wasn’t going to plead for her life. She came close to death, and that was when her daughter was kidnapped. She opened her phone and saw Jasmin on the screen—she kissed it. She closed her eyes and pictured her when she was just a tiny baby. All the memories she had; she thought of Jane and everything they’ve done together. She opened up a picture of her and Jane and smiled. She dropped the phone from her hand as the container suddenly jolted back. She heard a big splash as the container slammed into the water. She looked down at her feet as water began to come in.
Jane felt like she could jump out of her skin as they raced towards Brickstone highway. A sense of dread came over her; she remembered the feeling when she saw the creature and Jennifer.
Jane: We need to hurry!
She saw the sign: Brickstone EXIT 2 1.0 miles.
She knew John was going as fast as he could—safely. She gasped as she saw the mud like creatures appear and running in the same direction. Jane knew that something bad was happening. They ran faster than before, as if they were trying to get there before she did. She looked to the left and saw a river.
Jane: She has to be near water!
Sheriff John drove onto the Brickstone highway and accelerated reaching 100 mph. From afar she saw the marker: 204…
She panicked as she felt the water coming in, by then it was up to her knees. She treaded against the water to the door and banged frantically. Instead of screaming for help she screamed out Jane’s name. She knew she wouldn’t get to her on time, but she still screamed for her. The water was now at her waist and the rear part of the container started to go down first. She opened her phone and dialed Jane.
Jane felt her hand vibrate; the ringtone of dread. She saw Helen’s name, she opened her phone so hard she almost snapped it in two.
She heard white noise and realized it was water.
Helen: It’s going down Jane!
Jane: I’m here Elle!
John had stopped the car abruptly as Jane jumped out the car. Jane followed the creatures and raced towards the river, as the sheriff and the police ran behind her. She jumped over rocks, kicking mud back. The creatures disappeared as she reached the bank and looked for the container. By the time she saw it, the container was almost submerged; she held the phone to her ear as she ran towards Helen.
Jane: I’m coming Helen, I’m coming!
She jumped into the water trying to run towards her. She could hear the police radios behind her. She swam to the giant crate and banged on the door. She screamed…
Jane: I’m here!
There was no response and Jane pulled on the chain. John swam towards her with the steel bar above his head. He started to bang on the padlock as the steel container kept sinking. As the last of the container went underwater, Jane went under trying to pull on to the chain. It stood laying on the river’s floor as Jane pushed her feet against it. She could feel the pressure in her lungs for holding her breath for too long. She swam back up and heard John call her name, but she quickly went back under. She pulled and pulled, and suddenly felt someone pull her away from the chain. She struggled to get out of the grip, but it was a police diver swimming her to safety. As she reached to the bank of the river, she let out an agonizing cry. Her brother Jacob came at her side and lifted her to her feet. Sheriff John, soaking wet, thread through the water. He approached Jane and placed his hand on her shoulder.
Sheriff John: I’m sorry, we—
Jane slapped him across the face.
Jane: We could’ve helped her!! You could’ve done more!
Jacob held on to Jane by the waist as she fell to her knees and cried.
The police divers attached chains to the cargo container, and watched it slowly came out of the river; water pouring out from the cracks. Jane watched as it dragged through the mud. She saw the creatures watching, and one by one disappearing into the Earth.
Sheriff John took the crowbar and broke the padlock. Jane stood in front as two police officers opened the cargo’s doors—on the steel floor a phone left opened…