In light of being really busy today and not having time to write before my granddaughter arrives for our fabulous and long overdue sleepover and to have my story all in one place so I don't lose anymore of it accidentally, (long story ~ me and the nook do not get along)(notice part 8 is different than the original!) I decided to share the entire story to date in one place up to the newest part 9 which I wrote the other day.
I do hope you will take a moment to read, comment, like and share. I hope to be back up and running soon, since I have been feeling better and may be able to get my own computer up and running before too long.
Without further adieu, my unexpected 9 part story which began from a 500 word photo challenge off of Glipho, whom I love!! This piece, written and posted as cliffhangers has taken me to a whole new place as far as writing goes. I also have more fiction which deviates from my "normal" blog writing which I had been doing regularly. Feel free to check it out.
I also have decided to opt out of the Novel in a Month during November since I do not have regular access to a computer, so for now this is the best I can do ~ Part 10 is in the works and who knows after that!!
Jennifer M. Gallant aka GClawdia
It was getting dark as I walked down the wooded road. I was not afraid. Being alone in the woods was only scary if you let yourself be scared. A twig cracked to my right. Okay, maybe I was a little scared.
After escaping from the basement of the house I was held up in I had less to fear out here in the woods than what my captures might have done for me if I hadn't of used my head and taken the one opportunity to escape.
What a freaky day it was turning out to be. I was minding my own business when I found myself thrown into a car and dragged into a house I had never seen, to be left alone in the creepy basement.
They should have tied me up if they didn't want me to escape. Thankfully they were not that smart. Now I found myself on this wood road as night fell. I should be more concerned that they might find me, but I was more concerned about trying to figure out where in the hell I was.
The car ride wasn't that far, so I can't be too far away from where I had been snatched up. I thought as I walked. Crossing the stream and heading as far and as fast as I could away from my prison, I was happy to be away from there.
Since I had left in a huff, storming out of my house and swearing I would never come back, I doubt anyone back home had even begun to worry that I wasn't home yet. They probably wouldn't worry for a couple of days and it had only been a couple of hours!
No service on my cell, what would I say to anyone if I did have service? Hey, would you come get me? I am in the woods but I don't know where - I could see how that would play out! Safer in the woods ~ I thought to myself.
I had a feeling if my captures were looking they would be driving on the road, not searching the woods, thinking I would go to where I could flag someone down and escape more quickly. No stranger to walking, and knowing it is better to be off the main roads, I chose the woods. After all I didn't look like I would be an outdoorsy girl, but looks can be deceiving!
I saw a solid stick along the path, that would make a good weapon I thought, in case I was wrong and they did run into me. Chances are ~ I was okay, but better to be safe than sorry. I continued deeper down the wooded road.
Night fell. Now I was beginning to get scared. I kept walking, listening for voices, noises in the woods. Any signals which would alert me to be ready for fight or flight.
Unexpected Part 2
I noticed an outcrop of rocks off the path. It was up high so I decided to check it out and have a rest after walking for what seemed like days. I gratefully sat upon a nice smooth rock, back up against a tree and feet up.
I was glad I had my sneakers on and not some stupid pair of uncomfortable shoes. I lit a smoke and looked around. Not too much to see, and now it was even darker! I finished my smoke and explored my surroundings.
There was a little shelter under one of the rocks. Maybe I should take a rest here and start out in the daylight, I thought to myself. I was very tired. Nothing had looked familiar. No idea where I was.
Better not to light a fire ~ in case they were in the woods looking for me. A fire would be a dead giveaway to my location.
The woods were quiet as I gathered some dried leaves to make the hard ground more comfortable. Glad I had my gloves and hat with me to say the least and my fleece under my coat. I took my coat off and used it as a pillow.
As I lay there, I began to think about what the hell had transpired. All I did was get into an argument with my son, storm out and maybe if I wasn't so mad I would have noticed those sketchy people before they grabbed me and threw me in the car.
I wish I had been more observant! Getting mad at myself would not change the situation that I was in. I thought back to the basement of the house I was put in. Not much to go on there either.
They had blindfolded me after putting me in the car so I don't even know what direction they took me ~ or if I was headed in the right direction towards home.
What I wouldn't give to be home right now, sipping a tea, laying in my bed watching t.v. with my son. I hope he isn't too worried, I thought as I fell into a semi deep slumber. I woke with a start ~ a twig broke very close by. It was darker than it had been when I sat down to rest. I could barely see my hand in front of my face. What time was it? Was that an animal - or a person??
I listened. Thankful that I had found this little cave under the rocks. I held my breath and listened harder. My eyes adjusted to the darkness, but I still did not see anything. Maybe it was just an animal ~ I thought.
I was too wired to go back to sleep. After ten minutes I did not see or hear anything else. I decided to keep walking and maybe I could make it to the road and flag down a car ~ would it be safe?
Were they still looking for me? Why had they taken me? These and many more questions flooded through my brain as I walked back toward the path.
UNEXPECTED PART 3
In the pre-dawn light I could just about make out the warm glow of a light about a quarter mile down the path. For a second I was nervous, but as I approached I saw one car in the drive and a cat sitting on the stoop outside.
Should I knock and find out where I was, perhaps use the phone or should I head toward the road and try to get a location marker, I wondered as I neared the house. I decided to knock. At the very least I could call home and let them know what had happened to me.
My son should be worried by now. He usually called me if I was gone more than an hour. With no service he was probably frantic by now. Hell, I was beginning to be a bit unnerved myself. I knocked on the door.
I heard noises inside the house as someone approached the door and slowly the door opened. I am sure no one expects visitors before it is even light out and I probably looked a mess after sleeping under a rock in the woods.
Before me stood a middle aged man, coffee in hand. He did not seem too surprised to see me. I did not recognize him. I explained I was lost and needed to use the phone if he had one. He invited me in and offered me a cup of tea.
The phone rang while he was in the kitchen making my tea and I could here some of the conversation from the other room. " ...she is here." That was enough for me ~ I quickly ran out the door ~ my heart was pounding a million beats a minute.
Fuck! What the fuck did he mean "she is here?" Who the hell was that and who was on the other end of the phone. I ran! I did not know what else to do! Shit! Now they had a location on me and it was getting lighter by the second.
Things were not looking too good for me at the moment! I needed a place to hunker down before they located me. The road would not be safe ~ why hadn't I just gone to the road in the first place! Just my luck the one place I see is a danger zone!
UNEXPECTED PART 4
I stopped running to listen. Scanning my surroundings for shelter ~ safety. Someplace to stop and think and get my bearings on not only my location but the entire situation.
I didn't hear anything ~ no dogs barking tracking ~ not yet, mainly I could hear the sound of my heart pounding in my ears over all else. I hadn't run like that in 30 years and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack!
Looking behind me, I saw nothing, heard nothing. Good sign? It was hard to tell. Knowing now that two separate houses of people were involved in snatching me up and bringing me to this desolate place ~ which was not too far a drive from my local neighborhood store~to an area which I was unfamiliar with!
To my left ~ up the hill ~ I remember thinking to myself ~ why is the option always up???? I saw another crop of rocks which might offer some shelter/safety and give me some time to think to catch my breathe and to figure out what my options were here.
I headed up. I was glad that the ground was firm and there were no tracks being left to give me away. Had it been the week before with all the mud after the rain I would not be so lucky. The shelter of rocks would do I noticed as I reached my destination.
I sat down and listened some more. Not hearing a peep ~ including birds I noticed, had they gone silent because of me, or did they know something I was not privy to yet? I took a chance and lit a smoke and grabbed some broken branches which were laying around the rocks to make my hiding place less evident.
I lit a smoke and settled into my little cave. I could see the wood road I had come off of below me through my "doorway". I felt pretty secure for now. I rummaged in my bag. Checked my phone again ~ still no signal, damn mountains!
What else was in this bag that could be helpful?? Some gum ~ good, unwrapping a piece of Spearmint gum and popping it in her mouth. I got a rush from the sugar and some saliva. My stomach grumbled as a reminder of not having eaten in two days, and wished I had gotten that tea before the phone rang.
He probably would have drugged it, I thought, and then I would not be free in the woods (hiding in a rock cave). I would take the rock cave over a basement ~ or who knows what would have been harsher conditions since I had escaped the first time.
Not for the first time the words "What the fuck" flashed through my brain. This indeed is the most bizarre situation and did fall in that category nicely. Focus ~ I thought to myself, as I chewed my gum.
Noticing the birds had begun their music once again seemed to reassure me that the men were not looking in the woods at this moment in time for her. My heart was slowing to a more manageable pace now.
Good, calming down, I thought. No one could think with their heart pounding like that ~ not clearly anyhow, and I need to think. I needed not to know what this was all about, more immediately, I needed to think about how to get out of these damn woods and back to home (safety).
Maybe they thought I had gone to the road and got a ride. I wished I had done that earlier, now it did not seem like an option. Maybe not right away ~ maybe later. I will play it by ear. I rummaged some more. Nothing to eat ~ I had only bought some cajun seasoning and gum at the store.
I had long ago stopped carrying the knife and the pepper spray since the dog was gone ~ they had been protection from other dogs after the two attacks of her dog while they were walking in the city.
I thought about my dog ~ a source of comfort and sorrow combined.
I wish he was here with me now, just to have companionship, petting him always made her feel better ~ and those teeth would be good protection. But he was gone now, I never got used to the idea of my fearless protector not being there protecting me.
Not that I had ever needed protection before ~ not like now!! Focus ~ don't start getting all sad and mushy ~ I reprimanded myself for straying off into loss and sorrow. I had no time for that right now!
UNEXPECTED ~ Part 5
I must have fallen asleep as I thought and waited. I awoke and the birds were chirping again ~ that was a good sign. I listened and peeked through a small opening in my shelter. Everything looked good, safe, no signs of life in my immediate sight.
Carefully I removed the door from the rock cave, crawled out and got to my feet. I needed to stand and stretch after the refreshing, yet cramped nap. I still had no idea what to do. I looked around and noticed a paper on the ground about twenty feet away.
I walked over and bent down to pick it up. It was a couple pages of the local paper. I looked at the print and then looked at the date. Well, how could that be? I thought to myself? The paper was dated two years later than it was in reality. Was this some kind of a joke? I wondered.
The implications of the date on the paper were lost on her. How could it be two years later than it was when she walked out of her house and to the store? That was messed up. I had no clue!
Damn, I thought, my sons really must be wondering where I was! Two years?
I was having trouble processing this information rationally. It must be a joke paper...I thought to myself again. I tried to remain calm and process this new information. I walked over to a tree and relieved myself and headed back to my shelter and lit a smoke, processing this news.
Where had I been for two years? Who were those men and what did they want with her? Had she been in that basement for two years??? I wanted answers, but I needed to find my family. Needed to get out of these woods and back home.
I smoked my cigarette as I thought, enjoying the normalcy of smoking a cigarette. The only normal thing that I could grasp at the moment. Stay calm, I thought again. Don't freak out ~ that paper could not be right!
I could feel myself losing control ~ reacting emotionally and that was the last thing I needed right now. At least I was not in immediate danger. Then I heard a branch snap down the wood road from whence I came.
Quickly, I took shelter and put up the door...did they see the smoke? Did they see me? Was it them? Panic rose inside of me. Stay calm, I thought, calm, peaceful, Quiet! I held my breath and waited for them to find me or walk on by.
UNEXPECTED ~ PART 6
I watched from the safety of my small opening as a boy and a dog took a stroll in the woods. If they were with the people she fled from and the house whose door she knocked on she could not pick up on it by the body language ~ they appeared harmless enough.
My heart once again began to slow down to a normal rate. With this new realization that I had been gone for two years I was at a loss for what to do. Now, not only was I somewhere I had no clue about, but it was suddenly two years later?!!?
Someone sure had a lot of explaining to do! That could wait, however, until I could pinpoint my location and family. I thought about the day I had left in a huff ~ a minor misunderstanding ~ yet, hadn't I said I was never coming back as I stormed out?
Suddenly, I became concerned about my family. What if I couldn't find them? What if they thought I really had planned this and no one had noticed or cared that I was gone. Sure, I said I was never coming back all the time ~ but I always did after a brief cool down ~ but two years!
Now the desire to get out of these woods seemed more urgent. I decided then and there that I would find the road and find out where in the hell I was and try to get back home. Home, would I even find it?
What if my kids thought I had left ~ would there be anything but anger to go back to? They were going to be very angry with her indeed! As a Mom, they should realize that she would never go to such extremes over a stupid fight which quite frankly she could not even remember!
Had anyone been looking for her? Where had she been for such a long time? I waited for the sun to drop down, but not completely set before I got on the wood road to try to find a main highway, knowing that I would get no answers hiding in a shelter in the woods.
I was worried, hungry and tired. Now she was something else as well ~ determined to get back to her family safe and in one piece and find out what I had missed over the course of the previous two years.
When I was on the wood path again, I began walking in the direction of the boy and the dog. I was fairly confident that I would hear the noise of the traffic or see street lights ~ something to indicate the road.
I remembered when I was knocking on the door the day before that the driveway led to a road ~ so one could not be too far away. With any luck it wouldn't be a secondary road. At the very least I hoped for a sign so I could get my bearings.
Was I even in my hometown? This question and a few others filled my head as I walked through the woods. The birds were still making noise, despite my presence. That was a very good sign indeed.
As night fell, I was grateful for the warmth of my fleece and my coat.
The night air cooled as the night sky deepened first orange slowly changing to pitch black. It became very dark indeed. I listened and heard what sounded like running water. Just in time ~ I thought ~ I sure could use a drink.
I continued to walk towards the sound. Down the path and further down the hill ~ I saw the twinkling of headlights in the distance ~ a road! I began to get excited ~ thoughts of water completely out of her head now ~ warmer thoughts of home and my family occupied my brain instead.
UNEXPECTED PART 7
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:53 PM
I made my way in the direction of the headlights careful to be aware of my footing as I made haste to get to the road before dark. I wanted to be able to (hopefully) assess the drivers of the stopping car to avert another poor choice in judgement.
I was still careful to be mindful on my way through the woods down the rocky and rooted way towards the direction I had seen the car lights coming from. I took a piece of gum out of my bag, forgoing the water I had originally planned to scout out and I looked around to make sure no one was around.
Ten minutes later I made it to the road. It was a secondary road, not quite dirt but close to it. Hmm, which direction should I head? Since the house I had knocked on was behind her, I chose to move forward and stick to the edge of the road in case I needed to duck into the woods if my intuition kicked in.
Pretty quiet, somewhat warmish evening with a pretty sky was before me. Soon it would be full on dark. I didn't mind walking, keeping my eyes open for any signs or landmarks I might recognize along with trouble as I made my way down the road.
I thought some more about the boys. Sure they were grown men, they had been when I left but they would always be her babies. I wondered what they thought about my "disappearance" as I made my way, hopefully, in the direction of home.
I hoped I was heading in the right direction. I needed to find out where I was. Why was there never any signs when you needed one? With any luck she would hit a main road soon. There were sure to be markers on a road bigger than this.
A phone would come in handy right about now. I took mine out to see if I had a signal. I was surprised I had battery life. Still no bars on the phone. Oh well, maybe once I broke free from these mountains...
I remembered how on one stretch of the road the phone would just be dead ~ no warning, no service and then just as suddenly good to go, that was in a car not walking. I wondered how many steps I would have to walk to get service!
I began to count as I walked on down the road. "Think happy thoughts", I thought as I counted. Check the phone after 100 steps. 100 steps and still no service ~ no traffic either. This really was a remote road, must have been someone coming home from work.
I wondered if I would be lucky enough not to have to walk down this stretch of road without getting a ride and some answers as to just where I was. I began to think about how to bring that up without giving up to much information.
Too much information ~ now that was a joke considering that I had 1) no idea where I was 2) no idea how I got there and 3) what had happened in the two years! I would have to be tactful. I would also have to be super cautious.
I knew that two separate entities were involved by the fact that I escaped the basement in one house and knocked on a door for help at a second house and those two places/people seemed to be connected somehow.
I stopped to check the phone again ~ no signal. I decided to have a cigarette as I walked. I liked to walk. I used to walk to think ~ driving to think was her favourite with the radio blasting... I was lost in thought when I saw a car approaching.
I could not tell if it was friend or foe but I tried to flag it down. My luck could not be all bad. Think positive ~ happy thoughts~ trust your instincts ~ I thought to myself. The car slowed down and pulled over just ahead of me.
I cautiously approached the car. The driver put the passenger side window down "Hey, you look like you could use a ride." said the driver of the car. I ducked my head down to get a look at the person speaking to me.
A young man around the age of her sons. Okay, that was a slightly positive non threatening greeting. "Hi" I said, "Where are you headed?" Hoping his answer would give me a clue as to where I was.
"Heading to the city" said the young man.
No help there, but I did live in what was the "city" so with luck they were on the same page. Anywhere was better than that basement or the woods. I had enough of sleeping on the ground for a while.
"Hop in, I will give you a ride."
UNEXPECTED PART 8
I hopped into the car, sat down and put on my seat belt. I did not sense any danger from this curly headed young man. "I know how horrible this road is to walk ~ it gets long." said the young man.
The radio was playing quietly and the car was warm and cozy after her days in the woods.
"Where are you headed?" I asked. "I am meeting some friends in town to see a play at the Theater." he said. I could only hope it was my city. I would soon find out.
The young man seemed to sense that conversation was not something I wanted so he turned up the radio a little and soon the sound of the tires on the road lulled me to sleep. I wasn't sure how much time had passed when he said "We are almost there."
I opened my eyes and rubbed the sleep out of them. It was the best sleep I had gotten in a while. Good thing he wasn't one of the bad guys I thought to myself as I looked around. I was relieved to see a familiar sight ~ the lake she grew up on was to her right.
I tried not to let my excitement show at the sight of it. Relief passed through me. Perhaps I would see my boys and get some answers to the mystery of what had happened to me. They arrived on the Main Street of the city where I had been taken from. A very familiar sight indeed.
Closer and closer to home and family. I was excited!!! "I hope this gets you closer to where you need to be." he said. "It is perfect, " I replied, "Thanks for the ride ~ I totally appreciate it! Have a great time at your play."
"You're welcome," he said. They both got out of the car. He headed to meet his friends and I lit a cigarette and contemplated whether I should call home first or just show up. I was still a little groggy from my nap so I decided to walk in the direction of my son's residence.
Not too much had changed in the two years I had been away. Perhaps that paper in the woods was not accurate ~ I was less concerned about the passage of time and more concerned about seeing my family.
I wondered what they thought about her disappearance and if they would be angry with her for the millionth time. As I walked nearer to their home I got nervous about their reactions. Maybe I should call.
I took out my phone and began to dial and hung up the phone. What would I say over the phone to them? Maybe I should just show up. It was early, just beginning to get dark and it wasn't too much further now.
I became more anxious and excited as I neared the boys home. I decided to phone after all. I dialed the number and the phone rang and rang.
UNEXPECTED PART 9
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 3:53 PM
The phone continued to ring as I walked towards the last place I knew the boys were. I hoped that they were still there. I was so nervous as I anticipated seeing them and their reactions to seeing her.
I began to wonder just how angry they would be. What could they be thinking? I did leave the house angrily, but not so angry that I would leave and have no contact for a couple of years and I hoped they knew that.
I walked the familiar roads not passing any other pedestrians as I went. Now that I was in familiar territory I was not afraid at all. First things first, I thought ~ see the boys and find out what they know.
After that all I wanted was a shower and some food and a real bed to sleep in. I was sure that their anger would be minimal and that their relief at seeing her alive and well would override that anger. Time would tell.
I arrived at the street where the house was located, passing the second elementary school I had attended years before, which was now converted into condominiums. The house was halfway down the street, I could see it from where she was on the corner.
It was difficult to tell if anyone was home due to the angle of the house. I dialed the phone again to give them a heads up and to feel out their reaction. Still the phone rang and rang. I dialed the other numbers I had for them.
Still no answer. That was odd ~ or was it? Sometimes they neglected to answer the phone when they were busy. I continued down the street trying to keep my nervousness at bay. This was almost as intense as walking down the road and waiting for a ride!
I tried to clear my mind. I had no idea what I would or could say to them to explain my absence. I knew that they would not believe me, yet some part of me hoped they had developed some compassion in the time I had been gone.
Each step closer made her more anxious in anticipation of seeing them and about their reactions. I lit another smoke and approached the house. The house looked the same and as I walked up the driveway towards the front entrance noticing a familiar car in the driveway.
I took it for a good sign and my nervousness abated somewhat. I took a final drag off of my smoke and tossed it to the ground and crushed it out with my foot before I walked up the porch steps onto the enclosed porch.
Everything looked the same so I could only hope that they still lived there and that someone was at home. I had figured her youngest son would have moved in with his brother and his Dad after her sudden departure, otherwise I could not even begin to imagine where to find him. I wondered where all of my belongings were as well.
Knock, knock, knock on the door. My heart was pounding and my pulse was rapid as I waited for signs of life.