About Desperate Measures

 

 

 

     Life was dull for Hailey Rose, who grew up in a small town. Her life soon takes a turn for the worst, when her boyfriend Ryan is abducted in front of her and held as leverage. Her adoptive parents were adamant about raising her in a sheltered lifestyle and hiding the truth about her real parents. But when Hailey begins to do some digging, she starts unraveling some hidden secrets about her past and is soon faced with a difficult decision.

     She can either follow in her parents' footsteps and join the Institute of Parapsychology as staff or save her boyfriend and risk becoming a patient.  

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Chapter One Preview

     The red and blue lights of several cop cars lit up the street reflecting off the restaurant window like lights at a club. Yellow police tape secured the perimeter, and the chaos of people rushed around her. An officer had directed her to a secluded section, away from prying eyes.

      As Hailey sat in the back seat of the cop car, a blanket wrapped around her, and the door opened just far enough to allow for a breeze, she bit mindlessly at her nails and let her mind to completely shut down as she stared blankly at the cop standing in front of her.

      He couldn’t have been much older than her, as he looked about in his late twenties, but stood a solid foot taller. He had a recording device in one hand while the other readily clutched his radio, so he was able to repeat anything she said. The young cop seemed confident in the situation as he persistently asked her question after question.

      Hailey could hardly concentrate on what he was saying, her whole body was trembling, and every nerve was in a state of constant overstimulation. Everything had happened so quickly. One moment she and Ryan were enjoying a lovely dinner at her favorite restaurant, the next he was being shoved into the back of a black SUV as she watched helplessly from the sidelines.

      The scene was stuck in a constant state of repetition, each time feeling a little more unrealistic.                  

      “Ma’am, how many people were involved? Can you describe them to me?” The cop’s words sliced through the air, the urgency was seeping into every word.

       It’s the first moments of an investigation that could make the difference between life or death, and Hailey knew that. She focused as best she could, trying to keep up with his rapid questions.

       “There were two.” She replied, voice monotone, still not fully able to focus on what was actually happening. She went into autopilot mode, answering each question, hardly aware of what she was saying. “One was a huge guy, maybe the size of a football player. He was wearing all black, with a ski mask pulled over his face. The other was a bit smaller, he too wore a ski mask, but instead of all black, he wore a baggy grey hoodie with the hood up.”

       “Did you see what kind of vehicle they were driving?”

       “A black SUV, I think.” She replied, glancing around the scene. She could hear the officer repeat back the information into his radio.

       “Was there anything unusual about the vehicle? Did you happen to see something that stood out, like a sticker or a sign of a previous crash? Could you notice what model it was?” The officer's hand was still ready on the radio to repeat back at a moment's notice. A constant hum of chatter crackled through the communication device as he addressed her.

       “A Chevy Suburban, I think. It looked relatively new.” Hailey recalled, her fingers mindlessly pulling at the hem of the blanket.

       “Were you able to get a license plate? The direction it was traveling to?”

       “It went that way,” she said, pointing in the direction of the city limits. “It was weird, though; the whole vehicle was black. All the windows were tinted so dark you couldn’t see through them, and it didn’t have any plates. Is that a bad thing? Will you be able to find Ryan?” Her voice was beginning to break, and Hailey tried to control her emotions. This was not the time for a breakdown.

       “It won’t be easy, but we will do our best.” He said, trying to comfort her, after radioing in the newfound information.

       Hailey’s heart sunk further into her chest; the thought of the cops not being able to find Ryan hadn’t crossed her mind until that point.

       She listened to the cop put out an APB for two men in a black SUV, no plates, heading east on the number one. Hailey could hear the sirens echoing throughout the city with the news. The cop turned his attention back to Hailey and continued his questioning.

       “Were the men armed?”

       “I’m not sure about the bigger one that grabbed Ryan,” Hailey’s breath caught as she recalled the panic and fear that had washed across Ryan’s face. A dull chill ached through her body as she continued, “the one in the hoodie that held me back, had a knife. I’m not sure what kind, but he had it pressed against my neck from behind.” She heard the officer communicate that the suspects may be armed, then quickly directed his attention back to her.

        “Did either of the men speak to you directly?”

         Hailey fell silent and began pulling at the loose thread on the blanket again while pushing back the urge to cry. She explained how she heard the other man threaten Ryan. “He said, ‘if you even think of moving, just remember you’ll be the one taking her life.’”

        That was the exact point where she broke. She couldn’t stand the pressure, and the feelings aroused with all this situation, and finally, Hailey burst into tears.

        She tried to finish the story, sobbing between each inaudible word. “Tha- that’s when they took him. He didn’t struggle; he just gave up,” She wept. “He just gave up, and the man dragged him to the SUV and threw him in the back. The guy holding the knife to my throat ran out quickly after them. I tried to follow, but I wasn’t fast enough to keep up.”

        By this point, Hailey’s guilt had been replaced with anger. She saw people watching as the whole ordeal played out, but no one stepped in to help. One woman called 911 before running off, but the majority waited until the men were gone. “Some of the people watching rushed over to help me, but there was nothing they could do.” Hailey cried, trying to catch her breath between sobs.

        “Ma’am, we will find your friend. However, it may take some time.” the cop explained, attempting to comfort Hailey. “In the meantime, I have your name and phone number. We will contact you as soon as we know more. Is there anyone who can drive you home?”

         Hailey shook her head, her adoptive parents didn’t live in the city, and even if they had, she didn’t have a good relationship with them and hadn’t talked to them within the last four months.

         She had just recently moved to the city to be with Ryan, and the opportunity to make new friends hadn’t presented itself yet; at this point, Ryan was all she had.

        “Alright, I will have one of the officers’ escort you home.” Hailey was soon ushered off to one of the nearby cars.

         A female cop held the back door open for her as she slid into the car. Her knees pressed collided with the front seat, and along with it, a window separated her from the cop driving.

         This must be how prisoners feel, She thought, trying to imagine what it would be like actually to get arrested. She and the cop drove in silence before finally reaching her small apartment, and thanking the cop, she went inside and fell onto her bed.

         That night Hailey cried herself to sleep.