Category Archives: Taken

Taken X

Taken X
By: Mia L. Hazlett

Jessie.  I had my Jessie back.  Mark wasn’t cheating on me, he was trying to get our Jessie back.  Whoever was in the house must have tried to hurt him and that’s why he ran.  When I ran to the back of the little cottage, I saw the door slowly creep open. I thought I had been found, but as my eyes focused, it was my baby.  My little Jessie stumbled out the back and into my arms. We ducked low as I heard the person inside frantically hunt for her.

The engine of the van turned over and the headlights were like instant sun in this shadowless wilderness.  I waited for it to disappear before I turned my tiny flashlight back on.  I didn’t know how far the batteries would take us, but I needed to get to a place where I could get some bars on my cell phone.  I had to call Mark and tell him I had Jessie.  He would probably be angry, because that would reveal I followed him.  His arrogance would hate the fact that I rescued her and he left running.

I stumbled through the woods and thought I heard the sounds of water.  It was faint, but unmistakable.  Jessie was barely walking so I lifted her into my arms.  I wanted to get us as far away from that house as I could.  The sound of the water was more audible and that was going to be my guide.  My flashlight shut off.

Behind us I heard cars, but the water was closer.  What was that? A crash? I wasn’t sure.  I kept moving towards the water.  Jessie was too heavy to continue to carry.  I found a tree and sat against the base of its trunk.  It wasn’t until I stopped moving that I realized how cold it was.  My little Jessie was cold too.

As I sat, I formulated a plan to go back to the house.  Whoever left, would never come back, knowing Mark found his hiding place.  We could at least spend the night and then in the morning, I would at least be able to travel in daylight. But most of all, we wouldn’t freeze in these woods.

The outline of the house came into my view.  Just beyond the house there appeared to be headlights approaching.  I was wrong.  The person was returning to get my Jessie.  I ran and hid us deep into the trees and stopped moving when I heard the engine shut off.  The headlights remained on and I heard deep voices.  I wasn’t sure how many voices, but there was definitely more than one.  And I knew one of them.  It was Mark.  He must have run to go get help.  He had come back to bring our Jessie home.

I ran out of the woods the best I could holding Jessie tight to my chest.  I screamed his name as I came into the clearing behind the tiny house.  We were safe.  Mark would take me and my baby home.  A figure stood in the headlights and I ran towards it.  They were blinding so I wasn’t sure who I was running towards, until he opened his arms for us.  I ran into my husband’s arms.  We were safe.

Copyright © 2014 Mia L. Hazlett

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Filed under children, daughters, fear, fiction, kidnapping, Suspense, Taken

Taken IX

Taken IX
By: Mia L. Hazlett

What was that?  I heard a noise outside.  I opened the door expecting to see Mark, but I only heard a car in the distance.  There was a slight glimmer of the headlights through the trees, but the sound I heard before was closer.  Now I could only hear the barking of coyotes blended with the crickets and various evening critters.  There it was again.  Someone was still here watching us.

“Hello,” I shouted into the darkness.  “Hello,” I yelled louder.

I went back into the house and The Package was gone.  After hunting through the house, only 500 square feet, so not that much to cover.  She was nowhere.  I know I heard cars, but who stayed behind? Who was watching me? Who had taken The Package again? At this point it didn’t matter. Answers weren’t what I needed.  I needed to leave the country.  Now.

I retrieved my passport and small stash of bills.  Although I thought I would be adding 50 grand to this, my thoughts were not my current reality.  Getting to Canada was the only way out of this mess .  In three days, I would be a different person, in a different country, living a different life.

I pulled my van onto the road.  I passed the small gated path, which went to the small creek behind my cabin.  Before I could get around the bend near the cliff, I looked into the midnight trees.  There was a jumping light that hopped and then disappeared.  A flashlight? None of my business.  I needed to get out of the country.

My eyes could not adjust to the instant light.  They were in front of me and behind me.  I was no longer driving my car, but overcorrecting my swerve and slamming on my brakes.  I don’t know if the shattering glass came before or as my head whipped back.

I woke to pain.  Mark stood over me.  He held my passport and all my cash.  He shook his head side to side.  I tried to get up, but Mark punched me back down.  I was going to die.  Mark was going to kill me.  These were my last moments.  Oddly, I had always thought of death as a nameless end.  Never did it have a name.  I saw Mark load his gun as he stood on my neck.  As he aimed his gun at my head, death had a name and its name was Mark.

Copyright © 2014 Mia L. Hazlett

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Taken VIII

Taken VIII
Mia L. Hazlett

There were woods everywhere.  Woods and no street lights. Dark and only my headlights.  Trying to follow my husband was impossible.  He pulled onto a slight gated dirtway.  It wasn’t really a trail, nor a driveway or street.  He parked and opened the gate.  His taillights stopped shortly after he entered.  He relocked the gate, but did not get back into his car.  A small spot of light wavered in front of him from his flashlight.

I parked my car and stepped out.  Crickets. Owls. Rustling leaves.  A strange barking in the distance. The cacophony of the night hid my clumsy steps, as I tried to following my husband’s spot of light.  I stumbled through the branches and hid behind a tree when I saw headlights coming through the trees.  The lights scanned over a small cottage before the engine cut.

I didn’t see my husband any longer.  The tree continued to give me cover. I’m not sure if I needed the tree, the pitch black did its own job. My eyes adjusted to the frame of a small cottage, but not much else.  I heard a slight creak.  It sounded like a door opening.

Footsteps. I heard running in the woods in front of me.  I found another tree and hid behind it.  The small spot of light returned and jumped up and down.  It must have been my husband.  But what was in that house?  What would make my husband run? My husband ran from nothing.

Faintly I heard the sound of two vehicle engines starting.  Had he found my car?  Before I could turn and run for my car, I saw a speck of light in the cottage.  There was someone in the house.  I ran towards the light and fell.  In my home, this would have been a mere thump.  In this desolate place, it was a clap of thunder.  The light quickly went out.

Copyright © 2014 Mia L. Hazlett

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Filed under fear, fiction, husband, kidnapping, Suspense, Taken

Taken VII

By: Mia L. Hazlett

Voz backed his van into the makeshift driveway. He made sure nobody had followed him. This was his spot. Neither Kev or Mark knew of his deep wooded spot. It had taken him three hours and two vehicles to get here. He needed to be sure if it came down to him becoming the scapegoat, nobody would ever be able to find him.

He didn’t care that Mark had called it “back on.”  Their mission had failed.  Mark had the kid.  This kid was supposed to be dead by now.  Once they all had received their cut, they would never see each other again, but now he nursed a bruised jaw from a plan gone wrong.

There was no reception out here for his phone, so he left it in the van as he hopped out.  In the morning, he would check on the body and send it to its final resting place.  The door creaked open at the push of his foot.  They weren’t supposed to meet up for a few days, so he planned to camp out here with all of his groceries.  The small flashlight clenched between his teeth dropped to the floor along with one of the bags.

He bent down to pick up the bag and flashlight. “Nice little hiding spot. Very nice,” Mark said.  “You were going to keep this all to yourself? I thought we were friends. We are friends, aren’t we James K. Reynolds Sr.?  And I’m thinking the only reason you would be called Senior is because there is a Junior somewhere out there.  Hmm, with a simple guess I’m going to say, Delaware or North Carolina.  Oh, that’s right, your parents are in North Carolina and your son and daughters are in Delaware.  Well let me not interrupt your vacation.  Take care of yourself.  See you in three days.  Don’t think of not coming.  There are some people I know that live in Delaware and North Carolina. Oh yeah, take care of The Package.”

Voz watched Mark disappear into the darkness.  He heard no sounds and saw no lights.  He was waiting for the sound of a car or just something. Nothing, but blackness and silence. The Package? What did he mean?  He scrambled for his flashlight and waved it around the room looking for the tiny girl.  She was curled up asleep on the couch.  Now he had the package and they knew his spot.

© 2013 Mia L. Hazlett

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Taken VI

Taken IV
By: Mia L. Hazlett

I scrubbed my body, hoping to wash Mark and his lust away. He disappeared all day yesterday. There was actually joy when I eased myself between my sheets last night. Usually he didn’t come home for days. I prayed for a reprieve. Unfortunately, he returned home horny at close to three in the morning.

I turned the water off and stepped from the shower. My hair dripped as I lightly toweled off my bruised body. I breathed a bit easier, but I needed to take my mind off of me and stay hopeful for my Jessie’s return. Even though our fight destroyed the lamp on my nightstand, I was able to save my night stand picture of Jessie. I slept with the picture under my pillow every night.

Obviously there was nothing I could do, but this picture was the last piece of Jessie had, less her bedroom. For some reason, Mark had taken down all of her pictures. The first week, he worked relentlessly with the police. Now it seemed like he was over her. I couldn’t understand and that led to our disagreement the other night. Although I wanted my home plastered with her face, I couldn’t endure another thrashing. I curled back under my sheets and clung to my angel’s picture.

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Taken V

Taken V
By: Mia L. Hazlett

Voz walked around the back to the warehouse entrance. The door buzzed and he took the steps by two to the meeting room. He dropped the duffel bag on the floor and opened the metal locker. He exchanged duffel bags and sat at the beat up card table to examine the contents as Kev appeared in the doorway.

They hadn’t seen each other in almost two months after the debacle of a kidnapping. They had to meet with Mark, he was the head of all this, and had summoned this meeting. They sat at the table in silence, until they heard the ring of the backdoor bell. Kev got up and buzzed the door. He could see in the monitor there was a small figure coming in behind him.

They exchanged looks. Voz let his glock rest in his lap and Kev kept his box cutter up his sleeve. Mark walked in holding his stepdaughter’s hand. He smiled broadly, then bent and whispered into her ear. The little girl left the room and Mark circled the table.

“Gentlemen, there’s a problem. I think you know what it is. And I’m a bit annoyed, because I’m sure I paged three and I only see two. Why two, when there should be three? Anyone?” He ceased his pacing and waited for a response.

Voz spoke up, “She’s dead. I’ve checked for reports and there’s nothing. Nobody is looking for her.” The fist that caught him in his jaw reeled him backwards and sent his glock sliding across the floor under the lockers.

“Are you stupid?” Mark boomed. “Is this some kind of joke to you. Do you not get what is going on? This was supposed to be a simple kidnapping. You take her, keep her, demand a ransom, we get the money, we disappear. Do you know how much she’s worth? And now you go and kill the scapegoat?”

Voz picked himself off the floor and stood. He tasted blood when he swallowed and wiped the small trickle from the corner of his mouth. ” I found the kid. If it wasn’t for me, we wouldn’t have her back.” Voz attempted to defend himself.

“You found her after she was spotted and the sighting was reported to the cops. They tracked her back to The Spot. They found blood there and no body. They are looking for the body. Now that they have blood, they have DNA. With DNA they can identify who she was.” Mark was inches from Voz’s face.

“They aren’t going to find the body to do any DNA match. Trust me,” Kev said.

“Why should I trust either one of you? You are both fuck ups. They don’t need a body. Need I remind you she is a convict? She’s already in the system. Now they are looking for her and the kid. Tomorrow it’s back on. Do you hear me? It’s back on. There is no margin for error this time. You will be provided details tonight.”

“Daddy, can we go?” Jessie appeared in the doorway.

“Yes baby. Daddy’s coming.” Mark took his stepdaughter’s hand and left.

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Taken IV

Taken (IV)
By: Mia L. Hazlett

It had been two months since my baby was taken. There were occasional phone calls from the detectives assigned to Jessie’s case. But over all, they were starting to dwindle. It used to be three to four times a week, but now it was only return phone calls. The hardest part to adjust to was the decrease in the search intensity. The first week I functioned completely on adrenaline. It felt like the detectives lived here. Our neighbors did everything to help. The house was never empty. Even the second week, we had relatives and friends in and out. But now there was just us.

My husband held most of the details to the investigation. There was very little that I knew, except that they had not found her. Unfortunately, these past two months, as heart-wrenching as they’d been, had been a reprieve from Mark, my husband, and his brutality. Last night was the first time since we lost her that he’d hit me or should I say beat me. It was with such viciousness that I thought I wouldn’t make it through. There had been times before that I thought that, but last night he unleashed two months of pent up fury.

I touched the mirror instead of my face. My fingers lightly traced my swollen right eye. How my left eye was spared, I’m not sure. The split down my lower lip seemed to cut it right in half. There was a bruise on my left cheek, which was probably the reason for the excruciating pain that shot through my face when I tried to open my mouth. Usually he spared my face, but I guess he knew I wasn’t leaving the house to go anywhere.

The last time I left the house was the morning we went to drop her off for school. It may be selfish, but I wasn’t ready to see other children playing in the neighborhood. I didn’t think I could take hearing the sound of “mommy” coming from a child’s mouth. I sat on the floor in her bedroom and cried myself to sleep most nights. Not to mention my dreams, they rentlessly taunt me.

Sometimes they were memories, sometimes she was running back into my arms completely untouched, but mostly they were nightmares. It was the nightmares that left me drained. There was one that I had consistently. I was at her school and following behind her in the crowded hallways. I could never seem to get close to her, but could hear her distinct little giggle. Out of nowhere, a man came and grabbed her. He was running so fast with her and my legs didn’t move. It was the sound of her screaming, “Mommy help me!”, that always woke me.

“Mommy help me.” Mommy couldn’t even help herself, I thought, as I examined the large bruise on my right side in the mirror. I knew my ribs were broken. A large inhale forced me to double over in pain and brought about a much more painful cough attack. I made my way back into bed. My four pillows offered me the only comfort I think I would find in the next couple of nights as I tried to heal my wounds. I could only pray that my darling Jessie was safe right now. As much as I missed my angel, I was grateful she was not here to listen to my cries for help.

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