Dede Sanchez is currently enrolled in the Creative Writing for Entertainment BFA program at Full Sail University.
“Why two beds?” he asked the middle-aged blonde that sat next to him on the hotel’s veranda. She looked up at him and inhaled from her cigarette. The tip turning bright orange as it burned. She held in the smoke for a bit before exhaling.
“Just in case you find her, she’ll want to sleep in her own bed. Always liked her own space. She’ll appreciate it,” she said. She snubbed out the spent cigarette butt in the ash tray and plucked another from the pack
“I don’t want you to get your hopes up. I already told you it’s likely, after this amount of time, we are searching for a body,” he replied. She stopped, her a lighter midway from lighting the cigarette and pinned him with a look. She snatched the unlit cigarette out of her mouth and sighed.
“Look, I know you aren’t hoping for the best. You barely knew her. But I know my daughter. I know she is alive and nothing you say will change that.” She stood up and tossed the cigarette down on the table. She walked to the balcony’s edge and looked off into the distance, her back to him. “I didn’t come all the way out here to god knows where, USA without being completely sure she is alive.” She stuck her hand in her pocket and kept it there.
“What do you have in your pocket, Mrs. Ramsey?” She looked down at her hand. She pulled out her hand and walked back to the table.
“I--,” she said as she sat down. She reached back into her pocket and pulled out her treasure. “It’s her locket.” She placed a small heart-shaped gold locket on the table. “She left it for me. She never takes it off and she somehow knew she’d be taken and so she left it for me.” He looked down at the chain and furrowed his brow.
“So, you’re saying she knew the people who took her?” he asked.
“I don’t know what I’m saying,” she responded snatching the locket from the table and shoving it back into her pocket. “It’s not my job to know what’s going on. It’s your job.” She grabbed the discarded cigarette and placed it between her lips. She lit it and took a long drag.
“I’m sorry. It’s just that every lead that we’ve had leads us nowhere.” He took a handkerchief out of his pocket and dabbed his forehead. “I’m sorry to have wasted more of your time,” he said as he stood from the table.
“Yeah we’ll its high goddamned time you stop wasting my time and go find my daughter.”
“Sure, Mrs. Ramsey. Right away.”
He sat outside a dilapidated house. Unmoving and quiet for several long moments. He looked at his watch, 4 pm. He grabbed his keys from the ignition and went inside. “Please, someone help me,” said female voice from somewhere deep in the house. He walked towards a door and pulled it open. Beyond, stairs descended downward. He followed them into a dimly lit cellar. In the center under a dim hanging lightbulb was a bed. In that bed bound by her wrists and ankles was a young blonde woman. “Please.”
“What the hell did I tell you before?” he said to the young woman.
“No, no. I’m sorry,” she replied. He knelt down next to her and grabbed her hair. He forced her to face him.
“I said, be quiet. I said things would get worse if you weren’t quiet.”
“Saw your mommy today,” he said. He let go of her hair and ran his hand down her cheek, she cringed from his touch. Her eyes filled with tears. “That bitch just won’t give up.” He pushed her back down and moved to the other side of the room. “Guess she won’t rest until I find your body.”
“No, please.” She began to struggle against her bonds.
“Shut up, goddamnit.” He turned towards her, a blade in his hand.
“You son of a bitch,” came another woman’s voice. He turned to see Mrs. Ramsey standing at the bottom of the cellar stairs, a gun in her hand. She pointed the gun at him. “I fucking knew it.”
“Mrs. Ramsey,” he said, but she didn’t hesitate. She shot, and the blast hit him right in the chest. He screamed and fell to the ground. She walked over to him, looked down and smiled.
“I knew it was you. I just needed you to lead me to her. I hope the devil is as brutal to you as you were to her,” she said. Then she walked away. He turned his head to follow her. He gasped for breath as the area he was shot became saturated with red. “Are you okay baby?” She began untying the bounds at her daughters ankles, then the ones on her wrist.
“I knew you’d find me,” her daughter said. Tears forming in her eyes. She threw her arms around her mother and wept. He could hear the sound of sirens growing louder.
“You know, it really is a shame you’re going to die here,” Mrs. Ramsey said her eyes on him. “I think jail would have been good for you.”