Gang Land:The McKays 04

By: A.J. Carella

One



The laughter rang in her ears, nothing more than a low rumble, really, but it washed over her completely and filled her head, the sound seeming to contain the very source of all evil. She knew it was futile, that her time on this earth had come to an end, but still she tried to get away, pulling herself as best she could over the dry and broken earth, the leaves that carpeted the ground crackling beneath her.

She sobbed as she thought of her family and the last time she’d seen them. She’d had yet another fight with her parents and had stormed out of the house, leaving her little sister crying in her wake. What had they even argued about? Something petty, she was sure. She realized now, in her final moments, that what had once seemed incredibly important to her was laughable. Why hadn’t she listened? Listened when her mom had tried to make her see that there was more to life than being a spoiled little rich brat.

She’d covered a fair bit of ground and still, he just stood and watched—and laughed. He knew she wasn’t going to be able to get far, not after he’d taken the knife and sliced the Achilles on each of her ankles.

“Now you’re hurting my feelings.”

She heard the crunch of leaves as he came after her and desperately tried to move faster, sobbing as she scratched at the dirt with her fingers. “Please, please don’t hurt me! My parents are rich, they’ll pay you. Just please don’t hurt me!” she begged, hardly recognizing the voice that came out of her mouth, it was so distorted with terror.

She felt him grab her by the hips and flip her over onto her back, standing over her with a foot on each side of her waist. She sobbed as his hand reached for his belt buckle and he leered down at her as he undid his pants. Maybe he’ll just rape me and it’ll be over.

She squeezed her eyes tightly shut as he lifted her dress and prayed harder than she’d prayed in years as he did what he wanted to do to her, biting her lip to stop herself crying out in pain. Time seemed to stand still, dragging out her torment, and it felt like he was on top of her for hours, although she was sure it was just a matter of minutes.

“Roll over and get to your knees,” he instructed when he was done and she thanked God. He was going to let her go. Using what little strength she had left, she leveraged herself back over onto her stomach and pushed herself onto her elbows. Before she had the chance to try and get to her knees, she felt him grab a handful of her hair and yank her head back, exposing her throat.

She knew it then. He wouldn’t be letting her go. There would be no joyful reunion   with her family, no second chance to become a better person. With tears streaming down her face, she silently said goodbye to her family and told them that she loved them just as the blade sliced across her throat. Darkness came in a matter of seconds and she was dead before he let her drop to the ground.





Two



Sam had no idea how long his phone had been ringing before it finally penetrated through to his sleep-deprived brain. With considerable effort, he reached for it and brought it to his ear without opening his eyes.

“ ‘lo?” he answered, his voice thick with sleep. As he listened, he woke up fully and sat up, swinging his legs to the floor.

“Where?” He flicked on the bedside lamp, illuminating the room as the voice on the other end of the phone answered his question.

“I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.” Sam disconnected the call without another word and checked the clock on the bedside table. No wonder he felt as if he’d only just gone to bed. It was four in the morning and he’d only finally managed to get to bed the night before at just past midnight. Moving quietly so he didn’t wake the rest of the house, he went into the bathroom and freshened up before getting dressed, grabbing the first pair of clean jeans and t-shirt that he could lay his hands on. Leaving his bedroom, he walked down the corridor to where his daughters slept. Quietly pushing open the door, he smiled as he looked at them both sleeping soundly. Ava, the quieter of the two, was curled up on her side with her thumb in her mouth, her blonde, curly hair fanned out on the pillow under her head. Her twin, Andrea, had kicked off her covers and was asleep with her head down at the wrong end. Andrea was the more chaotic of the two and it always made him laugh to think that she was even like it in her sleep.

Careful not to wake them, he crept into the room, picked up Andrea’s covers and gently placed them back over her before, with a last look, he left the room and closed the door.

Before leaving the house, he stopped by the kitchen and quickly penned a note to Maria, their live-in help, letting her know he’d been called out. Not a day went by that Sam didn’t say a little prayer of thanks that they’d found her. She had become part of the family in the five years she’d been with them and he honestly didn’t know how they’d cope if she ever left. He chuckled to himself at the ridiculousness of the thought. She loved those girls as much as he did and he knew she’d never leave them.

He’d met her purely by accident at the local supermarket, not long after his wife had walked out on them without a backward glance. He’d been struggling with his groceries and two screaming six-month-old babies when she’d stepped in and offered to help. Immediately able to calm them, she’d stayed with him until he finished his shopping and had loaded the car. He’d called later that day after the twins had gone to bed to thank her and they’d got to talking. She’d told him that she was a widow and mom to two grown-up kids that had moved away and, until recently, had worked as a secretary in a law firm. That firm had moved to a different city and she’d been left without a job. He hadn’t even had to think about it and had immediately asked her if she’d like to come to work for him and that was that. She’d been with them ever since.

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