When the men arrived back at Atticus’s estate, they came in the door.
Shannon jumped up and hugged Chris.
“Oh, I’m so glad you’re back safe!” She gushed.
“We found something!” Chris told her, “Jane was in the hotel room. But she escaped!”
“Oh, thank God!” Grandma said as she looked up and clasped her hands together.
Chris and the rest noticed that another elderly woman sat beside Grandma Bennett. Grandma stood up. The strange elderly woman followed suit.
“Chris, this is Elsa, she’s Elizabeth’s grandmother and she has something for you,” Grandma told them.
Elsa reached into her oversized purse and pulled out a book with a lock on it.
“My granddaughter’s diary. If it’ll help you find the creeps that had their way with her, you can have it! But please, keep it safe! Lot’s of people are looking for it because it implicates so many big wheels in what happened to her while she was in CPS custody and the foster program,” Elsa pleaded with tears in her eyes, “I want you to avenge my granddaughter! Please, avenge her! Avenge her!”
Grandma Bennett put her arms around Elsa.
“Come on, let’s go upstairs and I’ll introduce you to my granddaughter, Brielle,” she told her. And she led Elsa up to the second floor of the house.
Chris passed the diary to Daniel and Daniel opened it and began reading and taking pictures of each page with his phone. Suddenly, Grandma Bennett rushed back downstairs with a piece of paper in her hands.
“Brielle’s gone. She’s gone looking for the girls!” Grandma said as she burst into tears and waved the piece of paper..
Daniel paused from what he was doing.
“What!!!” Chris, Popeye, Miles, Atticus, Jesse, and Malcolm all cried aloud.
Alvin went over and looked over Grandma Bennett’s shoulder at the note.
“She just slipped out!” he told them.
“She left a note! It’s all right here!” Grandma Bennett sobbed.
Chris took the note from Grandma Bennett and he and Shannon read it. It said,
“To my family, friends, and especially the Bledsoe’s, This may not be the smart thing to do, but I’m terrified! I just can’t sit on my hands while my children are God knows where. I must find them, and soon. I love you all. Please forgive me.
“Damn it!” Chris shouted as he threw a punch in the air, “Stupid, stupid, stupid!”
“Jiminy Christmas!” Jesse yelled. He then grabbed his head with both hands and run his hands back over his hair, pressing it down against his scalp. He then began pacing the floor.
Popeye just shook his head, plopped down on Atticus’s sofa, and put his face in his hands.
“Oh, Lord! What do we do now?” Kim cried.
Meanwhile, Brielle crept across the roof of the office building of the Glover County Child Protection Services until she found a trapdoor in the roof. When she twisted the knob and pulled on it, she was surprised when it opened to reveal a flight of stairs.
A Change in Plan
Quickly but carefully, Brielle climbed into the trapdoor, took a few steps down, closed the door behind her. She then pulled a small, tactical flashlight and proceeded to creep down the stairs until she found herself in a hallway. After passing through another door, she finally began making her way around the dark office.
Brielle walked slowly, passing a row of cubicles, then another row. When she came to the last cubicle nearest the director’s office, she sat down behind the desk and noticed a key card lying on top of it. She grabbed it and put it in the fanny pack she wore. She then grabbed a stack of papers out of the four-tier paper letter organizer and began sifting through them. When she was done sifting, she began reading by the light of her flashlight.
Sure enough, she came to a page with two column of lists, the first column was a list of children whose names were in the system. The second column was a list of the foster homes each child had been placed in.
Brielle Does Her Own Investigation
The list of children was in alphabetical order and Brielle went down the list to the M section. There, she found the names of her girls and Bruce’s name. She then ran her finger across the page to the list of foster homes and bingo! She found where her children had been taken.
“Markowitz, Jane Elizabeth,”
Markowitz, Kennedy Cecelia”
Markowitz, Olivia Dominique”
And in the column beside their names was, “Grant and Misty Lindsay, 431 Marianne Cove, Thomasville, TN.”
Brielle jumped up, folded the paper and tucked it into the outside pocket of her fanny pack. She then turned around and started back toward the stairway.
An hour later, Brielle arrived at Grant’s and Misty’s address. It was just after one in the morning as she crept across the lawn to the side of the house.
Suddenly she heard the cocking of a gun next to the side of her head and stopped suddenly. Ashton Childers smiled devilishly as he aimed the gun right at her head.
“Well! Fancy seeing you here. We’ve been looking all over for you,” he taunted as he took her by the arm, “Let’s go.”
Ashton took Brielle around to the front porch of the house. Holding her at gunpoint, he rang the doorbell before Misty answered the door.
“Greetings, Misty! Look who I found snooping around your house,” he told her, “Mind if we come in?”
“Not at all,” Misty said, eyeing Brielle with the most contemptuous of glares.
Ashton gave Brielle a hard shove, forcing her into the house. Misty closed the door.
Ashton took his gun-free hand drug her over to the living room sofa.
“Sit down!” He barked as he violently slung her down on the sofa.
Brielle only sat there, glaring at Misty, then back at Ashton.
Misty took her cell phone, pressed a button, and placed it to her ear. After about a five-second pause, she spoke.
“Bobby! You need to get over here right away! I have someone here you’re going to be happy to see!” she said before hanging up.
Back at Atticus’s estate, a state of panic had engulfed most of the occupants upon finding Brielle’s letter. Shannon spoke up.
Shannon’s Empathy for Brielle
“Now, look, everybody! You can’t blame Brielle! I would’ve done the same thing in this situation!” she scolded, “I know firsthand the terror she feels for her kids! Six years ago, I was right where she is now! And, at that time, we didn’t know there was any cult or human trafficking operation here. And the fact that there is only makes things a hell of a lot scarier for her! What I dealt with is nothing compared to what Brielle’s dealing with! I can’t even imagine the level of terror she’s feeling right now!”
“Well, what if the sheriff or his posse finds her before she finds the kids, Shannon?” Chris asked anxiously, “If they find her, they’re likely to kill her!”
“We know that Chris,” Cindy said.
“No, I don’t think any of you realize the severity of it!” Chris shot back, “These people- they’re Satanists, and human traffickers- mainly child traffickers, we’re dealing with! And like Daniel mentioned earlier, it’s big business and a lot of big wheels are either in on it, or they’re on the take! By exposing this shit and trying to get Brielle’s kids back, we’re screwing with their money machine- their very livelihoods! And if they find out about it, which they may eventually, they will kill Brielle and very single one of us! You think the Vita-Youth ordeal was bad? That’s tiddlywinks compared to this! We have got to lay low and go about this very carefully and very strategically, or it will all blow up in our faces!”
Grandma Bennett continued crying.
Suddenly, someone rushed through the backdoor! Everyone in the house jumped, spun around, and aimed their guns.
Jane screamed as she put her hands up.
“It’s me! It’s only me!” she shrieked.
“Jane!” Grandma Bennett and Kim cried as everyone lowered their guns. They ran over to her. Grandma Bennett and Kim hugged her tight and cried.