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Authors: Sherrie Weynand

Dancing In Darkness (22 page)

BOOK: Dancing In Darkness
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In her current state of mind, she thought she heard someone calling her name. It wasn’t the man though, this was a female voice. Someone that was familiar to her. “Here.” Barely any sound came out. She would never be heard like this. The voice was getting closer but she still couldn’t get anything out. If the voice went past her, she would have to wait and hope that they made a return trip back along the same path.

Remembering that she had the knife laying under her, she was going to have to try and get the woman’s attention. Closer and closer the voice was inching. “Priscilla its Detective Beth Tony. If you can hear me please answer. We are trying to help you.” Beth called to her.

For a brief second she thought she heard something. She stopped dead in her tracks to listen. Nothing. She called out again, “Priscilla! Hello? If you can hear me, yell! Help us find you!”

In the quiet of the early morning, she heard it. It was a faint tapping. So faint that she was unable to decide which direction it was coming from. Pushing the button on her radio, she called for help.

“I need people back here NOW, she ordered. “She’s here, I’m trying to locate the direction of the sound. From the cabin head due west. Try to walk quietly and listen for a tapping sound. Hurry up.”

Many different officers headed in the direction of Beth Tony. If the woman was alive, it would be a miracle.

“Go ahead and roll medics also. Get them out here now. We will probably need an airship, order it now we can always cancel it when medics get here if need be.”

“Priscilla! Tap again sweetheart, we are trying to find you! I need your help.” Beth cried out again.

The tapping came again, this time it was clearer and louder. Shining her flashlight across the ground she was looking for anything that it might hit off of. In the distance she could see at least fifteen lights heading in her direction. As she moved her light off to her right she saw it. It was the glint of metal.

Running to where she had seen the light reflect off of the metal she looked everywhere.

“I’m here.” Came the softest whisper that Beth Tony had ever heard. They were also the best words that she had ever heard.

“I’m coming baby.” She told her as she moved the leaves and brush off of the broken woman.

Hitting the radio again, she was in tears when she told them “Get medics in here right now, I’ve got her and she’s alive. Barely.”

Officers raced toward the beam of her flashlight. In such a joyous moment the obvious is almost always overlooked. This woman who was alive now, very well may not be, in mere minutes.




The area where Detective Tony had found Priscilla was lit up. The huge flashlights and two spotlights were set up to guide medics in. When medics reached her, she was still on the ground in the hole that she had hidden in. She had lost a tremendous amount of blood from her wounds but she had managed to hang on. Beth Tony knew that this girl would have been gone at any time if they had not located her.

Priscilla couldn’t speak and couldn’t move. She could feel Detective Tony’s hand on hers and tried to tighten her fingers around it but didn’t have the strength.

“Rest, Priscilla. Medics are on their way back now. You did great sweetheart.” Beth reassured her.

Priscilla moved her finger to show that she heard her. Beth thought about the last few minutes and was impressed that the woman had the strength and determination to hit the knife against the rock that was laying on the ground. It was the only way she heard her. Our minds work in a brilliant manner when forced into a life or death situation. Staying collected and calm probably saved this woman’s life. Not to mention the fact that she had enough forethought to cover herself from sight.

Medics had finally reached the group of people standing around both the detective and the woman. Initial assessments were made and it was determined that she should be airlifted to the nearest trauma center. Her vital signs were dangerously low and her lips were starting to take on the hint of blue from cyanosis setting in. They had to work quickly. Starting an IV to get fluids running into her and attempting to get her carefully out of the hole she had hidden in, the medics and the firefighters that were there to assist them, placed her inside the rescue basket. Covering her with a thin blanket to both protect her from any branches or limbs that might hit her on the hike out and to keep her warm. Keeping her from going into shock was imperative.

The hike back seemed much longer than coming in. They had to carry Priscilla and the rescue basket out to the ambulance. Using six people to make it an easier hike, one on each end and two on either side, the men walked carefully through the swampy land. The closer they were to the cabin, the more restless Priscilla grew. She was starting to panic and they had to stop to regain control.

Beth Tony caught up with them to assure her that they had captured him and he was in police custody. She didn’t mention who the he actually was, only wanted to keep her calm to get her out of here.

“Priscilla, the man who did this is in police custody. He cannot hurt you or anyone else anymore. Stay strong and try to be still sweetheart. It’s almost over, let them take care of you.” Beth said.

With no words and only a brief glimpse into the detective’s eyes, she closed her eyes and tried to relax. One of the medics that was holding the side of the basket lost his footing on a moss covered rock, causing him to slip and lose his balance. He had to let go of the rescue basket in order to protect himself from a broken ankle. As it was, it had turned and he wasn’t going to be able to keep going. Another one of the men stepped in and took his place, while another assisted him. Under normal circumstances the hike would not have been terribly difficult. Even a severely injured woman had managed to make it this far into the backwoods.

By the time they had retreated out as far as the cabin, they could hear the incoming Life Flight helicopter coming in for a landing. They would have to transport by ambulance to the landing zone, as there was no room to safely come down. Stopping to ensure that Priscilla was still hanging in and to give the men a moment to rest, they knew that there was only a relatively short distance to cover to make it to the ground ambulance. While needing to work as efficiently as possible, they were still human and people do tire out. They had to put her down and momentarily regroup.

Lifting the basket off of the ground, they continued on their trek. There were so many emergency crews parked up and down the street that they had to walk through them like a maze. Once the woman was loaded into the squad Detective Tony would contact Adam Linston and Nina Powalski, she was sure that they were anxiously awaiting word. It would be a relief to be able to tell them that she had found her alive. It would be an even bigger relief to be able to tell them that she stayed that way.

People were milling around everywhere. Some talking, some were having the car towed out of the swamp as evidence, some were gathering forensics and evidence inside the tiny cabin. Everywhere you looked law enforcement was doing any number of things to aid in this investigation. There would be much to gather and document. Beth wanted the chance to have five minutes with Mike Ward, a man that she had trusted with her life on numerous occasions, a man that she would have trusted with her kids, a man that she had thought she had known for all of these years. Now all she had for him was blind hatred and disgust.

Trying to examine it from a psychological point of view she could not fathom a reason for his total hatred of these women, or any woman who was involved in some aspect of the industry. Somewhere there was an underlying cause, he didn’t simply snap one day and say “I’m going to quit being a cop today and become a killer.” She was educated enough to know that wasn’t how any of this works.

Reaching the ambulance, they quickly loaded Priscilla and prepared to head to the landing zone about three miles from where they were. It would only take a couple minutes, but she was losing valuable time. The paramedic that was with her was worried that she was going to crash before they ever reached the airship. They had to move and they had to move fast. The driver of the ambulance backed up as soon as the firefighter hit the door with his hand after closing it. Turning on the narrow country road wasn’t easy, but he was highly skilled and did so with relative ease. He didn’t need the sirens out here, there wasn’t any traffic, but he hit the lights per the law. As they were speeding off in the direction of the landing zone, Beth Tony knew what she had to do. The first of which would be a relief for her to get taken care of. There were people waiting on any type of word and for now, she had good news.

“Linston.” He answered the phone.

“Adam, hi it’s Det. Tony. Is Nina with you by chance?” She asked.

“She is, is something wrong?” His tone changed to instant worry.

“Could you put me on speakerphone so I don’t have to repeat an entire story?” She asked him.

“Sure, give me one second.” He replied. “There. Can you hear me?” He asked her.

“I can. Nina, are you here also?” The detective asked her.

“Yes I am.” Nina responded.

“This morning, almost two hours ago, we captured and arrested Michael Ward. He has been charged with the murders of Zena Wilkins, Diamond Jacquere and Megan Dryer. There is a possibility that he will be charged with a fourth murder, that of Ms. Dryer’s unborn child. He has also been charged with kidnapping and attempted murder in relation to Priscilla Barnes. We found Priscilla, she is alive. She is in very bad shape though and I don’t want to get anyone overly excited. They are LifeFlighting her as we speak. She’s still with us. Her sheer determination and willpower is what kept her alive. Everything that she did was the right thing to do. We didn’t save her life, she saved her own life. I will be at the hospital as soon as I can clear the scene here, I need to meet up with you so we can go on from this point. Remember, she still has to maintain that strength if she is going to get through this. There are severe injuries and she lost a lot of blood due to those.” She told them.

No one said a word, but she could hear both of them crying and screaming. For the first time all day a smile crossed her face. Even though there was a long uphill battle and an even longer, tougher legal battle, this was sheer joy and happiness.

“Detective, thank you. For everything. I knew she would be alive, she’s a fighter. Oh God, I can’t thank you enough.” Adam cried.

Nina couldn’t speak at all, the tears had started and she was crying like a baby. The pain in her heart had lifted and even knowing there was much more to come, she was elated. Being alive now meant a damn good chance of surviving it all.

“Det. Tony, I do have one thing and I don’t mean to ruin your good news, we have a slight problem and I’m not sure how to handle it.” Adam said to her.

“What’s wrong?” She questioned.

“Nancy Barnes showed up and she’s been starting trouble since she got here. Priscilla hasn’t seen or talked to her daughter in many years, her mother didn’t know she was missing until we told her and now she’s taken on the mother of the year challenge.” Adam went on, “She’s threatened to have us removed from anything to do with the case, not keep us updated on any new information, things like that.”

“Here’s my take on it, she can do what she wants. Priscilla is an adult and she is conscious and able to make her own decisions. If she doesn’t want her mother involved, then the mother won’t be involved. If at that point the mother chooses to use this time in Priscilla’s life to try and reemerge, then she has a problem of her own. I would gladly remove the woman from the hospital myself if she starts shit and causes this young woman any more pain.” Beth told him.

“Thanks. Not meaning to get you involved just wanted to give you a heads up on what was going on. Okay, we are taking off right now to get to the hospital. We will see you there at some point.” He told her.

Hanging up the phone, Beth had one task down, now she had to focus and gather her thoughts before taking on the second one. If she lost control of her mouth, she could damage more than just her career. There was nothing she wanted more than to hang this fucking prick. She wouldn’t jeopardize that over her choice of words or direct threats of physical violence. For the first time in a long time, Beth Tony had to map out every single thing that she wanted to say. Keeping things somewhat scripted was going to be the only thing to save her ass. In fact, she had thought about handing over her service weapon to a superior until she was through with this initial interview.

She could see him in the back of the squad car. His hair a mess, he looked dirty. Presumably from trying to find Priscilla after her escape. She had witnessed the rise and fall of a once great cop. She watched him climb his way from a street beat all the way to star homicide detective. Her family had shared holidays with him for many years and he had been one of the first outsiders to hold her children when they were born. This man had become family as much as her blood family was. They worked closely together, spent more time together than she did with her own husband. She loved him as she would any of her family. This not only had angered her and made her sick, it had literally broken her heart. How would she be able to trust another partner again? She knew that not all cops were good, not all cops were bad, but he was evil incarnate.

Finding herself being overcome with emotion she excused herself temporarily and went to her own vehicle. She sat down on the hood of the car, laid her hands in her head and did what any human being would do. She cried. There had been many cases over the years that had made her shed a tear, this one was different than all of those combined. This one was on a personal level. She knew that she probably shouldn’t have been on the case do to the intense emotional nature, but inside she knew that she could handle it. He had put her in a position the likes of which she had never seen. If someone told her two months ago that she was about to question her own partner for multiple homicides, she would have laughed at them.

Now here she sat trying to make a coherent sentence and making the attempt at not killing someone herself. Recent events were enough to push anyone over the edge. If she was going to do this, she had to get it over with. She needed to be at the hospital to check on their victim and to check on Adam and Nina.

Jumping off of the hood, she walked back over to the car. She asked the uniformed officer whose car Ward was in, if he could open the back door for her.

“Yes Ma’am.” He replied as he lifted the handle on the outside of the door.

Ward looked directly at Beth and smiled. “I could have got away with it if that disgusting bitch wouldn’t have shown up.”

“How could you do this? What were you even thinking, Ward?” She questioned him, the steely glare of her eyes burning through him.

“When you figure it out, you let me know. You’re the detective now, not me. Right?” He smirked.

“You not only ruined your life you fucking idiot, you ruined three families and possibly still a fourth. You took their lives away for nothing. Nothing!” She was getting louder the longer she continued. She didn’t care.

“Let me ask you this,” He said, “Why would you even defend this scum?”

Beth could not control herself any longer. She laughed at him. In an almost maniacal manner. He had nerve enough to call them scum because they tried to survive in this harsh fucking world?

“You aren’t in control any longer, you have lost the right to ask me questions.” She snapped.

“I also do not have to answer your questions.” He said plainly, sounding something akin to bored.

Looking at the uniformed officer she said, “Get him the hell out of here.”

The officer closed the door, walked to the other side and slid into the driver’s seat. Within two minutes, Beth Tony watched as her former partner’s outline faded into the distance. She stood there in silence mourning the loss of a friendship and partnership while at the same time celebrating the arrest of a serial killer. It was a bad place to be emotionally, but she would have to learn to deal with it. Looking around at the nature around her she wondered to herself how people could be so cold. So cruel. Some things in this world she would never understand. This one she wanted answers to. She had a deep seated need to know why these women lost their lives at his hands.

BOOK: Dancing In Darkness
5.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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