Home > Sidetracked (Mindf*ck #2)(12)

Sidetracked (Mindf*ck #2)(12)
Author: S.T. Abby

Where they die, a nail gets taken.

His nail will go beside the others, finding a home with other perverted sons of bitches.

Warm and toasty in my clean, dry clothes, I drive back to the drop spot, making one detour.

An old woodshed is twenty miles down the road, resting on private hunting ground. I open the door, and hear a scurrying of motion.

Scared eyes meet mine from the kid huddled in the corner. She’s dirty, scared, and all alone.

“I’m here to save you from the monster,” I say softly into the dark shed.

The shaking slowly stops as she peers at me, her eyes wide and hopeful.

“Are you an angel?” she asks, her throat raw and raspy, as though she’s dehydrated.

“Compared to him, yes,” I say honestly.

She slowly stands, warily looking at me. She can’t be older than eight.

“Do you know if he has anyone else?” I ask her, knowing he swore it was just her, but it could be more.

She shakes her head. “The other girl didn’t come back.”

My heart clenches. “Come on. I’m going to take you somewhere you’ll be safe.”

She nods, and even though she’s terrified, she comes to me, ready to face anything terrible I could do versus anything he could come back and do more of.

When she stumbles, I grab her, and she doesn’t flinch away. Brave girl.

She lets me help her to my car, and she slides in on the passenger side, tears already leaking from her eyes. Her hope was gone until this moment.

I jog around to the driver’s side, a risky plan forming. There’s one place she can go to be safe.

“You don’t have a family, do you?”

She shakes her head.

“I have a friend—a woman—I knew in another life. She’d be a good momma. She’d take care of you.”

She pushes her dirty hair out of her eyes. “Really? She’ll keep me safe from him?”

“I’ll keep you safe from him. I can promise he’ll never return. Okay?”

She studies me for a long time, more tears building in her eyes. I’ve scared the shit out of her now. Damn it.

“You really are an angel,” she says at last, causing my heart to flip.

I don’t say anything else as I drive toward Lindy May’s house. She’s one person who can see a ghost but not flinch.

“What’s your name?” I ask the girl who is relaxing more by the minute.

“He called me Pup. But my name is Laurel,” she says around a yawn, leaning against the window.

My grip tightens on the steering wheel, wishing I’d cut that dick off and sewn it into his mouth.

Lindy May’s house comes into view, and I debate this for a few minutes. She’s a good woman. Just like Diana. Both of whom tried to seek justice for me. Lindy suffered a terrible fate because of that. She was five years older than me the night they robbed me of everything.

“I’ll call the FBI!” Lindy shouts.

“Go ahead, cunt. The FBI didn’t give a damn about their father, did they?” Kyle taunts, smirking.

Dev holds her back, his face grim as she struggles to get to me.

“I’ll teach that bitch a lesson later,” Kyle mutters under his breath.

Dev starts pushing Lindy away, practically carrying her as she screams for me. She screams for Marcus. She screams for help that doesn’t come.

Music grows louder, the sounds permeating the air with no concern for the screams they’re trying to drown out.

“Now, where were we?” Kyle drawls. “Whose turn is it?”

Kyle did silence her. He didn’t just silence her; he ruined her. Lindy suffered a loss trying to save me, but puts flowers on my grave every year. She talks to that grave, saying she’s sorry she failed me.

She goes back to that hell to speak to a dead girl who she thinks she let down.

She’s a true angel.

It’s fate that she’s so close by. Fate tells me Laurel would forever be loved and cared for by Lindy. And I’m sure no one would take a homeless child away from a loving home after what this kid has suffered.

Leaving Laurel here though? Knowing this will tie Kenneth to the killer I am? It’s a huge mistake. But I can’t leave this kid just anywhere.

I pull into the driveway, and I see a set of eyes immediately peer through a crack in the blinds. All these years later, she still feels jumpy. She likely has a gun in her hand right now.

I know the feeling.

She suffered one monster. I suffered a town full of them.

As I get out, the crack in the blinds disappears, and I gently open the door, stirring Laurel awake.

“Are we here?” she asks, her voice still scratchy.

Shit. I should have at least gotten her some water.

This is why I can’t take care of her myself. Well, that and I’m sure it’s not wise for a monster to raise a child.

Lindy will make her loving. I’ll turn her into a knife-throwing killer.

“Yes,” I tell her gently, reaching down and taking her frail, light body into my arms.

She wraps her arms around me without hesitation, adorning me with trust she shouldn’t give so freely after what she’s suffered.

She’ll survive.

She’ll overcome this.

I know that now more than ever, because only the strong could handle touch after what she’s suffered.

Lindy opens the door, peering out as I carry the child toward her.

“Who are you? What do you want?”

“It’s me, Lindy. And I’m here to see if you’re still as good as I remember.”

Just the sound of my voice has her stumbling through the door, her eyes widening in shock. She clutches the doorframe, trying to keep from sinking to the ground as her body shakes.


“I know. I know. I’m dead,” I say, tired of hearing that line.

“You really are an angel,” Laurel says weakly, her head against my chest.

Lindy’s eyes swing to the child as she flips a light on, and the color drains from her face as she sees the torn clothing, the dirty skin, and the matted hair.

“This little girl has suffered too much. I told her she’d be safe here,” I say to Lindy, watching as her eyes slowly come back up to mine. “Don’t make me a liar.”

She gestures us in, and I let her take Lindy from my arms. Lindy flinches ever so slightly, but she recovers just as fast. Lindy rushes her to the couch, putting her there and covering her with a blanket.

I watch as the maternal instincts I lacked kick in for my old friend. She runs to the fridge, grabbing a bottle of water, and she rushes back. Laurel practically rips the bottle from her hand, so thirsty that she drinks it too fast.

“Slow down. It’ll make you sick to drink too much,” Lindy says with a soothing voice, running her hand down Laurel’s cheek.

Laurel leans into the affectionate touch, already growing trusting of Lindy. This girl is making me want to cry. I’m too emotional. This is too risky. But she deserves a chance at being safe, loved, and happy.

“I bet you’re hungry.”

Laurel nods emphatically, and even though it’s closing in on three in the morning, Lindy rushes to the kitchen, grabbing the bread and peanut butter.

“You like PB&J?” Lindy asks.

Laurel nods, still drinking the water.

I watch patiently, a little in awe, as Lindy makes a sandwich and grabs another bottle of water.

As she hands to small girl her food, Lindy looks up to me.

“What happened to her?”

Before I can answer, Laurel answers for me. “The angel saved me from the monster. He won’t ever hurt me again. The angel will keep me safe.”

I nod toward Lindy as she covers her own mouth. Tears spring to her eyes. That’s all she needs to know.

Laurel digs into the sandwich, and I gesture for Lindy to join me in the kitchen.

As soon as we’re in there, I check to make sure Laurel hasn’t followed us.

With barely a whisper, I tell Lindy, “When this breaks the news, you come forward. Tell them a little girl showed up at your door, but you don’t know who brought her to you. The man’s name was Kenneth Ferguson. I’m sorry to ask this, but it’s the only way they may find the bodies he has buried without me giving them the information myself.”

I hand her a piece of paper, and she swallows thickly, as though she’s going to be sick.

“Is he still alive?”

I shake my head slowly.

“Good,” she says quietly, looking over at the little girl. She stares at her, and I remain silent, studying her, trying to figure out what’s in her head.

“You’re really here. Alive. Looking so different.”

“It’s really me.”

She nods, her eyes still lost and not on me.

“You’re going after them, aren’t you?” she asks in a hushed tone, her eyes coming back to meet mine.

I nod once.

“I’ve heard whispers and rumors that some of them had died, but I haven’t found it on the news. I was hoping it was true. I was wishing it was me who had the strength to do it.”

My lips twitch. “You’re strength comes from somewhere different. Somewhere more pure. Mine? Mine is hollowed out and filled with darkness, Lindy. I’m taking a huge risk by coming here.”

“But you needed that little girl to be safe,” she says, filling in the blanks. “And you trusted me.”

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