Story One – The Trunk — Peggie Larsen
Her hair was blonde, her eyes were blue and her mouth was sassy. She lived down the gravel road from the main highway in a small house with eight rooms. The house was at the end of a gravel road. There was a giant field beside the property. It was full of what looked like corn.
Annie roamed. Her mom worked and her dad wasn’t around. She was old enough to take care of herself. Eleven is responsible enough her mom always told her.
Annie never thought much of it. She always believed she was responsible. Enough. Besides she had her dog, Billy, to hang out with. Billy was a good dog. He was her best friend. Billy was four. He was a medium size dog, a mutt. He was Brown and white with some speckled spots around his mouth. He went everywhere with Annie.
School was out for the summer and it was Annie’s favorite time of year. She could sleep in. She had chores, of course, because her mom didn’t want her to be one of those kids. Annie always wondered what she meant by that.
Annie had to load the dishwasher every day and if the dishwasher was full, she had to turn it on. She also had to do laundry and pick things up around the house. Her least favorite job was outside picking up the dog poop. She decided she was going to make Billy start pooping further away from the yard, out in the shelter belt. Then she wouldn’t have so much to clean up.
Sometimes she got lonely. She lived a few miles out of town, so it was hard for friends to come to her house and play. Oh well. She was fine with that. She had Billy and she had things to do.
Annie always wore the same outfit during the summer. A t-shirt, cutoff jean shorts and Converse tennis shoes. Preferably high tops. She had several pairs of high and low. Black was her favorite color.
Annie finished her chores around lunchtime and decided to head outside and roam. She practiced shooting her bow. She only lost one arrow today. She threw a toy for Billy for what felt like 100 times. She sat on the step and ate an apple and stared at the trees as the light breeze blew through the leaves. She loved that sound. She shared her apple with Billy. Billy ate anything she did. It was hot today, just how she liked it.
They got bored so she and Billy walked up and down the gravel road. She stopped a lot to inspect things. Things like bugs and rocks and pieces of garbage thrown out of car windows.
As they were walking, she heard a car. That was unusual because there wasn’t much going on during the days on her road. The car was going really slow. Something told her to hide. She ducked behind a tree and Billy followed. The closer to them the car got, the louder Billy growled. Something was out of place. Something wasn’t right. She could feel it. Her intuition was always spot on.
Annie peeked around the tree to look at the car. It was a four door. It was a weird brownish color and had an unusual decoration on the hood. The decoration or hood ornament for proper terminology, looked like a dog. Weird. The car came to a stop about ten feet away from them. Annie was scared. She was looking right at the man driving the car. He was heavy set and had a lot of dark colored hair. He was wearing a blue t-shirt. He was looking around, as if he was looking for something he lost. On the other side of the gravel road there were a lot of bushes and tall grass. The man looked around some more and then got out of the car.
Annie didn’t know what to do. Billy was low growling. She was afraid he would start barking. Billy was a good dog and he always listened to her. She whispered and told him to hush. He listened.
She continued to watch the man. He walked to the trunk of the car. He looked around some more and then opened the trunk. Someone was in the trunk. Annie was shocked. She wondered what was going on. Annie then saw the girl. She was wearing a white T-shirt and what looked like jean shorts. She looked like she was a college kid. She was beautiful. She had long hair. It was blonde, like Annie’s.
The man pulled the girl out from the trunk of the car and then shut the trunk. Annie couldn’t help but wonder why she would be in there. The girl stood behind the car. The man told her to turn around so her back was to him. He grabbed her by the hair and shoved her against the car. Her face was against the trunk of the car and she was looking right at Annie. Annie froze.
How could she help her? Annie was trying to think of what she could do. She looked around. She saw a rock by her foot. She picked it up. It was small, but not too small. She thought she could throw it across the gravel road so it would make some kind of sound and distract the man.
She threw it. It landed across the gravel and made a loud noise. The man immediately let go of the girl and looked around. The girl turned around and elbowed the man in the face and then kicked him in the stomach. She ducked underneath and ran towards Annie.
The man started to recover and was looking for the girl. Annie told the girl to follow her and Billy.
Annie knew all the shortcuts. They ran back behind the gravel road through the backyards of all the houses on the way to Annie’s. Billy followed behind. They made it to Annie’s house. They were all out of breath, including Billy. The girl told Annie her name was Sam. She said the man kidnaped her and told her he was going to kill her. Annie wondered why the man wanted to kidnap her.
Annie told Sam they needed to call the police so they could catch the man. He would get away if they didn’t. Annie heard a car. She told Sam they had to be quiet. Sam looked out the window. She said it was the man.
Annie called the police. She quickly told them what happened and told them to come and arrest the man. She couldn’t help but wonder if they would really listen to an 11 year old with a sassy mouth.
As Annie hung up the phone she could see that the man’s car was stopped in her driveway. He slowly got out and started looking around. Annie quickly ran out the side door of her house. She told Sam she would be right back and not to worry. Annie told Billy to stay with Sam.
Annie snuck around her property and got her bow and an arrow. She was extremely quiet and was making doubly sure not to make any noise. She didn’t want to find out what would happen if she did.
The man just stood outside his car and looked around. It looked as if he was looking right through the window and into the house. That wasn’t possible, or was it.
Annie didn’t want the man to get to Sam again so she had to think fast. She snuck back to the house and then circled around behind the man’s car. She thought to herself, why not?
Annie asked the man if she could help him. He was startled and Annie almost started laughing. It would have been a nervous laugh though, not a funny laugh. She was indeed nervous and a little scared.
The man told Annie he was looking for his daughter. She tried to run away from him earlier. Annie asked him if it was because he was beating her up. The man looked surprised. He asked Annie what she was talking about. Annie told the man she saw him smashing the girl’s face against the truck. The man asked Annie if her mom or dad were home. Uh oh, thought Annie.
Annie told the man her dad was out cutting trees in the shelter belt. Annie hoped he wouldn’t go look. Because Annie had no idea where her dad was. She didn’t know if he even lived in the same state.
The man was really creepy looking. Along with his blue t-shirt he was wearing weird looking shorts that had a super loud pattern, something Annie thought a man would never wear. They were like capri pants. He was also wearing flip flops. Annie thought that was strange too. His face was round-ish and he looked old, like probably about 40, Annie guessed. His eyes were light green. Annie had never seen eyes that color before. They stood out because his hair was so dark colored.
The man asked about the girl again. Annie told the man the police were coming because she had called them and told them about Sam and the man. Annie asked him what his name was. He asked her why would he tell her what his name was. He started walking towards her.
Annie was really scared. She didn’t know what she was going to do. She reached back for her arrow. The man started laughing. Annie asked him what he was laughing about. He told her there was no way a kid was going to stop him from getting the girl. Annie told him she could. He started getting closer. Annie drew the arrow and pointed it right at the man. She told him to stay put. She again told him the police were coming and they were going to arrest him. Annie could feel her heart beating in her chest. She wondered if he could hear her breathing. It sounded like a freight train. Her hands were beginning to shake. She was really, really scared now. He kept coming.
Annie looked toward the house and could see Sam in the doorway. She hoped that Sam could read her mind because the only thing Annie needed right now was for Sam to let Billy out the door. Billy would die before he would let anything happen to Annie. The man noticed Annie’s eyes. Just as he turned around, Sam opened the door. Billy came flying out the door and jumped right into the man and kicked him to the ground. The man was screaming and kicking and trying to get Billy off him. Billy wouldn’t give up. He was biting and growling and pulling on the man’s arms and legs. Blood was everywhere. Annie didn’t stop Billy. What would he have done to her if Billy hadn’t been let out by Sam?
Annie could hear sirens. Finally! The police were coming. She was so relieved. She wasn’t sure she would have been able to shoot the man. Maybe she could have, she thought, but she was glad she didn’t have to find out. She thought maybe if she would have had to shoot him, it would have been on his foot. She thought that probably would hurt pretty bad. Once the police were there, Annie called Billy off. The man didn’t move. He didn’t try to get away. Billy had done a good job protectin her.
The police put handcuffs on the man and called an ambulance to come and get him. They asked Sam a lot of questions and were going to take her to the police station so she could get in touch with her family. Everything was okay now. Sam ran to Annie and hugged her and told her thank you. She got close to Annie’s ear and whispered something Annie couldn’t quite hear, but whatever it was, Annie knew this wasn’t over.
The police told Annie they needed to call her parents and let them know what had happened. Annie gave the police her mom’s cell phone number so they could call. Annie couldn’t wait to see her mom, to tell her about her “responsible enough” day.