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Retirement isn’t always good as some people make it seem. Especially when you really enjoy you job! Here in a small town in Iowa, I am in my early forties and I do no longer have to go to work. Everyone including all of my friends say I should be extremely happy about this but they don’t really get it. I guess it could be a good thing but you often get lonely while you are sitting at home while all your family and friends are out having fun in their hectic lives.

It is not that my family doesn’t like having me home with them. In fact they absolutely love it, mostly since my job often kept me far away from them usually in a different part of the country if not on a total different continent. The only thing now is that now that now that I am home with them, they aren’t. My three girls Gabi, Bailey, and Ansley are now 10, 12 and 15 and have found out what it is like to have a jam-packed life.

It was a Monday afternoon when I picked up Gabi and Bailey from school. Had to get them both off to their soccer games since my wife Casey was off at work. Lucky for me, Ansley was going home with her friend Leah so she could ride to dance class with her.

I had to get ten year old Gabi to soccer first since her game was fist and in the middle of her game, I had to leave to take Bailey to hers. Finally, they were done and we were in our SUV driving home hoping for a relaxing evening. The girls and I walked through the door and right when I was about to lie down and lounge on the couch, I hear a voice coming from up stairs.

“Honey, you need to go pick up Ansley and Leah from dance, they are done in ten minuets!”

It was Casey. I respond,” Of course honey.”

“Also can you go in and pay our tuition for this month?”

“Of course honey!” I repeat. I got by butt back up off of the couch, slipped on my tennis’s and I was back in the car, as usual now a days. I made the short drive down to my daughters dance studio, Center Dance, which is about eight minutes away. Once I pulled into the parking lot, I stayed in the car to write a check for 250 dollars. It seemed like money was just flying out the door for us these days.

Since it was in the middle of October, I felt a cold rush run through my short brown hair to my scalp when I opened the car door. It made me shiver. I slowly made my way up the stairs to the balcony of which the entrance of the studio is. The girls were standing there outside waiting for me.

“Be right back girls. I just have to go pay this months tuition.”

“Okay dad.” Ansley said while laughing at Leah who was leaning over the edge of the balcony.

“And be careful girls! We don’t need one of you falling over that edge!” I added. They were making me very nervous.

“Don’t worry Mr. Caic, we will.” Leah shouted back.

I entered the studio to be greeted by the teal and brown paint job, which gave it that soft, tender atmosphere. The walls were covered in pictures from past performances; the Nutcracker, Sugar Plum Fairy, Cinderella, The Doll Maker, Alice In Wonderland and tons more. Ansley seemed to be in all most all of them. There were trophies, metals and ribbons everywhere from past competitions. This place reminded me a lot of my own daughter’s room.

Surprisingly, I hadn’t been in there for over four months and they had made some major changes. As I looked around, it seemed to me that they had added on another room or studio for practice. Or it could just be that I have not been back there yet. After about five minuets or at least I think that’s about how long it was, I made my way down to the main office to turn in tuition. The main owner greeted me.

“Why hello Mr. Caic! I haven’t seen you in here for a while. What can I do or help you with today?”

“Oh hi Melanie, I just wanted to…”

“Dad, can you hurry it up in there! How long does it take you to pay a little tuition?” Ansley interrupt.

“Just a minute honey,” I replied,” I got a little distracted with all the pictures! I haven’t been in here for a while you know.”

Haha, so what were you saying, Mr. Caic?” Melanie says while my impatient daughter returned outside.

“Oh yes, I was just wanting to pay Ansleys tuition for October, this up coming month. Here’s the check.”

“Thank you. At least some people around here can keep track of payments.”

“Huh?” I was confused.

“Oh, it’s just that lately people are refusing to pay because they think they already have. Our system is all computer generated so it isn’t false. It’s probably just this bad economy and people not having a lot of money. It is sad you know. But it is something no one can do anything about and when people don’t keep up with bills, it just makes it worse so that would be my advise for the day. Stay on top of things!”

“Yea, I agree. So how has the studio…”

“Boom, Ahhhhhhh!” I heard a scream! “Help, help, someone help!”

“It’s Leah, come one!” I yell to Melanie as I run to the door.

“Oh my god, oh my god, someone help!”

“I run out on to the balcony and look over the edge, and their she was on the ground below us. She has been shot off of the edge. We both run down the stairs as fast as we could while everyone else from the waiting room come out to see what was happening. When we get down to her, Melanie starts examining Leah.

“Leah, Where is Ansley?” I ask sternly

“Ugg, she was taken by the man in all black.” She responded in shrieking pain.

“Oh my God!” Melanie interrupts.

“There he goes right there in the black mustang!” Leah says back. License plate 52H 9FI I note in my head.

“Okay, tell me everything you can remember about him. Hair color, eye color, whatever you can.”

“He had brown shaggy hair, blue eyes, a dimple on his chin with a weird looking mustache. That’s all I can remember! Mr. Caic, please find Ansley, she is my best friend and I need her back!” Leah tells me. I know she was in so much pain but I knew she wasn’t going to give up!

Don’t worry; I won’t stop until I do! Melanie, call an ambulance for Leah, call the police and tell them what we know, the license plate for right now is 52H 9FI, but it will change soon. I am going after my daughter!” I yell while running to my car.

“But that is what the police are for, wait for them.” she shouts back.

“No, I have way more experience that them with this kind of thing. I was apart of the FBI.” I yell through the car window and I drive off. Since I had done this sort of thing for so long, I had so background experience and training. One thing that I got from this training is that after most crimes that involve cars, the license plate is removed or changed. That way, it would be harder for police to track them down. That was one reason I tried to stay real close to that kidnapper. In the mean time, I thought I would call my wife so she knows what is happening. Urge, she is going to freak out! This just might be our last conversation until I find Ansley. Well I will do it anyway.

“Casey, I won’t be home for dinner.” There was a long silence,” Honey I love you so much!” I wait for her to respond.

“Nick, can you tell me what is happening, why wont you be home?” I could hear worry in her voice.

“When I went up to pay this months dues, Ansley and Leah decided to wait outside. While I was in there, a man came and shot Leah off the balcony and then took off with our Ansley. I am in the car after her. I won’t stop until I succeed!” I could hear her trembling. “Don’t worry Casey, I will find our daughter. You know what I use to do and you know I was good at it. This is nothing compared to some other missions. I guess it is just harder on me cause it is my family. You should really call Leah’s parents and make sure they know what is going on. I have to get going before I lose him.”

“Okay honey, but be so very careful. There is no possible way I could stand losing two of my close family in one day!” she says sobbing.

“I will, and Casey,” I say.

“Yes, Nick?” she response.

“Pray for us please!” I am crying now.

“Oh god, Nick, please don’t cry. I believe in you truly. Anyone who has ever meet you knows you can do this.” She says trying to comfort me.

“Casey, I’m fine. I just cant believe this is happening, I have seen it so many times I just didn’t think it was really going to happen to my very own family. But it is and there is nothing I can do about it except to go out there and get my daughter back. I promise, I swear, I won’t stop until I do and I really hope that Ansley knows that!”

“Just please, Hurry!” she says getting ready to let me get out there.

“I will do my best. I love you!” I say back.

“Nick!”

“What?” I answer back.

“Keep me in touch please, I need to know what is happening so I don’t have a heart attack while worrying about you two!!”

“Will do. Good bye, honey.” Looks like it wont be the last call after all unless I am going to give her a heart attack.

“I love you!” she says and I hang up.

I was already on the interstate, obviously since it is only a minute away from the Dance studio. I could see the black mustang up ahead and that was good since I didn’t want to get to close, otherwise the driver might get just a little, or maybe a lot, of suspicion. But I needed to get closer before I lost his track because who knows when the man might speed up. But I really didn’t want to take the chance of getting stopped since I am retired from doing these kinds of chases. That’s when I saw a exit coming up. Lucky for me, it was one of those exits that let you get ahead of all the traffic.

As soon as I got back on, I realized I was only three cars down from the mustang. I could see an accident coming up because of all of the cars that are watching the mustang race up the interstate. I now could see my daughter in the back seat of the car. I was just horrible thinking of Ansley right now. Even though I was only able to see about the top half of her head, I could defiantly tell that she had a rag stuffed in her mouth and their was no doubt that they had tied her wrists together. It just killed me to be thing of my baby girl in that car suffering. I just can’t do it: I have got to get her back and quick.

The kidnapper suddenly took an exit. Keeping distance, I follow him down the right exit. In my guess, he doesn’t realize that I am following him. But, out of know where, he just stops. Just out of know where. Suddenly there was a bunch of noise and swerving of cars as the black mustang holds up the road.

Honk, honk, honk, beep, beep, beep, “Get out of the roan!” I heard people starting to yell out the windows of their cars.

Suddenly, the kidnapper throws a piece of paper out of his window and is back on his way. Could it be a clue, I don’t know but I my as well try. Quickly, I open my car door, snatch the crumbled piece of paper and I am back on the chase. I follow him up the road when he then turns left on to a small dirt road that was surprisingly busy. Good thing, otherwise he would for sure know I was following him. After about 3 miles, he turns again, but this time it was like a small little, innocent farmhouse. I go about another mile up to park so the man does not suspect anything. What is this place, I’m thinking as I run back up to the house.

As I run, I open up the note I picked up in the road. It read 27th street and Calvin Street. I better keep this I say in the brain. As I swiftly make my way back to the house, I crouch behind the bushes, not wanting to be seen. This was always my favorite part of my missions, back in the days. Mostly since I was astonishing good at it. If you were looking for me, you would probably find be hiding and sneaking behind bushes or crawling on the ground. But trust me, even if you had the whole FBI looking for me, you never would find me. That’s how well I was trained.

As I approached the driveway (this is a very loose description of a drive way), hiding behind any plant I could find, I tried to analyze the scene I had come to. It was an old, rickety farmhouse that the kidnapper most likely picked up cause it was cheap and seemed to be pretty innocent, but obviously, it wasn’t. The walls of the house were mostly made of large windows, which let you see in side. This really surprised me since it was a crime scene and I was able to see everything inside happening.

I could see my poor Ansley being dragged into the house with the rag in her mouth and her ands and feet tied together, just as I suspected. That when I saw them take her down stairs. Uggg, just like you usually here, a lot of stuff can go on in basements and when it comes to kidnappings, it never ends up good. I know that if I go into the house, I am sure to get caught, so I made the decision to go check out the mustang and see if I can find any clues in there. I follow the tire tracks into a small shed type structure and of course, that’s wear I find the car, along with three others.

I take a good took in all of them. I find loose hairs; I pulled a couple of fingerprints and found a couple more notes. One said meet me in basement. I got the new trailer down there. Then the other said, just drive west down the under ground road. That’s it! They have made a secret tunnel underneath of this house and they use it to take the kidnapped children there! I had to get myself down there and fast.
I gather the rest of the evidence, hoping that it will give the people inside he farm house enough time to get down to their hide out before I go in cause all I need is to get caught and I will never find Ansley and whoever else they have held captive. After about five minutes, I very carefully make my way to the house. I went around the house looking to see if anyone was still here. No sight of anyone except I here a few voices coming from an open second story window. After looking, I saw about three places where I think stairs might be leading to their underground tunnel. I found the window closest to the most suspicious one, and lucky for me, it was open.
I gently climb through the small hole and duck down in case there are people I didn’t spot earlier. I crawled over the door and slowly, quietly, and cautiously turned the rusty, old fashion doorknob. I found it! There was already a dim light on for me to make my way down the rickety old stairs. And there they were, tire tracks leading, uhh, east! Oh, and guess what was lying there propped up against the wall, I bike! Perfect for me to follow the path.
I grab the bike and I am on my way, trying to be as quiet as possible. You never know, there could be random people standing anywhere. There were old tools and shovels and buckets all pushed against he sides of the walls. I could smell rotten meat coming from somewhere down here. There were cracks running up and down the old rock walls and I could see cobwebs formed in every little crevice. Eww, I need to save my daughter once and for all!
I slowly find myself in a lighted up area. There was jail cells agaist the wall. And their she was! I sneak over to where I spotted her.
“Shhhh, don’t say I word!” I whisper in her ear.
“Dad, get out of here now! They will kill you!” she response as quietly as she possibly can.
“Are you kidding me, Ansley? I’m not in any universe leaving you here with these killers!” I say back to her.
“Here he comes!” she says in a panic.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Nick Caic. I have just been waiting for you to show up.” The kidnapper says. He sounds so familiar! Some of his men come up to surround me.
“Bob Miller! There is no surprise to me that you are up to this whole scheme.” I yell back
“Do you not understand? My posse and I just recently realized that we have been letting our enemies get off the hook after getting us in deep doo doo. Well, that’s when this plan came to us. Kidnapping people that they are very close to is just a way for us to get you here to us. That way we can just be done with you. Never having to worrying about you people busting us again and again.” He tells me.
“That’s what this is all about. Bob we used to work together. You turned against the FBI. What do you think is going to happen? Us let you get off the hook.”
“Well, its to late now. We have you and you just might want to say good bye to your daughter because you will never see her again.” Bon says thrillingly.
“No, dad!” Ansley screeches.

That’s when my old career comes back into play. Head budding to get out of the headlock that one of the men from Bob’s posse put me in. Punching screeching and they were down. Down for good. I call the police and they are there in a heartbeat. I free the eight girls who were being held captive while the police take care of bob’s posse.

“Dad, what was that all about?” Ansley comes over to me giving me a huge hug.

“Baby, I will tell you all about it later, but right now, I think its time we get home. Your mom has got to be worried sick!” I respond. She agrees and we go.

On the way home, Ansley has so many questions.

“Where did you learn that stuff? Who was that guy? Why are you arch enemies? What was your last job that you will never tell me about?” she says without taking any pauses.

“Honey, not now. Lets get home, okay.”

“Okay, but just one thing.” She says.

“Yes sweetheart?”

“Is Leah okay?”

“I am really not sure. Mom knows though so you can ask when we get home.”

“Dad?”

“Yes, Ansley?”

“I love you so much!” she says so truly.

“Oh baby, I do too!”





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