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Mr. Heron pressed the power button on his television remote.
“Honey! The eleven o’clock news is on!”
“Coming!” his wife called.
Munching on some potato chips, he leaned back on the sofa. Hearing footsteps, he scooted over. On the screen, a reporter gestured to some photos.
“Last night, two people were shot fatally with no chance to call the police. Rumor has it that this man is the serial killer with a large demon tattoo on his left arm, and he has committed murder for the past twelve days. As we speak, the authorities are looking everywhere for him. He could be anywhere, so watch out, folks.”
Mrs. Heron flipped the television off.
“Britney…I’m concerned about our daughter. We’re in danger.”
“I see him! He’s getting into that red truck!” he said to the front passenger in sunglasses.
“Well, then, go! We don’t have a split second to lose!”
The glossy black sports car lurched forward like a roller coaster takeoff.
“Turn right, turn right!” the lady urged.
He zoomed around an intersection. The skidding back tires tore a small layer of asphalt off of the busy city road.
“He’s speeding up, Agent Saxon! Stomp on it!”
Thin sheets of rubber flung themselves from the car’s wheels. Meanwhile, not having enough time to aim with his gun, the pursued criminal fled for his freedom. His stainless steel suitcase of cash rapidly bobbed to the beat of the engine.
“Five hundred gran,” the man chuckled to himself. “Take that, stupid bank.”
Meanwhile, Agent Saxon noticed the slowing truck.
“Agent Fertha, we’re gaining on him! It looks like he’s running out of gas!”
The truck gave up as it sputtered its last drops of petroleum. Parking at the curb, he slammed on the brake. Immediately, the two hopped out. Seeing the sprinting culprit, they ran as fast as their agile legs would let them. Finally, they caught the culprit as he ran out of breath.
“All right, put your hands up,” Agent Saxon said.
Later that day, the culprit met his fate and was declared guilty. Aside from the convicted, Ursula Fertha had her own destiny. Like the other rookie agents, she waited until her boss promoted her. Although she was proud of herself for her accomplishments, she still wished to be as strong as her mentor, William Saxon. He not only had skill, but a well-toned physique and sophisticated grin. Like a warrior, he fought until the finish. One afternoon, an e-mail appeared in his inbox:
NEW MISSION: SERIAL KILLER ON THE MOVE. TRACK HIM DOWN. OUR FACILITY HAS FIGURED OUT HIS LICENSE PLATE NUMBER: GREN985. HE IS HEADING TOWARDS 906 DENNY AVENUE. –AGENT BOB.
He hurried to Ursula’s office and grabbed her arm. Startled, she dropped her pen.
“We have to catch him before more lives are lost!” William said.
Both agents dashed to a car reserved for them. After buckling in, a GPS automatically switched on. William punched in some letters and numbers.
“Set for: 906 Denny Avenue,” the programmed voice said.
Heading straight, William approached a four-way stop.
“Turn right on 220th street.”
William snapped in that direction.
“Turn left at 198th street.”
He swerved again.
“Your target is getting closer,” the GPS stated. “Go straight until the second block.”
Praying that the light would stay green, William accelerated.
“Yellow. Almost didn’t make it,” he said as he plowed right through. Finally, the car drew near to a green SUV with the license plate “GREN985”. Seeing William and Ursula out of his rearview mirror, the nemesis quickly pulled out a pistol before putting his right hand on the wheel again. Without looking behind him, he fired only to have William’s left side mirror block the bullet. Ursula responded by taking out her gun. The use of her distinguished shooting skills shattered both side mirrors of the van.
“Great strategy,” William praised. “Lane changing requires all three mirrors and he only has one available. I’ll drive by him and maybe we’ll reach the house first.” William meandered around the van like he was in a televised race.
“You will reach 906 Denny Avenue in two miles,” the GPS warned.
Ursula turned around and busted the van’s headlights.
“One and a half miles.”
Out went the car’s taillights.
“Hurry up!” Ursula insisted.
A bullet slit a layer of paint on the SUV’s door.
“One thousand seven hundred and sixty feet.”
Another bullet caused one of the car’s front tires to roll like a football.
“Four hundred and forty feet.”
The car leaned on the nearly flat tire.
“One hundred and ten feet.”
The bottom of the door gritted against the road.
“YOU ARE HERE,” the GPS said before switching off.
William’s foot pounded on the brake like an anvil. A last whiplash of the car’s rear spanked the van. The murderer lost control and slid from the curb to a nursing home front entrance. The dirt spit out blades of grass and mulch until a tree stopped the van. Unharmed, the driver tried to move the vehicle forward but to no avail. Little did the three know that someone was watching the incident.
“You saw an agent arrest that serial killer?” Mrs. Heron asked Britney.
“Yep. He was coming to our house.”
“Oh my gosh! Thank goodness we’re alive,” Mr. Heron exclaimed. “In fact, I’ll double-check the security system.”
“But he’s gone, Dad. There’s no one else,” Britney said.
“The world is full of good people like us, but there are bad people too.”
Out of words, Britney walked to her room, otherwise known as a studio. Unlike a typical teenage girl’s room, drawings and sketches blocked the wallpaper. Sketchbooks littered the tiny closet and art tools cluttered the pencil holders. The grandfather clock struck ten o’clock and Britney hurried to bed.
“Oh, no,” she mumbled. “My pastel sticks are out there. They have to be in here with everything else or I’ll forget where they are.”
Waiting for her parents to go to sleep, Britney tip-toed to the foyer’s windowsill and found the small box.
“Oh, goody. I’m glad that I found—AAH! No, no, no! Let me go! Mm mm mmm!”
Britney gagged in the cloth sealed around her mouth. A tall and scrunched-up woman tossed the girl into the back of a sedan like a kitchen towel. Waiting for bulldozers and tree planters, the hotel decorated itself with cobwebs and dust mites. The kidnapper called this place her hideout, her safe haven. When she arrived, she then ripped the cloth off of her prey’s mouth.
“Now…tell me what you saw.”
“What do you mean?” asked Britney.
“Did you not notice my son get turned in to the police?” the woman’s voice snapped.
“He was your son?”
“Quiet!” the kidnapper barked, snatching the blindfold. “Don’t you ever play dumb, run away or yell for help, or else…”
A metal shard glimmered in her hand in the last hint of lamplight.
“No, please don’t!” Britney screamed.
“No one is supposed to know about my son but me. Who do you think you are?”
“I knew you would be here!” William called, bursting through the dusty lobby door. “Don’t you love the fact that we use pagers and radio to find people like you?”
Astonished, the woman stood up for herself and took two steps closer.
“I keep the girl.”
William slowly pulled out his gun.
“I take the girl.”
He took two steps closer as well.
“Oh, really?” the woman challenged.
William aimed the gun at her stomach.
“Do I really have to? Is this where you want to live your last night?”
Britney inched towards William as his target backed away.
“Let’s just get this over with,” the kidnapper said as she hurled the blade at Britney. Screaming, the girl successfully dodged.
“Stand behind me,” William said to Britney.
“This is your last chance. You either come with me or I shoot you here.”
A long pause reigned over the hotel room.
“You have me. Here’s the girl,” she sighed, shoving Britney into his arms.
“So, my dear, how’s police work?” Ursula’s boyfriend asked.
“Just fine, Oliver. I’m still not ranked up yet, but I keep feeling optimistic.”
The sound of clinking glasses rang throughout the outdoor restaurant.
“You’ll get there. By the way, you keep mentioning this guy named William Saxon. Tell me about him.”
“We are partners. I am his protégé and he is a very prestigious tutor. I have learned all kinds of things from him.”
“Are you friends?”
“Of course. Why would I lie to you, Oliver?”
“You talk about him too much.”
“Oh, sorry. I don’t mind talking about something else.”
Ursula looked down and furrowed her brow.
“Wait, what are you implying here…?” she asked with a hint of suspicion.
“You’re having an affair, aren’t you?” Oliver said.
“Don’t protest,” he said as he pushed in the chair and left.
“William was coming here with a group to eat anyway, or at least that’s what our boss said. Why did I come here too?”
Suddenly, Ursula heard a sharp bang and rushed to where she heard it. There at the scene, William’s right side turned red while Oliver dashed out.
“Agent Ursula, go chase him. I will call the ambulance,” the boss said.
Ursula sprinted until she caught up to Oliver. After punching him twice, one for each of his actions, she pulled the handcuffs out from her belt.
William’s stitches had to stay for a while, but the bullet’s hit was less serious than expected. He also had to take a break from work until it healed. Meanwhile, Ursula e-mailed him some news to his smartphone:
I AM PLEASED TO SAY THAT BECAUSE OF OLIVER’S ARREST, I HAVE BEEN PROMOTED! I HOPE THAT YOU’RE NOT IN THE HOSPITAL TOO LONG.
The Herons had something to celebrate also: their daughter was safe in their home. Britney continued as an artist and drew an album of William Saxon, the hero who saved her life.