Into the Wild "To" Wander part 2
Joel and Karla stood staring at the machine. It no longer looked like an answering machine to either of them. The machine had become a gross, terrifying addition to the room; an addition that now terrified them beyond anything they could imagine. they listened as the voice of a man once thought to be a safe place for their children told them of his plans.
"I am not the ruthless killer you may view me as right now. I am simply a man tired of working my ass off for scraps while the rest of the people around me rake in the treasures of my efforts. I want a piece of the gold mine and this is the only way I am going to get it. Rachel deserves the same luxuries that you give to Karla. Karen and Mark have what you have as do others in our church. Those that do not simply have their kids along for the ride. I told you want I want but I am a fair man. I think you should have the chance to whittle away some of the cost to you. Are you listening closely?"
Joel ran to the machine lifting it from it's stand and raising it above his head. He was about to toss it to the ground when Karla yelled out.
"Joel, no!!!! What are you doing?" She grabbed his arm, reaching above her head to try and catch the machine should it fall. "We need to hear him! If you break the machine... he will kill our babies, Joel." Her voice trickled off into a cry. She took the machine from Joel's hands as he slowly lowered it. "Please baby, I want to hurt him too but this will not help us. It will only take away our children." She sobbed as she placed the machine back onto the table. Joel turned to her and held her close. He sobbed with his wife.
The phone rang as they were staring at it. Joel grabbed the phone and answered it.
"Listen to me, you bastard! If you hurt our kids, I swear I will find you and I will kill you! Do you hear me... I will kill you!"
There was a silence on the phone. Joel's entire body shook as he waited for a response. the soft voice on the other end was not what he was expecting.
"Joel? What is going on?"
It was Karen, Karla's sister speaking. He held his hand over the receiver trying to hide his words from him. It is your sister on the phone! What do we do now?"
"She knows something bad is wrong, Joel. tell her we need her and Mark to come over right away."
"If we tell them, we may be endangering the kids, Karla."
She reached up and touched Joel's face. She smiled tenderly at him, knowing all too well his pain. "Joel, do you really think we can do anything either way about that mad man? Tell her to come over, please."
"Karen, we need you and Mark to come over here right now. Please don't ask questions. We will fill you in when you get here. Just come over, Now!"
"We are coming over now." As the phone clicked, Joel sat down next to the phone. "We will wait until they get here to play the next message. I don't want to hear it twice."
Karla nodded and sat to wait for Karen and Mark to arrive. It was only a matter of minutes before there was a knock on the door. Karla jumped at the sound. Joel got up and opened the door. Standing there was Karen, tears running down her face. Karla pushed past Joel and hugged her sister tight.
"What the hell is going on, Joel!?"
As Joel told Mark and Karen the story, Karen screamed and cried, grabbing hold of Mark and shaking him.
"This can not be happening, Joel. Is this some kind of a sick joke!?"
"I don't think anything about this is a joke, Mark. I am sure he is as serious as can be."
"What are we going to do?"
"We are going to listen to the next message. After that we can decide together what to do."
Karen turned to face Joel. Her face showed shock and anger. "Is it even up for discussion!? We pay the psycho what he wants and get our kids back!"
"Karen," Joel said gently to her, "We don't even know if he will keep his word. Let's see what he has to say."
Joel leaned forward and pushed the play button. It only took seconds for the voice to blare out of the speaker.
"Okay, I am sure I gave you enough time to absorb all of this. Now here is what we are going to do." There was a scream in the background. They heard Trevor yelling. "Shut her up now or I will shut her up for good! I am trying to leave a message!"
Another voice came through the speaker, a females voice. "Please Lisa, you have to be quiet. He will kill you if you aren't."
"Oh my God, that's our baby girl she is talking too! Please dear God, don't let him hurt her!" As if Lisa could hear her, Karen spoke softly into the machine. "Sh-h-h-h-h-h-h-h baby, you have to be quiet for us. We will save you but you have to listen to him, please."
Her sobbing made Karla cry again. Then, Trevor spoke again. "She isn't going to cost you a dime if she doesn't get smart, Joel. I want my money and I am going to call to give you the details. You better be there to answer the phone this time. If not, you are 25,000 dollars richer and minus a son."
The recording went silent as the four stared at it. they sat in silence, waiting for the phone to ring.