Part 1 of this story can be found here.
Part 2 can be found here.
Part 3 can be found here.
Part 4 can be found here.
* * * * *
Lana stood on the wooden sidewalk, staring at Caleb and Jesse as fear drained the color from her cheeks. “Father, please … ”
The rest of her desperate prayer died away in terror of what Roy would do to them. She could not think of the words to ask, just sent the un-worded plea heavenward as she stood rooted to the spot.
Her mind was screaming at her, at them, at Him to stop whatever was about to happen.
The image of Emily’s bruised face and limbs filled her mind in brief flashes of pain as her mind turned to God for deliverance. The past five years of torture and abuse and threats of death crowded into her thoughts, making her want to scream from the fear and terror.
She watched as first Jesse, then Caleb, noticed her standing there, stricken.
Caleb. Her heart and mind cried out to him, her love for him still burning brightly.
She watched the recognition leap into his eyes, and then the step he took toward her. She did not realize that she was shaking her head in a silent plea for him to keep his distance until Jesse reached out and stopped him from moving to her.
She watched his inner struggle with fear and anguish. “Oh, God, help me! Please, Father!”
She found she couldn’t move as Jesse and Caleb had a quiet conversation that she could not hear. They studied her as she stared at them, unable to do anything but tremble in fear and dismay.
It took all of her willpower to turn and look at Emily when the young girl appeared at her side. She glanced at Caleb and watched the recognition and accusation leap into those dark eyes.
She smiled over their pieces of candy, forcing her lips to move in a somewhat normal lifting of the corners.
When little Julia reached to be picked up, it was all Lana could do to reach down and lift her. She absently shifted her daughter to keep the sticky candy from transferring from Julia’s fingers to her blouse.
Caleb’s sudden movement brought her eyes back to him, but at that moment Roy came out of the store. His hatred toward Caleb’s daughter left a gaping wound in her heart, but she knew the consequences of questioning him about it.
Her arm and her daughter’s face were evidence of those consequences, and she had learned long ago to go along with whatever he said and to keep her thoughts to herself.
She had prayed from the very beginning that somehow the Lord would save her from this situation. She had lain awake at night, pleading with Him for someone, somehow to track them and take her back from her kidnapper.
It was a very long time now that she had been without hope of ever seeing Caleb again.
Yet there he stood.
Could it be possible that God had brought them both to this place so that Caleb could bring her back home?
Roy lifted Toby into the wagon and climbed up next to his son. She told Emily to get into the back of the wagon and stay still.
As she rounded the back of the wagon to climb up onto the seat, she realized that the arched cover shielded her from Roy’s sight. She looked at Caleb and barely moving her mouth, whispered, “Help us.”
Part 6 can be found here.
Part 7 can be found here.
Part 8 can be found here.
Part 9 can be found here.
Part 10 can be found here.
Part 11 can be found here.
Part 12 can be found here.
© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2012