Kidnapped – Part Two

Continuing the story posted yesterday…


Henry knew, as certainly as he knew that it was always wise to trust Liesel’s little flashes of insight, that he should not be bringing the kids into this situation.  At the same time, there was no better way in the world to find Konrad than Frieda’s gift.  Like all of the members of her family, it was strong in her.  She’d used it once to track down Markus when he’d been kidnapped.  Now, she was using it again to find Konrad.

“There,” she said, pointing towards a house at the crest of a hill.  It was a huge old house that might have been beautiful at one point.  Now, it just looked vaguely spooky.  It was the sort of place you expected to find in a horror movie.

Henry handed her his cellular phone.  “If I’m not out in twenty minutes, you call for help,” he said, his tone firm.  “Do not come in after me.”

“Yes, Teva,” Frieda said, her voice faint.

Liesel caught Henry by the sleeve and frowned.  “Go around the back,” she said, her voice soft.  “Also… be careful.”

“Stay here,” he said.  Then, he met the eyes of each of the girls and Johannes before he hurried around the hill to the back of the house.  He didn’t know why Liesel had said to go around the back, but he trusted her.  If that was what she said to do, he would do it.  After all, her gift was knowing and she was just as strong in it as her sister was in her gift.

As he approached the house, he spotted the entrance to the cellar.  A smile touched his lips.  Was this why Liesel said to go around the back?  He glanced around and then moved over to the storm doors.  They were locked with a padlock, but the wood itself was as old as the rest of the house.  Henry wrapped his belt around the lock and pulled.  It took a few tries, but then he was able to pry the lock free of the wooden door.

He opened the right hand door and peered into the darkened cellar.  “Konrad?” he called in a hoarse whisper.


He drew his sidearm and slipped down the steps into the cellar.  He moved around the corner of several boxes and saw them.  Konrad was sitting on the floor, his wrists bound in front of his chest.  He was blinking at the sunlight that was now filling what must have been a darkened space.  Beside him, there was a young woman.  Her wrists were also bound, but they were torn and bloody from struggling to free herself.  She was looking at him with wide, tear-filled eyes.

“Either of you hurt?” he asked.

Konrad shook his head and said, “Just shaken.  He’s somewhere in the house.”  He grimaced and added, “We heard him walking around above us.”

Henry nodded.  “We’ll get you out of here first,” he said.  “We can send the locals to round him up, but I’m not going to leave you two here and go after him.”  He glanced at the door that led to another part of the cellar.  Then, he holstered his sidearm.  Pulling out a knife, he cut the ropes binding the girl and then Konrad.

“Up and out,” he said, drawing his sidearm again and heading for the door.  He remembered Liesel’s advice to be careful and peered up over the edge of the door before waving for the girl and Konrad to come up and out.

“You brought the kids,” Konrad said, his voice soft.  It wasn’t a question.  He knew as well as Henry that Frieda’s gift would have been the only way that Henry could have found him so quickly.  “Where are they?”

“I left them in the car,” Henry said, frowning.  He took Konrad’s arm and set it on the girl’s elbow.  “He’s dayblind, so you’ll need to lead him.  Down the slope and to the road.”

“Thanks,” she said, her voice shaky.

Henry saw her eyes widen and spun.  Years of training helped him react on instinct.  In an instant, he recognized the threat and fired.  A large, muscular man slumped to the ground.  The axe he’d been wielding dissolved as his blood began to soak into the turf.

“What was that?” Konrad asked, his voice strained.

Heaving a sigh, Henry looked around.  “Some family’s hammer,” he said, his voice low.  He wasn’t sure if there were others.  “Get down the hill,” he told the girl.

Nodding, she led Konrad down the hill.  Henry followed them, his gaze scanning the slope leading from the house.  As they were arriving, Henry saw that Frieda was dialing the phone.  She stopped when she saw him and he nodded.  “Tell them we need an ambulance,” he said.  “I shot the man who’d kidnapped them, presumably.”

“He came at us with an axe,” the girl said, her voice cracking.

Johannes choked back a sob and threw himself at Konrad.  “You aren’t allowed to scare me like that,” he said, as Konrad wrapped his arms around his brother.  In a softer voice, he said, “I need my sword.”

“I know,” Konrad murmured and kissed his brow.  “I’m here now.”


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