Beauty and the What!?

Installment #29

Without hesitation, Shawn jumps to his feet. He squints his eyes, trying to see through the years of dust now billowing through the room. He waves his hands in front of his face in an attempt to clear the air around him.

“Sally!” he shouts her name and squints to the area where the floor used to be.

The only response he gets is the sound of pain filled grunting coming from the concrete basement under the house. A few of the men are hurt and one of them sounds like he’s in a lot of pain. The dust begins to clear and the hole in the floor comes into focus. Shawn can see Anson in the corner of his eyes. He’s still sitting in the corner of the room, astonished at what just happened. Shawn rolls his eyes and peers into the hole.

“Sally?” he calls again.

He still doesn’t get an answer from her. He crouches near the floor and sits carefully on the edge. Using all of his strength, he lowers himself down into the basement and jumps to the concrete below. None of the men are on their feet. Two are unmoving, blood spilling out of the corners of their mouths and their eyes are closed. Two more are lying in pain as they clutch their arms and legs. He scans the rest of the room, searching for the only one he cares to see.

He hears movement coming from behind him and he quickly spins around. On the floor a few feet away, is the man who just held a gun to Shawn’s head. He’s lying under a pile of wood from the floor and a bloody gash is on his forehead. His right arm is bent at an awkward angle and he is trying to get to his feet. Shawn quickly moves to the man’s side and sticks his hand out to help. Anson’s father stares at him for a long moment, questioning his next move. He reluctantly takes Shawn’s hand and gets help standing.

“You alright?” Shawn asks.

Anson’s father nods his head and says, “The girl is over there.” He points to a corner of the room, “Go, help her.”

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