The following night, Popeye woke in the middle of the night to hear someone banging on his door. He jumped out of bed and called out, “Wait just a damn minute! Let me get muh britches on!”
He dressed only in a white tank top and boxers, jumped into his khakis and scurried to the door. When he opened it, he found Brielle on his doorstep.
“Brielle! What are you doing here at twelve-thirty in the morning?”
“Jane didn’t come home from her date. She was supposed to be home at eleven and she never made it. Bruce’s mom called me just before I left and asked if he was at my house with Jane. Apparently, he never made it home either! Popeye, I’m scared! What if something has happened to Jane and Bruce! But I swear, if she’s okay, she’s got a lot of explaining to do and she’s grounded!” Brielle said in a voice of panic.
By the next day, Jane and Bruce had not returned. Brielle drove Olivia and Baby Kennedy to Grandma Bennett’s house. She, Malcolm, Popeye, and Alvin joined Bruce’s parents and the six of them continued to search for Bruce and Jane. Malcolm then called Atticus and Jo and they also joined in the search.
Two More Missing
As Brielle and the others searched through the woods in the bottoms, calling for Jane and Bruce, Brielle’s phone rang. It was Grandma Bennett.
“Hello,” Brielle shouted, still in tears.
“Oh, God, Brielle! You’re not gonna believe what just happened! CPS showed up here just a few minutes ago! They took Olivia and the baby! Lord knows I tried to keep them away from these children! But they pushed me down, Brielle! And the sheriff was with them, and he manhandled me!” Grandma Bennett sobbed on the other end.
Brielle dropped the phone, throw her head back, and squeezed her tear-filled eyes shut as she let out loud groaning sobs. She then went to her knees, looked up at the sky, and let out an earth-shaking scream.
Malcolm, Atticus, and the rest ran over to Brielle and knelt beside her as she groaned and sobbed.
“They took my babies! CPS took Olivia and Kennedy! All my children are gone!” she sobbed uncontrollably.
A Horrifying Phone Call
“Come on, we gotta get back to Grandma Bennett’s house, “ Malcolm told the others.
“I can’t! I just can’t! I can’t even breathe!” Brielle said as she heaved between sobs.
With that, Malcolm lifted her in his arms and carried her through the woods as the others followed him close behind, heading back to the parked vehicles.
Meanwhile, in the bottoms, Kelsey McGregor panicked as she struggled against the hands that drug her out of the van, screaming as her arms flailed about. She didn’t know who had grabbed her and where they had taken her. The only thing she recalled was that while trying to get in her car, she’d heard running footsteps approaching her from behind. And, as she had turned to see who it was that was running up on her, the world around her had suddenly turned black as a dark bag, possibly a pillowcase, came down over her head and several hands had grabbed her. She knew that there was more than one kidnapper.
Then, she recalled how she struggled wildly as she felt herself being tossed in the back of her own car and heard the door slam shut. She then heard someone get into the driver’s seat, close the door, and crank the engine while feeling a second person tie up her hands and feet.
The resulting trip had been a long one, more than likely a few days as Kelsey remember keeping count of how many times they’d stopped to eat and to go to the bathroom. She’d also counted how many times the face-mask-wearing men had fed her and gave her water.
She replayed everything in her mind- the closing the restaurant where she’d worked the evening shift and walking to her car. She then replayed unlocking her car and reaching to open her driver’s side door. That’s when it had happened! Kelsey then recalled stressing and worrying about her upcoming Chemistry test, and she silently admonished herself, thinking,
“Here I am, tied up and God knows where, and I was stressing about something as silly as a freaking Chemistry test? Boy was I stupid!”
Kelsey just couldn’t stop ruminating! She couldn’t stop thinking about what she’d told her mysterious captors.
An Unexpected Trip
“Okay, look! If it’s my car you want, you can have it! Just let me go!” Kelsey cried only to be answered with total silence and the hum of the motor.
She then remembered the car stopping, being drug out and put into what seemed like a larger vehicle, possibly a van, seemingly just a few minutes before arriving to the present and final destination.
Suddenly, the cloth bag was suddenly pulled off her head and she could see again. Kelsey saw the shadowy figure of the man in the night and another dark figure standing beside him. She looked around to see that it was dark and that they were standing beside a van in the middle of the woods somewhere. She could also see, by the light of the moon, a huge lake nearby. Kelsey looked back at the face of the men who had taken her.
“Look, if it’s money you want…” Kelsey began before one of the shadowy men cut her off.
“That won’t be necessary. We have everything we want- everything we need.” The man said in a gruff voice that sounded so familiar to her.
“Oh God! That voice! Who are you and what do you want!” Kelsey shouted.
A flashlight came on and the two men removed their masks. Kelsey gasped as her eyes widened.
“Well! Slap my face and call me a son of a bitch! Kelsey McGregor! My have you grown!” Johnny Crabtree gushed with a sinister grin.
“No! No way! It can’t be!” Kelsey said, shaking her head frantically.
“In the flesh, darling!” Johnny said creepily, “So, how’s your mama these days? I hear she wrote another book- and that she and old Bledsoe ended up tying the knot. Hell, I even heard she pinched another kid. A baby boy- with ol’ Bledsoe. Well, well, well! Ain’t that sweet!”
“Go to hell!” Kelsey screamed back.
“Ladies first, sweetheart.” Johnny said with a creepy grin.
“That can be arranged. I like them young!”
With that, several pairs of hands grabbed Kelsey from behind and she began frantically pawing and pulling. Johnny grabbed Kelsey to restrain her as she struggled against his grip.
“Let me go! Let me go, you creep!” She screamed.
Johnny and Jason’s Revenge
Kelsey then began to kick at her captors, as they drug her back into the van. When they got her inside and pulled the sliding door shut, she kicked on of the windows and a crack spidered across the glass. Suddenly, Johnny pulled out a gun, stuck it to her head and cocked it.
“Be a good girl now.” Johnny said.
Kelsey suddenly stopped and got very still. Her breathing quickened and she began trembling as someone cranked the ignition.
When Brielle’s and the McCauley’s court date arrived with CPS, she saw Jane and Bruce among the kids they had taken and breathed a sigh of relief. At least Jane and Bruce were okay. The judge ruled Brielle unfit as a parent. The McCauley’s and Roxie’s, Brenda’s, and Andy’s parents were also ruled unfit. The kids were ordered by Judge Poston to be kept in temporary homes until all the kids could be adopted out to permanent homes.
Brielle snapped in court and was arrested by deputies and taken away, as was Big Bruce when he charged the judge and threw a chair at him.
After court, the kids were all loaded into a van and taken to a holding area inside the courthouse until each were assigned foster homes.
Several Parents Ruled Unfit
Jane, Olivia, and the baby were ordered to stay with Grant and Misty for a week. During that week, Jane and Olivia were made to do all the household chores and they worked from dawn until dusk in the house and around the Lindsay property. Breanna and her older brother Mason made sure to torment the girls during their stay at the Lindsay’s.
One night, while Jane was in the basement finishing the family’s laundry, Grant crept up behind her and grabbed her while cupping his hand over Jane’s mouth. He then thrusted his pelvis against her buttocks as Jane let out muffled screams and struggled against him.
“Shhh-shhhh! Don’t scream, don’t make one sound or you know what’ll happen to your mama, sweetheart!” Grant threatened, “We’ll have to kill her!”
Jane suddenly stopped and had no choice but to endure such degradation as Grant felt her up. Feeling her buttocks, then snaking his hand around to grab her crotch.
“Now, there!” Grant creepily whispered, “You’re gonna do what my bitch wife won’t do for me. You’re not only gonna be our housekeeper and maid, you’re gonna be my little fuck-toy! Anytime I feel like it! You’re gonna give me some of that sweet, young pussy!”
Suddenly, Jane snapped and run the heel of her boot down Grant’s shin, then smashed it down on the metatarsals of his foot, causing him to scream out in pain. Just then, Olivia came up behind Grant and delivered a swift karate kick to the small of Grant’s back, causing him to fall forward.
Luckily, Misty had already gone to bed, Jane and Olivia ran upstairs to the living room. Jane then grabbed Kennedy out of the play pin before she and Olivia bolted out the door. The girls then ran across the lawn and into the woods as fast as their feet could carry them.