Mystery and Crime Fiction posted February 28, 2021 Chapters:  ...24 25 -26- 27... 


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Alejandro and Anna try to save their son from a horrid fate.

A chapter in the book Where Are All The Children

Alex's Fate

by Mistydawn



Alejandro and I have been trying all night to come up with a way to save our son, but despite it all, we couldn't figure out a way to keep him out of our trafficker's hands. 

"There has to be a way out of this. There has to be,"  Alejandro says, pacing back and forth across the squeaky hardwood floor. He stops mid-step, pivot, and says, "I got it. We can tell him the baby has passed."

"He'll want to see for himself." I glance at the baby. "Besides, if we say something like that, it just might come true." Being a twenty-six-week preemie, his survival is shaky as it is.

I turn towards the window to find the sun peeking over the horizon. I look over at baby Alex again. My time with you is coming to an end. My heart plummets to my stomach. My breath catches in my throat. I don't want to say goodbye. Wiping my tears away,  I turn towards the guys and say, "I know, "Alex and I could hide somewhere, to give us more time to come up with a better plan."

The doc shakes his head, points to my stomach, and says, "You'll rip your incisions if you try. Besides, Alex can't survive without his equipment."


Alejandro takes his hand in mine. "Have you forgotten how cold it is out there? I doubt if either of you will last long."

The weary physician jumps to his feet. "Why don't I talk to him, explain Alex's condition, try to buy us a little more time."

Alejandro glances at the baby and tearfully replies, "You're our only hope, doc."

The physician returns an hour later, a sullen expression on his pale, wrinkled face. It was like he'd aged ten years in a matter of hours.

Seeing him at the door, Alejandro springs to his feet. "Well, what did he say?"


"He said he'd give me a month."

It's not what I hoped for, but it's better than what we had.

The weeks quickly pass. Alex's condition continues to improve. He's able to digest breast milk through a feeding tube. His endotracheal line has been replaced with a CPAP, which is one step closer to breathing on his own. Everyone is pleased with his progress but knows he has a long way to go.


***

It was a warm March day. I'm pulling double duty in the field, hoping to keep our handler happy. Hearing my name being called, I look up and discover the nurse running towards me. My first thought is that something has happened to the baby. He's been breathing on his own for nearly a week, and he's able to drink a small amount of formula from a bottle, but we know he isn't out of the woods yet despite his great strides. Springing to my feet, I dart across the yard. "What's wrong? Is the baby alright?"

"It's not your son; it's Alejandro. He got into a fight with the boss."

"He did what?" I ask, following her across the yard.

"The man tried to take Alex, and Alejandro stopped him and two of his men."


I run into the makeshift hospital to find Alejandro lying on a gurney. His family is grieving by his side. The boss and his two goons are lifeless on the floor below him, each swimming in a puddle of blood. Gasping, I take a wobbly step back.

The tearful doc walks towards me. His eyes are puffy; his nose is red. Blood covers the majority of his scrubs. Sniffling, he shakes his head and says, "I did everything I could, but it wasn't enough."

Darting across the room, I throw myself across Alejandro's lifeless body. "Don't leave me, Alejandro, please don't leave me," I sob, feeling like my heart has been ripped right out of my chest. I feel a warm, gentle hand rubbing my back; another is stroking my hair. I look up to find his parents doing their best to console me.

"He's in the lord's hands now, Miha," his mother says. She glances towards the ceiling and makes the sign of the cross.


I wipe the tears from my eyes, sniffle, and ask, "Where... Where's the baby?"

The mother smiles and says, "Don't worry, my love. He's safely tucked away in the back."

Walking over, the nurse wraps her arm around my shoulder. Clearing her throat, she wipes a tear from her cheek and says, "Alejandro wanted me to tell you that he loves you and Alex with all his heart and that he'll be watching over you from above."

Happy memories of the times we shared together suddenly comes to mind. All the blissful days we spent walking hand in hand down at the lake. The romantic evenings we had together. The way we'd fall asleep cuddled in each other's arms. How his love, acceptance took me off a destructive path, changed me into the strong, determined woman I am today. He's been my rock, my salvation since the day we first met. I then picture my life without him, how empty it'll be. "I can't live without you, Alejandro. I can't; I can't," I bawl, falling across his battered corpse.


"You have to, Anna, for little Alex's sake." His mother soothingly replies.

I glance up at her. Through teary eyes, I squeeze her hand and say, "You're right. The baby needs us now more than ever."

Seeing someone moving around outside, the doc rushes to my side. "You need to take the baby and go. Before his goons come looking for him." 

"How am I going to escape?"

The doctor hands Anna a passport. "I've been working on this since the baby was born." He opens the book to the page marked visa and continues. "You're a legal resident." He then gives her the boss's truck keys and a wad of cash. "It'll be enough to get you far away from here."

"What about you and the others?" Like me, they were brought over illegally.

He eyes the window nervously shifts his weight and says. "Don't worry about us, just take your son and go."


The nurse hands me the baby and a diaper bag. "Continue to give him supplements through the feeding tube the way I showed you until he's strong enough to finish a bottle on his own."

A mix of emotions surges through me as I tearfully glance around the room. I knew I should go for the sake of my son, but I didn't want to leave the only family I've ever known behind. "I'll come back for you, I promise." I cry, racing towards the door.

Remembering how young, naive Anna is, Alejandro's father grabs the second passport, turns to his eldest son, and says, "Your brother would want you to take his place."

The young man eyes his grieving parents. "You and mommy need me."

The man glances towards the door. He wipes a tear from his cheek and says, "She needs you more."





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