Mystery and Crime Fiction posted September 24, 2021 Chapters:  ...57 58 -59- 60... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Annie is rescued -

A chapter in the book Secrets in the Wind

Secrets in the Wind - Chap 59

by Begin Again

Jack McKinley's recent death appears to be suspicious. The investigation of one crime leads to another and so many other secrets in the wind.

Garth watched the action unfold like a slow-motion film. He knew the second there was a clear shot, his agents would fire. He didn’t know about the discipline of the sheriff and his officers. The unknown factor of who was inside the cabin and their reactions put Annie’s life in jeopardy.
All the weapons pointed in their direction terrified the little girl. Annie screamed and kicked, trying to dislodge herself from Tito’s arm as he stepped away from the door. She could hear Miguel’s frantic voice yelling for the people not to shoot.
Miguel glanced around the spot where he was standing, grabbed a heavy book, and tossed it through the window. The breaking glass startled Tito, and he lost his grip on Annie, dropping her to the porch floor. She scrambled to her feet and raced back into the cabin toward Miguel. As she disappeared inside, an explosion of gunfire filled the air.
Bullets ripped through Tito as he ran toward the Land Rover, frantically returning fire. At the end of the porch, Tango, hidden at the side of the cabin, swung a broken tree branch as Tito cleared the building. Tito stumbled, and his massive body sprawled across the ground, and he took his last breath.
“Hold your fire.” Garth and the Sheriff called out to everyone.
As Annie cleared the doorway, Miguel pulled her to the floor, shielding the horrified child from any stray bullets. The sound of guns firing and a few hitting the far side of the cabin was brutal. Annie buried her face into his shirt, “They’re—shooting.” She gulped and turned to look at Miguel. “Are we going to die?”
He tightened his arm around her and stared at the broken window before answering, “No, Annie. I won’t let them hurt you.” The shooting had stopped, and he straightened up, releasing his hold on the girl.
She sniffed and looked at Miguel. “Can I go home? Please. I’m scared.” She sniffed again. “I want my mommy.”
A drop of water shimmered in the corner of Miguel’s eye as he stared at her sad face. “Yeah, me too.” He ran his hand across the top of her head. “Me too.”
The sound of a woman’s voice shattered the silence outside. “Miguel.” Annie and her protector snapped their heads toward the doorway. “Miguel, it’s mama. You must stop. Let the little girl go.”
An eerie silence filled the cabin, except for Annie’s occasional sniffle. Miguel stood, wobbled, and collapsed into a kitchen chair. Annie’s arms reached forward to steady him from falling on the floor. The strong Mexican’s shoulders slumped in defeat as her small hand touched his cheek and brushed away the tear.
“It’s okay. Your mama is here.” Her body shuddered as a small gasp escaped her pale lips. “She wants to take you home.”
Miguel’s sad face nodded, and his hand brushed her cheek. “It’s time for you to go home, little one.” He stood and braced himself with the chair. “Can you hand me the broom?” It was lying by the door, and she hurried to get it.
As she handed him the broom, she spoke, “Yeah, I bet Sebastian is worried. I know Nana Mary and Mama are worried too, but they’re big and understand.” Annie smiled for the first time. “You’ll love him. He’s my best friend.”
A small smile twisted across Miguel's face. “He’ll be happy to see you.”
Sofia cried out again. “My son, please. I do not want you to die.”
Miguel moved to the side of the window. He called out,  “Mama, is Annie’s family here?” Sofia turned and looked at Garth.
Garth answered for Sofia, “Yes, her grandmother.” He nodded to an agent who radioed the waiting car to bring Mary. In moments, Mary and Sofia stood side by side, two terrified and trembling women, praying their family would be okay. “Miguel, she’s here with your mother. Who else is there with you?”
“It's just Annie and me." He paused and then yelled, "Mason is dead.”
“Let’s end this, Miguel. Enough lives have been destroyed.” Garth took a deep breath and prayed the man would surrender.
Miguel cracked the door and peered outside. Garth’s hand flew into the air, and he shouted an order. “Stand down.”
Miguel looked at Annie. “It’s time to go home.” He opened the door wider and nudged her forward. “You can go home.”
Annie grabbed his rough hand and tugged on it. “We can go together.”
“No, honey. You can go. Your grandmother is waiting.”
“I want you to come with me.” Her eyes pleaded, and she tried to move him. “You saved me.”
Miguel shook his head. “Go, you're free.” He opened the door wider.
Annie clutched his hand in hers and her eyes watered. “Your mama wants you to come, too. Come on. Please.” Her tiny voice quivered as she pleaded with him.
Miguel sighed and squeezed her hand. Together, they stepped onto the porch. The broom supported him, and Annie held his hand. Sofia and Mary were crying and hugging each other. When Mary saw Annie, she screamed for her granddaughter, “Annie.” An agent’s hand rested on her arm, holding her in place.
Annie’s innocent eyes looked up at Miguel and whispered, “Thank You.”
“No problem, kid.” Miguel smiled at her. “Go to your grandma.”
Annie jumped over the steps and ran with open arms toward Mary. “Nana.” A weeping grandmother wrapped her arms around her granddaughter, and her tears turned to loud sobs.
“Miguel, please surrender.” Tears ran down Sofia’s face.
“Come on, Miguel.” Annie called to him, “Your mama won’t be mad.” The little precocious child looked at Garth. “He’s hurt, so he needs help.”
Garth couldn’t stop the grin. He tussled her hair and turned to Miguel. “What about it? You ready to go home?”
Miguel nodded, and Garth signaled for Tango and another agent to help him off the porch. Sobbing, Sofia watched as her son was led toward one of the vehicles.

Annie slipped from her grandmother’s arms and grabbed Sofia’s hand. “Aren’t you going to hug him?”
Sofia wiped her teary eyes and looked at Garth. “Please, senor.”
“Pleeaase,” Annie wailed. Mary smiled at her granddaughter and then turned to focus on Garth.
Garth’s eyes traveled from Annie’s wide eyes to Sofia and then to Miguel. It was against protocol, but he couldn’t refuse the pleading eyes of three desperate females. He nodded, and Sofia waddled across the grass to her son. Miguel wrapped his arms around her plump body and held her as tight as he could. “I love you, Mama.”

NOTE TO READER: Thank you for taking the time to read this chapter. I know many have been anticipating Annie's rescue for some time. I am not sure I have done it justice. I am currently struggling with life, so please feel free to point out if you see things that need to be beefed up or changed. I needed to write, but I'm not sure my heart was totally into the moment. Thank you!



Theodore (Ted) and Meredith Cranston - previous owners of Sweet Haven Estates
Jack McKinley - present owner of Sweet Haven Estates - deceased
Elizabeth (Liz) McKinley - Jack's widow and owner of Sweet Haven Estates
Alyssa Shelton - (Allie) Liz's best friend and an Investigative Journalist
Darryl Pennington - Estate Foreman for past and previous owners
Mary Hunter - Retired nurse and current caregiver of Faith and Annie
Faith Cranston-Newton - daughter of the Ted and Meredith Cranston
Annie Cranston-Newton - Faith's daughter
Sebastian - the lovable St. Bernard and Annie's companion
Dr. Eugene Copeland - the local physician
Sofia Sanchez - Mason Caldwell's housekeeper
Miguel Sanchez - vineyard supervisor
Jon Saladino - Priest and much more
Cassidy Rotello - assistant of Mason Caldwell
Mason Caldwell - rancher and owner of a gambling casino
Garth Woodman - (Jeremy) Undercover FBI
Hank Armato - Private Investigator
Emmy Armato - Hank's wife and also retired detective
Cynthia - librarian, historian, town gossip, and wanna-be detective
Michael - realtor and Cynthia's nephew
Tango, Poppa, Howard, Pete - FBI agents
Tito - one of Mason's henchmen
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2021. Begin Again All rights reserved.
Begin Again has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.