Our Father Who art in heaven . . .
Mary Jane’s eyes popped open.
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will—my God, she’s awake!” A woman with warm eyes smiled and stifled a yawn. Sunlight streamed into the large window and made her appear like a grandmother angel.
“Who are you? Where am I? What—” MJ jumped into a seated position in the twin-size bed. Her shoes were on the floor. She scurried to grab them and noticed Officer Daniels slowly awakening from the rocking chair next to her.
Slipping her feet into the shoes, she ran for the door, before he could get up. ‘I have to get out of here! I have to get away from Daniels.’ She had remembered the first night she’d met Jake. He’d saved her from Beasley. Before falling asleep with pillows wedged between them, he told her not to trust the police–that is if she got away. And he'd told her to most certainly not escape at night.
Her eyes adjusted to the light of day as she scurried downstairs with Daniels calling her name. She headed for the screen door, noticing a white-haired man in overalls. He held a steaming mug of coffee–a potential weapon. Skidding in her boots, Mary Jane did an about-face and ran in the other direction, just as Daniels jumped the last couple of steps. She sprinted down a long hallway toward double doors, as her heels pounded the worn carpet.
Bursting through the doors, she stopped quickly to see Jesus on a cross to her left and rows of pews to her right. Rainbows of sunlight transfixed the sanctuary in an ethereal glow from the long, multicolored glass windows above. Right before her, on the opposite side of the church, was another set of double doors, but she stood transfixed by all the light.
“MJ, wait!” Daniels called.
“Hold it, Mary Jane, we can help,” came an ancient voice that she assumed was the old man’s.
Before she could continue to the opposite side of the church, the doors at the back of the church exploded. Bits and pieces of wood chips soared through the air. In a flash, she remembered Jake’s sidekick Lyle.
Lyle, Beasley, Jake, and five other men entered. They fired shots at Daniels as he ran from the side door. Bullets riddled Jesus; wood splinters broke from the front row of pews. Diving for Mary Jane, Daniels pushed her down at the front pew on the left side of the church. Her knees took it the worst and her chin hit the wood floor. They knelt, glaring at the exit only a yard away, but they couldn’t continue because two men were headed up the sides of the church.
“What in the world?” The bullets stopped as Reverend Tobias shouted, entering the room.
“Well, sir,” came Beasley’s heavy, breathy voice. “All we want is the girl. Mary Jane—”
Tobias cut off his happy banter, “Not in this church—”
Avialable NOW on KINDLE, NOOK, KOBO, and other fine Ebook Retailers