As Kayla walked from her car to the front door, she pushed aside a cracked and dirty toy lawnmower. Moving it uncovered a thin, jagged piece of wood with two nails poking out.
“Oh for heaven’s sake…,” she mumbled to herself, bending down to pick it up.
The front door unlocked automatically for her. From the outside, no-one would ever guess the Hoopers had an advanced security system. They might not even guess that they had running water and working electricity. Her family had always preferred it that way, but Kayla spent a lot of time wishing they weren’t insistent on keeping quite so many broken cars (three currently) up on blocks out front.
The Hooper clan had always scoffed at middle-class signs of wealth and respectability. During her childhood, Kayla hadn’t questioned their views, but ever since she’d grown old enough to participate in the family business her ideas had been changing.
The house was quiet. All of the kids were still at school. She made her way to the back of the house where she found her brother sitting at the kitchen table with three large guns in front of him, the type of signs of power and prestige the Hoopers preferred.
“Jesus, Alex. What the hell are you planning with those?”
“Going looking for Goldie,” Alex said matter-of-factly.
“With an armory? Come on, dude.”
“What? We’ve been asking around nicely, but if we don’t get her back soon it’ll be too late to keep everything under wraps. It’s time to get serious.”
Kayla sighed and shook her head. “The folks around us are parents of the kids your girls have to go to school with. You can’t low-key threaten them. It’s just gonna set people talking.”
“Then what else?” he asked. “She’s been gone long enough to lay at least a dozen eggs and if anyone finds them we’ve got no choice but to shut them up.”
“Give me a couple more days,” said Kayla. “Just two more days to find Goldie without getting all redneck on everyone.”
“Fine. Two days.”
Image by MasterTux.