Cowgirl Kidnapped

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
While at a rodeo in Arlington, Texas, barrel racer and former Dallas Cowboy's cheerleader Britt Hamilton receives a call from her best friend and horse trainer Sheri Combs. Sheri tells her she's been beaten up at the stables by a huge girl who's mistaken her for Britt. Later, the girl decides to kidnap Sheri for ransom. The girl calls Britt, who has a rich father, and demands $100,000.

Britt has no idea why the girl is after her. But she must come up with the money by nine o'clock on a Sunday night or Sheri will be killed. The girl instructs her to meet her an hour later at a dark gravel pit forty miles north of Dallas. That's where things go terribly wrong, when another girl bully shows up to thwart the original plan. This conflict soon ferments into a brutal fight to the finish between two cowgirls and their formidable adversaries, who've concocted a devious plan to kill them.

Submitted: September 12, 2016

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Submitted: September 12, 2016

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Please stop! the horse trainer shouted, as she stuck both hands out in defense.  I beg you.  But the huge teen girl just smirked, pushed her arms down, punched her in the jaw—just as the woman turned her head—and knocked her against the back wall of the stables.

The slim blonde grimaced as her right shoulder slammed into the wall.  She staggered for several seconds—with her back to the girl, as blood poured from her mouth and left eyebrow.  The tall fat girl, who’d just appeared out of nowhere, had been beating her and tossing her around for three minutes; she hadn’t been able to land one blow in return.

The blonde caught her breath as she leaned forward, placing her hands on the knees of her jeans.  She looked around the stables for a shovel, hoe or any tool she could find to stop the onslaught.But she couldn’t find anything. 

She stood and turned toward the girl—her vision now blurred from the girl’s flurry of blows.  Just as shelooked up and slapped at the girl’s face, the teen smashed her in the nose with a right haymaker.  The woman’s head shot back; her nose exploded like a cherry.  Blood now covered her chin.  She collapsed to the ground unconscious.

When Sheri Combs, the horse trainer, awakened, the massive girl was standing above her, blocking most of the sunlight seeping through the closed stable door.  Sheri was splayed on her back with her head two inches from a large horse turd.  She had trouble breathing through her broken nose, and her body ached in a dozen places. 

Sheri shielded her eyes as she raised her head and gazed at the girl, whose large jutting facial features were now just a shadowy mass.  She wore gray shorts and a yellow jersey with the name “Glen Oaks High School” scrolled in burgundy across the top.

“You Britt Hamilton?” the girl said, her voice more than a tad deep.

“No,” said Sheri, spraying blood from her mouth as she spoke. 

The girl tottered forward and placed her gym shoe on Sheri’s right thigh. 

Sheri grimaced as the girl applied a third of weight, which she estimated at four hundred pounds. 

“I’ll break it if you keep lying to me,” the girl said. 

Oh God, cried Sheri, as the girl applied more weight.  “Britt’s my employer.  She’s at a rodeo in Arlington today.”

The girl stepped back and said, “When will she be back?”

“Uh . . . later tonight, I guess.” 

Sheri started to stand but fell backwards.

“Who are you?  . . .  and what do you want with Britt?” said Sheri, struggling to get to her feet.  “You broke my nose.”  She dabbed her face and got a handful of blood.

The girl trudged closer as Sheri stood and faced her—her legs still wobbling from the one-sided beat down.

“I don’t care what I broke,” the girl said, “but I’d be happy to go a few more rounds if you want.”

No . . . please, no, said Sheri.  She stuck her arms out and backed up.  “I’ll tell her you stopped by . . .  do youhave a name?”

“I’ll just stop back.”

“When?”

“Soon.” 

The girl started to walk away but turned around and approached Sheri.  Sheri’s eyes darted toward the door; she thought about running out of the stables but the girl held up both hands.  “I’m not going to fight with you anymore.  I just wanted to know if you have a picture of Britt Hamilton.”

Sheri hesitated.  She had a picture of her friend in her purse but didn’t know if she should show it to the girl.  But if she didn’t, the girl would probably beat her some more—maybe even kill her.

“I have a picture in my purse,” said Sheri.  Sheri winced and held her shoulder.  “Follow me.”

Sherry limped to the office with the girl a few steps behind.  She pulled out her wallet, slid Britt’s picture from the plastic cover and showed it to the behemoth.

“Can I keep this?”

Uh . . . it’s my only copy.”  The huge girl glared at her.

“I’ll keep it for now and give it back when I’m done with it.  How’s that?”

“Okay.”  Sheri’s response came out rather meekly.  But what could she do?  The dark-haired teen was at least six-five and as wide as the stable door.  The girl gazed at the picture and put it in her pocket; she glanced at Sheri then walked out of the stables.

The girl had come out of nowhere and started beating her; she hadn’t given Sheri a chance to inquire what she wanted.  She’d attacked her just as she stepped out the door to get some fresh air, grabbing her and throwing her back inside the stables.  She was exceptionally strong and had handled Sheri as she would a rag doll.  She was probably a shot putter or softball player at her high school.  She looked young but had large deformed facial features.  Sheri believed they called it acromegaly.She’d have to warn Britt because the girl obviously had some vendetta against her.  Maybe she’d know who she was.

“Hello,” said Britt.  It was ten minutes later.  Sheri stood outside the stables in the hot glaring sun, dabbing her nose with a wad of toilet paper.

“Britt, this is Sheri.  I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”

“No, you’re fine.  I just finished the barrel racing competition.  I got second place.”

“That’s great,” said Sheri.  She hesitated for several seconds, not knowing whether she should tell Britt what happened and upset her.  It could affect her performance in the rodeo.

“What’s wrong?” said Britt.  “You sound like you have a cold.”

“Some hugegirl just came to the stable and beat the hell out of me.”

“What?”

“Some young high school girl,” said Sheri.  She tried to catch her breath.  “She broke my nose and . . . and . . . she thought I was you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Britt, do you know anyone who’s after you?  The girl seemed to be out for revenge.I thought she was going to kill me.”

“Are you okay?”

“I’ll live,” said Sheri.  “Do you know anyone who’d want to hurt you?”

Britt hesitated a few seconds.  She said, “No,” but her reply wasn’t convincing.  Sheri knew Britt had been in a number of relationships and slept around.  She also knew a slew of people from her cheerleading days.  She’d been a member of the Dallas Cowboys squad for three years.  The two hung up a minute later.

Britt headed north on 635 after receiving her earnings from both the barrel racing and calf roping competitions.  She’d also finished second in roping.  She was tired and just wanted to get home.  She thought about what Sheri had said.  Was one of her exes after her for some reason?  Who was the huge girl that beat Sheri up?  Why would some high school girl be after her?  She wracked her brain about the incident for ten minutes as she got on Interstate 30 and headed home. 

She couldn’t think of anyone who’d be mad at her.  She’d always tried to end all relationships on a friendly note.  Britt finally stopped thinking about it.

She pulled into lot of the stables at 11:35 p.m.  Sheri had left a note about going to the Dallas Regional Medical Center for her injuries.  Britt would go see her in the morning.  For now, she needed a hot shower and eight hours of sleep.

Britt awakened at 10 a.m.  She ate some oatmeal, showered, dried her hair and put on a blue and white blouse and pair of indigo Wrangler jeans—the kind with the white “W’s” etched in the pockets.  She located her cell on the kitchen counter and dialed Sheri’s number.  She didn’t answer.

Sheri had the day off, but Britt wanted to head to the stables to finish some financial work.  The October taxes were due in three weeks and she needed to gather up all the invoices for her accountant.  She’d recently added a section onto the stables and wanted to ensure those expenses were included.  She had a big bag of receipts in her office file cabinet.

Britt had owned the horse stables since she graduated from college eleven years ago.  Her father, a wealthy oilman, had purchased it as a graduation gift.  Britt had competed in rodeo events since she was thirteen.  The stables enabled her to both train for the rodeo and earn a solid income. Her company trained horses and offered riding lessons.  She also offered archery lessons on the grounds—a sport she and Sheri had taken up ten years ago.  She’d hired Sheri, an accomplished horsewoman who still competed in rodeos, eight years ago.  The two had been roommates at SMU.

Britt dialed Sheri’s number again.  No answer.  This wasn’t like her friend.  She always had her cell with her.  Maybe she had to stay overnight at the hospital.

Britt called Dallas Regional.  A woman with a gruff voice answered.

“My friend Sheri Combs was admitted to your hospital last night,” said Britt.  “Is she still there?”

“Let me see,” said the woman.  A female voice squawked over the intercom as the receptionist’s fingers clacked against her computer keyboard.

“Sheri Combs was released at one-thirty this morning.”

“Thanks.”  Britt meant to ask about the extent of her friend’s injuries—but forgot.  Sheri would enlighten her about the incident soon enough.

Nine hours before Britt called the hospital, Sheri pulled out of the Dallas Regional parking lot onto North Galloway in her Chevy pickup.  White tape and a splint covered her broken nose, and four stitches were sewn into her puffy upper lip.  Blood was still crusted inside her nostrils and both eyes were black and blue.  Her left cheek was so swollen see could see a burgeoning mound of flesh below her eye as she drove.

Sheri continued on North Galloway, heading south toward the next street.  Before she made a right on West Kearney on her way home to Garland, she noticed another truck following her.  The idiot was trailing her by only four feet.  Traffic was light and the truck had appeared out of nowhere.  It could just be her imagination but she wondered if the person had followed her from the hospital.  She hadn’t been cognizant of other vehicles when she first left the hospital because of the intense pain surging in her face.  She was due for another pain pill in thirty minutes.

The halogen lights from the truck reflected off her inside mirror and blinded her for several seconds. 

“Hey, you idiot!” she shouted, though her windows were rolled up.She sped up. 

Her eyes had just readjusted to dark road when the person behind her flipped on the bright lights. 

Oh, God, she cried.“I can’t see.”

She groped for the rearview mirror in an attempt to move it, but her fingernails hit the top of the windshield.  She located the mirror but her hand slid off of it when she hit a bump in the road.  She grabbed the steering wheel with both hands.

The driver flipped the bright lights on and off several times—and then left them on ten seconds later.  The lights again flashed across Sheri’s rearview mirror and impeded her vision. 

What the hell is wrong with you? . . . Oh, God!

She threw her left hand up to block the light, crossing it in front of her face.  Her pickup suddenly swerved toward the double yellow divider line as she tried to navigate the dark road.  A passing car beeped at her.  She barely missed it as her truck crossed the lane divider and careened toward a closed CVS store. 

Sheri missed the drug store’s driveway and flew into the grass.  The front tires of her truck struck the parking lot curb at thirty miles per hour and catapulted her into the air.  Five seconds later, the tires plopped down unevenly onto the CVS lot.  The impact jerked Sheri’s body forward.  Her chest hit the steering wheel . . . and then she flew backwards against the back of her seat.

Oh, no.

Sheri jerked the steering wheel right to avoid hitting the building . . . and slammed on her brakes.  The tires squealed and then the rear tires skidded to the left; the truck swerved around.  Sheri was facing the driveway when her truck stopped perpendicular to and across a row of parking spaces.

(Sample only.  Go to my bookshelf to order.  Only 99 cents.


© Copyright 2017 Rick Suttle. All rights reserved.

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