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Lost and Found Baby

Written by Hope White

Chapter Four

Katy excelled at remaining cool under pressure. A good thing, since Luke seemed incapacitated, his blue eyes flaring at the sight of the flames.

She scanned the barn with her flashlight, looking for a way out. If they chose an obvious exit they’d be easy targets. The beam of her flashlight landed on a patch of degenerated boards. Perfect.

As if he’d suddenly snapped out of whatever trauma he was reliving, Luke, holding the child against his chest, started for the back exit. Katy blocked him.

“That’s what they’re expecting us to do,” she said, noting his intense expression. “Over here.” She led him across the barn.

Katy’s priority had to be the child. She radioed Dispatch, requesting immediate assistance, and considered an escape route. Once they fled the barn, they’d never make it safely to her cruiser if their assailants were waiting.

She kicked a few boards, making a hole large enough for an adult to crawl through. She poked her head out and spotted perfect cover—a heavily forested area about fifty feet away. A plan formulated in her mind.

“You go through first and I’ll hand you the baby,” she explained. “There’s cover about fifty feet out.”

With an absent nod, he handed her the baby, got down and crawled outside. She kneeled and just before passing him the child, she kissed her forehead—she wasn’t sure why. Luke took the baby and jogged toward the forest, the dog beside him. She withdrew her weapon, ready to shoot anyone who followed. No one did.

“Thank You, Lord,” she whispered.

She went to the other side of the barn, the most obvious escape route, and grabbed a pitchfork used to pick stalls. She hooked it to the barn door and yanked it open.

Bullets pelted the barn. She dropped to the ground.

“Dispatch, I’m taking fire, over,” she said into her radio.

She had to keep the perpetrators engaged until backup arrived. She peeked through a crack and spotted the silhouette of a lone figure in the moonlight. One guy? Things were looking up.

Flames spread at the other end of the barn. She didn’t have much time.

Katy stuck her gun barrel through a hole in the boards and fired off a couple of rounds. The guy went down, but only for a second. He sprung back up and continued firing.

Katy scrambled for cover.

This wasn’t going to work. She was outgunned. Big-time.

Giving up was not an option. This wasn’t about saving herself anyway. It was about saving a child.

Hearing her mentor’s words—aim at the largest target, the chest—she slid back into position and fired multiple rounds. The assailant hit the ground again.

She lowered her weapon. Blood pounded in her ears. She took a deep breath.

The guy popped up, cried out in rage and charged the barn.

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About the author

I was born and raised in the midwest and migrated to the Pacific north...

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Hope White

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