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The Angel Wing Woman

The Angel Wing Woman

A Story by Voice

Carol Chandler

May 19, 2011

The Angel Wing Woman

            Not a single man at the club could take his eyes off of the stunning woman in red. She sat cross legged, on a swiveling stool, with the lime from her tonic and gin pressed between her lips. Blood colored lipstick incased a mysterious and luring smile, and she wore a dress of the same nature. The fabric shimmered in the bar’s dim lighting. It was strapless, above the knee, with an open back. Two large black angel wing tattoos protruded through the opening, calling all benevolent forces to come take a closer look. Each feather was fashioned with a craftsmanship that would have taken days to complete if the art stretched all the way to her backend, which it did. It was bold, yet looked as if it was a mark she was born with. A head of straight black hair and two jade eyes accentuated her intimidating beauty.

            It was one of the regular studs with a dose of liquid confidence who made the first move. Not particularly polite, he strutted behind her and breathed the stench of bourbon down her neck as he twirled a strand of her hair between his fingers. “Hey there angel,” he said taking a look at her wings, “I haven’t seen you around here. What’s your name, and how’s about you show me the rest of that tattoo?” He ran a finger down her spine. Not a single muscle in her body twitched.  

            “The name’s Emily,” the woman answered still facing the bar, “and maybe if you play your cards right big boy.” Her voice had a playful, almost taunting tone as she turned to face him with a pair of handcuffs dangling from her right index finger.

            “Someone’s a naughty little angel,” the man snickered. “I hope you plan on using those on me.”

            Emily stood sensually, put her painted lips to his ear, and whispered, “I’d love nothing more.” He grabbed her a*s forcefully and pulled her close. The next thing he felt was one of the cuffs sliding shut on his wrist. 

“Someone’s eager.” A bulge was already appearing beneath his zipper.

“This is something I have been waiting to do all night…” Emily’s voice trailed off as she spun the drunken fool around locking both of his hands tightly behind his back.

“What the hell!?!”

“Kenneth Reed you are under arrest for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Carrie Tyler, Rose Matt, and Laura Cramer…”

“What the f**k are you talking about!?!”

“Save it Ken, Barbie ain’t hearin’ it.” The deceiving angel wing woman in her little red dress led the murderer to an awaiting squad car, passing another officer on the way out.

“Nice bust Emily, you clean up good,” he laughed sending a wink in her direction. His downward glance at her breasts did not go unnoticed.

“Thanks Ted,” she grinned. “And I hope you mean the case.” As she forced Kenneth in the back of the car, Emil’s cell began to vibrate. “What do you have for me Morris?”…“I’m on my way.”

*******

All seemed at ease on the Curles Neck Plantation. The sun had been shining over the orchard of red maples for nearly an hour now, and various species of birds chirped vigorously from deep within the branches. But below the trees the air churned with anticipation as a group of darkly dressed figures trudged delicately over the leaf and twig covered ground. Each of these individuals bore the F.B.I logo on black vests and each pair of hands were locked to a gun. The team had been called out to this location after the elderly woman who owned the farm had spotted a man dragging a young woman around her property earlier that morning. Now here these Virginia agents were, trekking onward through the woods unaware of what lay ahead.

Emily was amongst these agents. The only remaining evidence from the arrest hours before was the blood lipstick she had yet to wash off. The dress and heels were no longer visible and her hair was pulled back in a ponytail. Her wings were now meticulously talked away and new priorities consumed her. “Everyone split up, but stay close and keep your eyes peeled,” requested an agent in his mid forties. Emily headed north in the direction of where a decrepit barn sat unused.  As she walked through the tall grass, she contemplated over what the majority of her senses should be watching for. Not only was there a chance of human danger, but there was also the risk of stumbling across a venomous snake. It was bright early mornings like this which drew the serpents out of their crevices to sun themselves upon the rocks.

When she was near the side of the building, Emily began to hear noises coming from inside. At first she put them off as being a barn owl fluttering around or maybe a feral cat, until she heard what sounded like whimpering. It was a sound Emily knew could not have come from a dog or any other beast of the animal kingdom. She picked up the walky-talky from her belt. “Morris, I think I’ve got something in the old barn,” she whispered as she went around to the front where the door was ajar. She stopped short of the entrance and listened. At first she couldn’t make out much besides heavy breathing, but in the next instant she heard a startling scream. Emily busted around the corner into the barn yelling “F.B.I! Freeze! ” What she saw shocked her. A young girl sat tied to a support beam; she was beat red and in clear distress.

No other soul was to be found, and on a closer look, Emily realized the girl was in labor. A heavily swollen belly was evident beneath the girls baggy T-shirt, which sported a picture of a big mouth bass. She was blonde, and other than the T-shirt she was unclothed. The only protection for her feet was a blue pair of flip flops.

“Please help me, before he comes back!” The girl pleaded, nearly seizing up.

Emily put her mouth to the walky-talky, “Morris, we are going to need paramedics here immediately!” She walked over to the girl slowly as not to startle her, “Can you tell me your name sweetie?”

“Faith,” she answered and then let out another scream as a contraction raked through her body. “Please…it hurts!”

“It’s going to be okay Faith. My name is Emily. I’m going to untie you, okay?”

“Okay.”

“How old are you?” Emily asked as she worked on the knots that held Faith to the beam.

“Seventeen.” Faith bit down through the pain. “Please…the baby is early…I can’t do this!”   

“There,” Emily said freeing the girl. “Faith there is an ambulance on the way right now, can you stand?” Emily took a hold of the girl’s hand not expecting her to squeeze so tightly.

“No! It hurts! I can’t move!”

Emily kneeled down beside the girl and tried to comfort her. How far along are you? She pushed the hair from her face and took off the jacket that was under her vest to cover Faith’s chilled arms.

“I don’t know…seven months I think.” The rest of the team had made it over to the barn and entered in haste, startling Faith. She became nervous and her eyes darted from unfamiliar face to unfamiliar face. “Don’t let them hurt me! Make them leave!” Emily could tell that the teen’s comments were directed at the three male agents; she quickly turned to address the men.

“Guys can you wait outside the door for the bus? AJ you stay and help me with her.” She gestured to the other female agent that was present to come over and aid her. “You sit behind her so she isn’t having nails dig into her back.” AJ did as Emily requested and tried to keep the girl comfortable. “This is Faith,” Emily told her.

“Faith, my name is AJ. I work with Emily. I know you are scared and in a lot of pain, but you need to try and stay calm.” At that moment another contraction swept in hard and caused Faith to scream as her body stiffened. Without much thought AJ took the ball of her thumb and performed a twisting motion on Faith’s lower back. The girl instantly went quiet and slumped back against AJ.

“What was that?” Emily asked.

“Pressure point,” AJ smiled, pulling strands of hair away from the much more relaxed teenager’s forehead.

“Faith,” Emily said, “I’m going to need you to put your legs up so I can see what we are dealing with here.”

“No,” the girl moaned “please don’t touch me…”

“I won’t hurt you Faith I promise, but I need to see what’s going on with the baby, okay?” Faith did not protest further so Emily took it as a sign of agreement and she gently arched the girl’s legs back. AJ was showing her a breathing technique she had learned during the birth of her own twins. “Okay I can see the head. I need you to push Faith.”

“I can’t…”

“Yes you can sweetie! It will be over soon.”

“Squeeze my hands,” AJ offered picking up Faith’s.”

Another contraction began and the two agents urged her to push. Faith cried as she tried her best to follow their advice. After the first few pushes Emily was able to get a hold of the infant’s shoulders. “Give me one more big push…one more!” She bore down against her knees and Emily gently pulled until the baby was released from Faith’s body. The purplish blue umbilical cord still connected mother and child. Faith fell back against AJ as she tried to catch her breath, and Emily clutched the crying newborn to her chest. Her eyes glistened as she looked down at the howling child. “It’s a boy,” she said. Emily scooted around to Faith’s side and gently laid the baby down into her arms.

Faith was still crying as she looked at her son and then up to Emily. “Thank you.” Emily proceeded to wrap her jacket around Faith and her newborn just as the paramedics stepped through the door. It startled the jumpy girl for a moment, but the two women soothed her fears.

“Faith these men are going to take you and the baby to the hospital to be checked out and make sure you both are okay.”

“Don’t leave me,” Faith pleaded with wide eyes.

“I won’t sweetie…I will be right here.”

The paramedics cut and tied off the cord and then wrapped the baby in a thermal blanket. They then took the time to deliver the placenta and wheel in a stretcher.

“Did she say how she got in that barn?” Morris asked Emily.

“She was in the middle of giving birth,” Emily smirked, “not really the perfect time to try and question her. I’m riding with her; I’ll talk to her after she is checked out.”

“I’ll meet you up there!” AJ yelled as Emily stepped up into the bus and sat beside Faith.

“It’s going to be ok,” Emily whispered, taking Faith’s hand.

*******

Emily and AJ sat in the uncomfortable blue waiting room chairs at the hospital. Faith was in the room across the hall with one of the female doctors on staff. AJ was the first to bring up the question that had been on the entire teams mind. “So, do you think this girl is related to the other cases?”

“I don’t know,” Emily said looking down and picking at her finger nail. “Probably…”

“This is the 5th pregnant girl this year that’s been found tied up or wondering around some place. I doubt this is a coincidence. We really have to find this guy.”

“You’re probably right, but let’s not jump to conclusions until after we talk to her.”

The doctor walked in to greet the agents. “You both can go in now and see her.”

“How is she and the baby,” Emily asked.

“They are both doing fine. The baby is a healthy seven pounds ten ounces, and mommy was suffering from a bit of shock when she came in, but she is comfortable and relaxed now.”

Emily walked into the room with AJ following close behind. There was only one chair in the room, which Emily grabbed and sat in right next to the bed. AJ stood just inside the door. She was giving this one over to Emily. She felt no reason to protest, and even if she had had one, it would have been a futile argument. Emily was strong and unbreakable with perps and other agents, but she was gentler with victims than anyone else in her unit. Once she made a connection with a victim, she could not be pried away.  

“Hey Faith, how are you doing sweetie?” Emily asked her leaning in.

“Better than earlier,” Faith answered as she fed her son for the first time. His little hand reached up to touch her breast as he suckled.

“He is beautiful,” Emily remarked. “Does he have a name yet?”

Faith smiled at her. “Conner.”

“That’s a great name.”

“It means strong willed or wise. It can also mean hound lover too, though.”

“Faith, I know this has been a hard day, but do you think you could answer some questions?”

“Yeah…I guess so.”

“What is your last name?

“Montague.”

 “Is there anyone I can call for you? Parents?”

Faith looked down at her son. “No.”

“Anyone?” Emily asked again, her eyes fixed on the girl.”

“No one…”

“What about the father?” Faith didn’t look at Emily as tears dampened her cheeks. “Hey, hey,” Emily said standing and then positioning herself on the bed with her arm around Faith. “It’s okay. I know this is hard, but AJ and I are right here. Nothing can happen to you or Conner. So can you tell me how you got in the barn, and if you need a break just let me know.”

“Okay…” Faith answered as she quivered from the thoughts that filled her head.

“Can you tell me how you ended up in the barn?”

“He brought me there…”

“Who Faith?” Emily asked gently.

“I never knew his name. He made me call him father.”

“Did he kidnap you?”

“Nine months ago.” Faith was on the verge of falling apart.

AJ stood and walked over to her. “Do you mind if I hold him so you and Emily can talk?” Faith looked very unsure about letting Conner go. “We will be right in the hallway.” She reluctantly handed her child over to the agent. “Come here little peanut,” AJ cooed as she lifted Conner into her arms.

After AJ had walked out Emily continued questioning Faith. “Where did he take you from?”

“He picked me up from the street after I ran away.”

“Why did you run away?”

“I have been in foster care my whole life. I just got tired of people hitting me, and yelling at me, and…I just couldn’t do it anymore!”

“Is he Conner’s father?” Emily asked this with strong sense of the reaction to come. Faith crumpled up on the bed in sobs and gripped her knees to her chest. “It’s okay Faith,” Emily said as she tried to sooth her. She put her arms around her body and pulled her into an upright position against her chest. “Tell me sweetie. Tell me what happened.”

“I…Can’t!”

“Yes you can!” Emily held her tight. “I know you are scared, but I am not leaving you and you owe it to yourself and Conner to have the man that hurt you locked away for the rest of his life.” She wiped the wet hair away from Faith’s face so she could look into her eyes. “Talk to me…Is the man that abducted you Conner’s father?”

“Yes!” Faith shook violently as years of torment exploded from within her and escaped in that one pain filled answer.

“Sh, sh, shh. Everything is going to be okay now.” Emily rocked Faith in her arms until the girl could breathe again. “I want you to close your eyes.” Faith complied. “Now take me through everything you can remember. If you get scared I am right here, just squeeze my hands.”

Faiths voice broke as she spoke. “It was dark. I was walking down a street not far from my foster home. I had some clothes and a little bit of money. I was going to catch a bus to Florida to stay with my boyfriend who was in college there. When I was walking I heard a car behind me, but I didn’t think anything of it until I heard footsteps. When I went to turn around he grabbed me and put a rag over my face. I must have passed out.” Chlorophorm, Emily thought.

“Where were you when you woke up?”

“I don’t know. Some sort of room; maybe a basement. I was tied to a mattress on the floor…I didn’t have any clothes on.” Faith paused. Emily knew she was embarrassed.

“It’s all right Faith…”

Even with soothing words, what Faith was about to say refused to leave her mouth smoothly. “He...he was there...standing over me. The first thing he said to me was that he was sorry. He didn’t know I was a virgin when he picked me up. I don’t know what he meant by it, but he said that he knew I was the right one now. That I was clean.”  She was breathing irregularly so Emily began to rub her back. It took a few minutes before Faith was able to speak again. “He unzipped his pants and got on top of me, and then he told me if I didn’t struggle it wouldn’t hurt as bad.” Faith put her head beneath Emily’s chin. “He raped me every day until he found out I was pregnant, like that’s what he wanted the whole time.”

“I think that is what he wanted Faith,” Emily replied.

“But why? And why did he want me?”

“You’re not the first girl this has happened to. We think the same man is responsible for taking at least five other girls and impregnating them.”

“There are others?!” Faith pulled back and met Emily’s gaze.

“Yes, but most of them he only kept until they were a few months along. He kept you right up until you went into labor. Do you think you could describe him to a sketch artist and tell us everything you can remember about where you were held?”

“I will never forget his face. I don’t understand why he took us. I mean he has a wife…”

“He has a wife!?” Emily interrupted. “How do you know that?”

“Some nights I could hear him talking to her. She knew what he was doing, she must have. He would always tell her how much he loved her and something…something about how much her sacrifice meant to him. I never heard her speak or ever saw her walking around.”

AJ reentered the room and brought a sleeping Conner back to his mother. “You have a beautiful little boy,” she smiled.

“But what’s going to happen to him? What’s going to happen to both of us?” Faith looked to the agents for a truthful response, but the beating hearts within their chests squelched any possibility of them telling her what could lay ahead. Where could either of them go but back to foster care? Faith was still underage. What life could these two souls possibly have in a world so cruel? It would take a miracle.

“You both will be safe. I will make sure of that,” Emily assured. She couldn’t bear to tell her that there was so little she could do. “I will be back in a little bit sweetie. You get some rest.”

Emily and AJ walked down the hallway out to AJ’s car. They discussed the case on the way. “So was there anything Faith could tell you different than the other girls?”

“The unsub may have a girlfriend, maybe even a wife,” Emily responded.

“A wife?...”  

Emily’s cell went off and she flipped it out of her pocket. “Talk to me Morris.”…”We’re on our way now.” Emily hung up and proceeded to answer AJ’s questioning look. “Another girl has gone missing.”

*******

Emily and AJ pulled up at the scene where another young girl had just been abducted. She headed straight for Morris. He was hard to miss with his balding head, white beard, and a belly who had met a few too many beers in its time. “Are those the parents?” Emily eyed a man who stood with a woman sobbing on his shoulder.

“Yeah that’s them,” answered Morris. Angela and John Turner. Their daughter Sarah Turner is sixteen and she was abducted by a white van about thirty minutes ago. A witness was able to give us a partial plate number; we are running it through the system now. Did Faith remember anything that could help us?”

“She was blind folded after she was grabbed,” Emily answered, “and her abductor kept her in a secluded room during the time he had her. But she was able to tell me that she heard him talking to what she thought was a woman. She never heard any other voice than the man’s, but she is sure that he was talking to someone.”

“He could be one of those psychos where the ‘voices’ told him to do it.”

“No. Up until this last abduction he has been organized. He has only taken girls that he knew no one would miss.”

“Then what’s changed. Why would he risk so much to grab another girl right out in the open?”

“He’s getting desperate.” Emily replied, thinking to herself.

“Desperate for what?!?”

 “Faith said that the man who took her told her that he knew she was the right one, that she was clean.”

“Yeah so…?”

“Just hear me out Morris! The other girls that were taken were all from the streets. They were crack addicts, prostitutes, and so on. All of them were pretty messed up when we found them, but more importantly those that went to full term in their pregnancies gave birth to some pretty sick babies. Out of the three girls who decided to keep their child, only one baby survived. I think this guy is trying to start a family. He let the other girls go because he knew the babies were not going to make it, but he kept trying with other girls.”

“Then why would he let Faith go?”

“He said that she was clean. He was going to keep her, but then there were complications with the pregnancy and Faith went into early labor. He let her go because he thought his child was going to die. He grabbed this girl because she is not a street worker. He knows she will be ‘clean.’ After what has been years of trying for a child I think he has gotten restless, which means he is going to make mistakes. This is our chance to nail this b*****d!”

Another officer ran up behind Morris. “We got three white vans with the same partial. Officers were dispatched to all of the residents and only one man was unaccounted for.” He handed a sheet of paper over to Morris, who read it out for the others to hear.

“Steven Clouse, age forty two, no history of crime.”

“Does he have a wife?” Emily pushed.

“Wife Elizabeth. Injured six years ago in a car accident outside of her fertility clinic; she has been in a persistent vegetative state ever since.” His first victim, Emily thought. “They have a small cabin about an hour north of here.”

*******

“I have Steven’s car in the back,” Morris stated into his walky-talky as he flung open the back door of the vehicle with his gun raised. “The girl isn’t here. All agents proceed with caution. Suspect may be armed and dangerous. He has the girl; do what you have to do to get her out safely.”

A wave of officers flooded the cabin and began to scour for both Steven and the missing girl. AJ descended a flight of steps leading down towards the basement; they had been concealed behind a large cabinet. Emily headed towards a back bedroom.

AJ followed the steps down to a door covered in flaky white paint and various types of locks. After unhinging each one, the door swung open with no protest. “Help me!” Sarah was tied to an old mattress in the center of the room.

“I’ve got the girl.” Emily heard AJ’s voice from the walky-talky clipped to her belt. “It’s okay Sarah. My name is AJ. I am with the F.B.I. Let’s get you untied and back home.” She untied the restraints from the girl’s wrists and ankles.

Back upstairs, Emily had located Steven. He was leaning over a bed where his wife lay. Tubes and wires covered the unresponsive women. “Steven Clouse, F.B.I! Get on your knees and put your hands on your head!” He did what was asked of him, and another officer cuffed him and pulled him to his feet.

“I’m sorry honey,” Steven cried over his shoulder to his bedridden wife. “I tried. I tried to make us a family!” The woman’s shell did not respond. Her soul had moved on some time ago, while a useless body had been kept pumping to bring comfort to those still living.

Emily held back for a few moments staring at skin riddled with holes from needles, and the inhaling and exhaling of a machine. “You never asked for any of this either, did you? You were just the first of many your husband hurt in his quest for a child of his own.”

*******

Later that night, Emily sat in a chair placed in the hall of the hospital outside of Faith’s room. Morris walked in unnoticed and sat down beside her. “I thought I would find you here,” he huffed.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“You know you can’t take her. It’s against protocol. I know that you can do this job, but I need to know that you won’t let your emotions get the better of you.”

“And I need to know that this job has not robbed me of my emotions. Social services said I could take her and Conner. I will understand if you have to let me go, but I am not throwing those two children back into the abuse they came from.” Emily smiled and stood as Faith was wheeled out of her room holding her son. “Hey sweetie how are you feeling?”

“Better. Is it true that I’m going home with you?”

“Yes, it is,” Emily answered turning around to grab a teddy bear that she had bought. She was wearing a tank top and Faith caught sight of her tattoo.

“I knew it!” Faith gasped.

“Knew what?” Emily stared in confusion.

“Your wings. I knew you were an angel.” Emily beamed at the notion. Fallen maybe, she thought.

Morris watched as Emily wheeled Faith down the hall to an awaiting elevator. “That is one hell of a woman,” he stated, hoisting his large frame from the chair gut first. “Damn stubborn too,” he laughed.

 

 

 

 

 

This one is dedicated to Mrs. Ann Robb. I think it’s very likely you are wearing an invisible pair of angel wings along with your all seeing eyes. There is no doubt in my mind that you are an empath, but I wonder if you can sense the difference you make in the lives of others. If you don’t I can tell you that I do. I have felt your gift first hand. You helped repair my own set of wings. Thank you for listening and for setting the trapped 8-year-old girl inside of me free.

 

 

 

 

 

"Better to write for yourself and have no public,

than to write for the public and have no self."

-Cyril Connolly


© 2013 Voice



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