Mark Trenton parked his muddy company pickup truck into the gravel driveway. He was later than usual after taking his men to their homes. As the driller of the oilrig crew, he had the job of picking up and dropping off the men who worked daylights with him. The derrick hand, George was the last to go and there were problems at his house. As soon as he drove into the man’s driveway, George’s wife ran to the car and ranted something in Spanish.
Mark understood a little of the language and determined there was some catastrophe involving the plumbing. He had stayed to help them get the water shut off and take care of the issue. Even though it was merely a plugged up sewer line, by the time he and George got to the equipment rental place, obtained a Rotorooter, and got through the bundle of roots that clogged the line, it became a three hour project. Mark’s stomach growled as he turned into the trailer park and made his way to his home. He could hardly wait for the Friday meatloaf dinner Liz would have waiting on the table. The house was dark and Liz’s car was not on her side of the parking pad.
He remembered that Sadie was spending the night with her friend, Melinda. He and Liz were going to take the RV to the lake and fish the weekend away. Maybe she is at the grocery store getting snack food for the weekend. He went straight to the kitchen and saw the food boxes Liz had ready to load into the RV. It looked like she had packed all his favorite crackers and cookies. He opened the frig and grinned at the array of cheese, salad dressing, and bean dip that were in Tupperware containers and ready for the ample frig in the RV.
Stepping through the kitchen doorway brought him back into the living room. He noted two cases of soda next to the door. She had placed a large novel on top of them. He proceeded to the master bedroom at the end of the seventy foot long home and undressed. A quick shower refreshed him and he change into some jogging pants for the drive to the lake. As he dressed, he looked at his watch. Eight o’clock, It is getting late. Liz is never was out after dark.
The neighbor’s Collie gave a frantic bark as someone pounded on his front door. Mark’s throat closed up when he saw the policemen who came to the door of his modest mobile home.
“Do you live here?” the policeman asked.
“Yes, I’m Mark Trenton. Who might you be?”
“Sir, could we come in for a bit to talk with you?”
He opened the door wider and stepped aside nodding toward his comfortable living room. “I’m detective Ron Miles and this is my partner, Joe Madrid.”
“What can I do for you?”
“These were found in the parking lot of the mall this afternoon.” Detective Madrid showed him Elizabeth’s purse and left shoe. He continued, “A young woman had seen two men putting something large into the trunk of a car. It hadn’t seemed strange until a shoe dropped onto the pavement. They slammed down the lid and drove wildly out of the parking lot. She took down the last bit of the tag number because something was weird about the situation.”
“Another woman found a discarded purse and turned it into the lost and found. No one came to claim it by closing hours. So they reported it to the police. After we searched the purse, we found that the contents were basically undisturbed.”
Detective Madrid added, “I had seen the report about the men speeding off in a car. The name on the registration was Mark Trenton. The driver’s license in the purse was issued to Elizabeth Trenton. Upon searching the parking lot, we found the shoe.”
As Detective Miles showed him the small black shoe, Mark felt his world spin out of control. “Yes, that’s Liz’s. I told her...they looked ratty...I...,” he couldn’t complete the sentence.
“Do you know of any reason your wife would be abducted?”
“No. When did you say this happened?” Mark asked.
“...About five this afternoon.”
Mark’s face turned red as he bellowed, “That is three hours ago. What are you doing to find her?”
Mark raked his fingers through his curly russet hair. He had a lot to do. He grabbed his cell phone and skipped the voice command. He punched the number to reach his son. The phone rang the fifth ring and a canned message told him to leave a number and he would get back to him as soon as possible.
Mark was at the end of his rope. He had no patience with his son and how he seemed to dodge his phone calls. He yelled into the phone, “Jimmy, I need you to answer me this time. Your mother is in trouble. Call me...NOW!”
He put the keyboard app on and sent a text saying the same thing. He had barely sent the text and his phone was ringing.
“Pop, what is it? You said something is wrong with Mom?” The young man’s voice was tearful.
“Jimmy...the police came. Some men took her from a parking lot.” “What...When?” “This afternoon. We need to do something. I need you to come help me find her.” “I’ll be there as soon as I can get stuff together. I’ll leave Patty and the kids at home.” “Please hurry.” “Hang in there, Dad. Call the church guys. They will want to help.” Mark sent a text to all the men in his church at the same time. Those who could, would be there and he knew the others would pray. Within the hour, his living room was filled with friends. He phoned Melinda’s father and asked if Sadie could stay there until they knew what they were going to do about finding Liz.
He heard the men talk, but he couldn’t focus on anything that was being said. It was as if they were speaking another language. This was like watching an Investigation Discovery episode on television. It was not his life.
The door opened and his coworker, George, stood at the entry of the room scanning the crowd. When he spotted Mark he hurried over and placed his hand on his shoulder.
“Man, I read about Liz on Facebook and then I listened to the police scanner. What do you need me to do?”
“I don’t know. The police say they are working and we would get in the way.”
“Have you called the boss man to get some time off?”
“I am off for the weekend. I hope she is back by then.”
“Mark, he will let you off if he has an idea you have an emergency. It won’t hurt to let him know just in case it takes a little longer to find her.”
Mark sat on the edge of his big leather recliner and put his head in his hands. “We don’t have a lot of money. We aren’t anybody. Why would anyone take Elizabeth?”