The two FBI Agents, followed by Kat, and Jack headed for Danfield. It was a two hour trip under the best of conditions, but the bad weather was sure to delay them.
“You didn’t stay in touch with Jennifer’s family after she died, Jack? And the girls never mentioned their Aunt Annette?” Kat was curious as to how this could have happened.
“No, Kat. The girls were only four and six. I guess seeing their mother so badly burned and then learning she didn’t survive, traumatized them so much they blocked it all out. They didn’t remember anything about the trip or the fire. I didn’t realize that until I tried to question them after the funeral. I was grateful none of Jennifer’s family came or tried to reach us later. I didn’t even know about Annette. That’s why the whole time I worked with her, I didn’t know anything about her being Jennifer’s sister.”“I hope Annette is still at the cafe when we get there. What did the police say when you called them, Jack?” They didn’t even know for sure if Mrs. Morris and the girls were at the cabin that was burning, Kat thought. The other scary thought was Vanessa and Alice were with a woman who was living in the past. Was she reliving the events that led up to her daughter’s death?“They said they had two policemen in the area and would let me know if they were able to find them… or anyone else in distress. The firetruck came back down a while ago. They found the cabin, but no one was there.”
It was going to be a very long drive.
Annette wanted to run! She didn’t want to be at the cafe when Jack arrived. Would Kat be with him? Where were the policemen who promised to come back and tell her when they found her mother and the girls?
The waitress, Sandy, looked over at the poor distraught young woman. What was her story, she wondered. She made a sandwich and took it to Annette’s table.
“Here, eat this. You have been waiting here for hours. You must be hungry and even if you aren’t, eat it anyway.”
“Thank you.” Annette took a bite, but it stuck in her throat. She took a sip of water, and gave up trying to eat.
“I heard Pete and Carl, those two policemen who were in here tell you they would come back if they found your mother and the girls. I’ve known those two for years. They will find them, and they will be back. You can be sure of that. Now, eat that sandwich. It looks like the storm has let up.”
Sandy walked over to look out the window. “I told you they would be back.”Annette rushed to the window. She saw the policemen, but there was no one with them. “They didn’t find my mother and the girls.” Annette rushed out to her car, started it up, and headed toward the road before the policeman could stop her.
“She must have gotten the word that her mother and the two girls are in the hospital. I guess we can go home, Carl,” Pete said, “I’m ready for a hot meal.”
Annette had made it within a few miles of the cabin when she got bogged down in the snow. She had hoped she would see her mother and the two girls in her mother’s car or walking. She couldn’t think about the possibility of them being injured in a fire.
She was about to get out of the car and continue to walk up the the mountain, when her phone rang. Surprised she had cell service now, it took her a minute to answer.
“I’m looking for an Annette Morris,” the voice on the other end said. “Do I have the right number?”
Jack, and Kat pulled into the Roadside Cafe behind the two FBI agents.
The cafe was closed…