Disabled Man Rescues Unconscious Pregnant Woman, Next Day Husband Sends Him to the Hospital – Story of the Day
Marcus encounters an unconscious pregnant woman locked in a minivan. He breaks into the vehicle and rescues her but gets trapped when the owners return.
The day was hotter than usual. Marcus hobbled across the street as quickly as his bed leg would carry him and ducked into the shade of an oak tree growing on the sidewalk to catch his breath.
When he set off again, an unconscious woman in the back of a minivan parked by the curb caught his eyes. Marcus stopped by the vehicle, peered through the window, and noticed she was pregnant.
"Are you alright, ma'am?" he asked, tapping the window.
Marcus couldn't spot the driver around, and despite his loud tappings on the window, she remained unresponsive. Realizing the vehicle was locked up tight, Marcus lifted his cane and swung it at a window.
A sharp pain in his leg caused him to fall against the van and scream. But Marcus ignored the pain as he hurriedly unlocked the vehicle's door and entered. He spotted a water bottle in the front and sprinkled some water on the woman's face. She was startled awake.
"Oh, thank God!" She placed an arm on her belly. "You-you are not one of them…I need your help. These strange men came into the house...I tried to get away, but…Oh no, watch out!"
A heavy blow to his cheek and another to the back of his head rendered Marcus unconscious. When he opened his eyes, he could see the back of two men's heads in the front seats of the moving minivan.
Marcus turned slightly. A chill traveled down his spine when he realized the pregnant woman lay sprawled beside him in the back. Thankfully, she was breathing.
Marcus slowly tipped his head to see through the car window. He noted the sign for a drive-through and the stop lights at an intersection. Then they drove past a taller building, and Marcus recognized the facade as part of a famous mall.
With this landmark in mind, he carefully memorized every turn and every familiar place they passed. He had a fair idea of where he was until the minivan left the city.
His sharp eyes picked out a highway marker for Houston just before the van turned onto a bumpy, poorly maintained sideroad. Soon, they were driving through a forest. A short while later, the car stopped.
Marcus played possum as the two men swung the rear doors open. They first eased the pregnant lady out of the car and carried her away. Marcus listened carefully to their footsteps getting further and further away.
A door creaked open and then slammed shut. Marcus knew he could escape, but that woman was still in trouble. So when the men returned, he let himself go limp and let them carry him inside. They set him down on a hard floor, back to back with the woman, and handcuffed them to each other.
When he was certain the men had left, Marcus opened his eyes and examined his surroundings. He was in a large, dark room lit only by high, rectangular windows, and a musty smell hung in the air. He guessed it was a basement.
Suddenly, he heard the woman's voice. "What's happening?" she wailed. "Where am I now?"
As Marcus told her everything, he could sense how agitated she was.
"My husband must've noticed me missing by now. He will have gone to the police. They'll find us!" she said hopefully.
Right then, a door burst open behind Marcus. The woman flinched against his back.
"Rise and shine, sleepyheads!" One of the men, Eli, called out as his footsteps echoed on the basement stairs.
"We delivered our ransom request to your rich husband about fifteen minutes ago, Mrs. Flores," he told the woman. "He has until midnight to pay up, and if he doesn't meet our deadline, you die."
The woman wrenched Marcus's arms back as she reached for her belly. "No, please! What about my baby? You can't—"
"Quit yammering!" Eli stomped toward them. "And you, old man! Lucky for you, we decided we ain't going to kill you yet. There might be a man in Mexico who could use your kidneys, and the fresher they are, the better the price."
Eli left then, banging the door shut behind him. The woman was still shivering at Marcus's back, but her sobs had given way to breathless gasps.
"Are you okay back there?" Marcus asked. But he could sense she was having a panic attack. Marcus engaged her in a conversation to calm her down and learned her name was Amber.
"Listen, Amber, did you ever have to do one of those teamwork exercises in gym class where you sit back-to-back and lean on each other to stand up?" he asked. "We aren't quite the same weight and height, and I've got a bad leg, but I want to try to do that with you now. Think you can help me?"
"I can try," she replied tremblingly.
It took multiple tries before Marcus and Amber successfully stood. But the walls around them were smooth concrete, and the door at the top of the staircase was made of pressed steel. There were no useful tools or bits of junk lying around that could help them escape.
Marcus quickly thought and came up with a plan. He and Amber lifted their arms together. Amber removed one of her hairpins and passed it to Marcus to unlock their handcuffs.
Marcus then braced himself against the wall and helped Amber onto his shoulders. Both his legs trembled from the effort of supporting her.
"Can you reach the window?" Marcus asked.
"I've almost got it... it's open!" Amber cried.
Amber quickly crawled out through the window. A few minutes later, she returned with a ladder she'd found leaning against the side of the building and carefully slid it through the window. Marcus climbed up the ladder and out through the window.
Marcus then gestured to the nearby treeline. Amber nodded and motioned for him to hook his arm around her shoulder. Keenly aware that the men might spot them at any minute, the pair made their way into the trees. After what seemed like an eternity, Marcus and Amber spotted an old cabin and approached it.
"Hello?" Marcus yelled. "Please let us in!"
"We need your help!" Amber cried.
The door hinges shrieked as it swung open a crack. An old lady peered out at them. Although her eyes were narrowed suspiciously at first, they rounded with concern as she studied Marcus and Amber.
"Did y'all get lost on one of the hiking trails?" she asked.
"We were kidnapped by two thugs," Marcus gasped. "Please, help us!"
"Oh dear!" she gasped. She glanced behind them as she beckoned them inside. "Where are those thugs now?"
"We escaped," Amber said as the pair hurried inside the dimly lit cabin. "But they might've noticed by now."
"Please, can I use your phone to call the police?" Marcus asked, turning to look at her. Now she was in full view, he realized she'd been hiding a shotgun behind the door all this time.
"I knew I couldn't trust my boys to handle this job properly," she snarled, pointing her gun at them. "If you want things done right, you've got to do it yourself."
"Please, don't do this!" Amber pressed her palms together as she pleaded. "Just let us go. My husband will pay you for releasing us, I swear it."
The old lady cackled. "You want to write me an IOU to go with that promise? Your husband better pay up because he ain't going to see you again if he doesn't. That's how this works, child."
Amber shrank down to her knees as she started sobbing. The old woman circled around and jabbed her in the ribs with the shotgun.
"Quit your crying and get up," she said.
Marcus helped Amber to her feet. She cried softly as the old lady marched Marcus and Amber back all the way to the basement they'd so recently escaped.
"I'm sorry, Mother!" Eli exclaimed as he followed them down into the basement. "I swear, I didn't hear anything to suggest these two were escaping."
"Well, maybe you would've if you weren't glued to the TV," the old lady snapped. "And where's your brother?"
"I'm here, Mother," Benny drawled from the stairs.
"I'm going to sit down here and watch these two the way you boys ought to have been doing from the start. Do you think you can manage to collect the ransom money? Or do I need to hold your hands?"
"We can manage, mother," Eli replied quickly.
"Then get going!" She snapped. "And don't mess it up!"
The old lady herded Marcus and Amber to one corner of the basement. She then set up the folding chair and sat down facing them with her shotgun pointed toward them.
The hours drew on. Eventually, the old woman checked her watch and let out an angry groan.
"Midnight has come and gone, and those boys aren't back yet. Guess I'll have to get rid of you two now. But I don't want to get blood all over the floors. Get up!"
Amber cried and begged the older lady to let them go as she led them out into the forest. But all her pleas fell on deaf ears.
"Amber, get ready," Arthur whispered to her at some point.
"R-ready for what?" she asked fearfully.
"Just wait for it!" Marcus leaned away from Amber and pretended to trip. He cried out as he fell to the dirt and rolled onto his side, clutching his leg.
"Get up!" The old woman walked toward him, her shotgun leveled at his chest.
"I can't," Marcus groaned. "My leg..."
"I said, get up!"
The old woman came closer to prod him with the shotgun, just as she'd prodded Amber when she fell to her knees in the cabin. This was exactly what Marcus had hoped she'd do. He quickly spun and grabbed the barrels, holding them so they pointed at the ground.
"Run, Amber!" Marcus shouted.
The old woman let out a scream of rage and tried to tug the shotgun free from Marcus's grasp. Somewhere behind him, he heard Amber taking off into the forest. It was Marcus's bad luck that the woman got hold of the gun.
The last thing he knew before it all went black for him was that he was shot.
When he opened his eyes, he was in the hospital. Then he saw a smiling Amber beside him.
"Am–Amber? Are you dead, too?" he asked, confusion fogging his mind.
"We're both very much alive, Marcus," she answered. "And it's all thanks to you. The cops did catch those two thugs, and they arrested their psycho mother, too. You've been lying here for a day now. Don't worry; everything's going to be okay now."
Marcus tried to sit up, which caused a scattered pattern of sharp pains across his torso. He groaned as Amber gently pushed him back down.
"You aren't supposed to be moving around yet," she said. "You've just been through a pretty major surgery to repair the damage after that crazy old lady shot you."
"Surgery? I'm on disability, Amber. I can't afford to pay for surgeries!"
"But I can." A man appeared at Amber's side. "I'm Amber's husband, Mateo, and paying your hospital bills is the least I can do to repay you after you sacrificed yourself to save my wife and child. I've also made arrangements with one of the doctors here to come and examine your leg. Amber tells me it gives you trouble."
Amber's and Mateo's generosity touched Marcus's heart. Although he insisted he didn't want them to fund his treatment, the couple was bent on doing it for him.
"And we also got something else for you." Amber smiled as she leaned away, out of his field of vision. She reappeared a moment later, holding a new cane.
"I hope you won't need this for much longer, but in the meanwhile, we wanted to be sure you could still get around."
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