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Girl Sees Missing Brother’s Car near Her Trailer One Morning, Finds Letter Inside

Car Parked Near Trailer. | Source: Shutterstock

Lily is astonished to see her missing brother’s car parked near her trailer, but all she finds inside it is an ominous note. Her brother is in mortal danger, and Lily only has 36 hours to save him.

Lily dropped her coffee cup and leaped from the tiny porch attached to her trailer. She screamed for her husband, Dan, as she ran toward the car that had appeared on their lot overnight.

A few days ago, Lily’s younger brother, John, didn’t turn up for a family barbeque. Stranger still, he didn’t answer Lily’s calls. The place was a mess when she went to his apartment the next day, and John was gone. She hadn’t found a trace of her brother’s whereabouts until now.

Lily skidded to a stop beside her brother’s car and peered through the windows. Nobody was inside, but the car keys dangled from the ignition, and a note was taped to the steering wheel. Lily climbed into the car and read the message.

‘I have your brother. Do exactly what I tell you or he dies.’

The breath left Lily’s body in a rush. Her brain froze as she tried to process the news that John had been kidnapped, and his life now rested in her hands.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

‘Your brother has worked off most of his debt to me over the past few days,’ the note continued. ‘He’s a talented chemist who produces good product. All you need to do to secure his release is deliver the goods across the border.’

A chill of terror crawled along Lily’s spine. She had to reread the words before she believed them. John had gotten into trouble before, but never like this. She didn’t understand how he’d become entangled with such bad people, but they were clearly forcing him to make drugs.

‘The car is tracked with a bug, and the goods are well-hidden inside. All you have to do is deliver the car from Bakersfield to Mexico, and your brother will be free.

But if you go to the cops, your brother is dead.

If you don’t go to Mexico, your brother is dead.

If you try to cheat, your brother is dead.

You have 36 hours. Time is running out. You will receive further instructions after crossing the border at Laredo.’

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Lily jumped in fright. Her husband, Dan, stood beside the car, staring at her worriedly. She threw herself into his arms and blubbered about the trouble John was in.

“I’m going to kill that little jerk when I’m done saving his behind!” Lily yelled.

“I’m sorry baby, but I couldn’t make head or tail out of all that. Let’s go inside… the neighbors are taking notice of us, and you know how folks like to talk round here.”

Lily nodded. She wiped her eyes and hurried inside.

“Look at this.” Lily thrust the note into Dan’s hand. “What am I supposed to do, baby? Even if I follow those instructions, they might still kill John, or keep him locked up like some kind of slave chemist, making their drugs.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Dan blew out a sigh and ran his fingers through his hair. “I’m sorry to say that I can’t let you do this, Lily. It’s too dangerous.”

“You can’t stop me, Dan. This is my brother, I have to help him.”

“I’m not trying to stop you. I’m saying that I’ll go instead.”

“Heck no! What if this criminal scum freaks out when they see you driving instead of me?”

“That won’t happen. Want to know why?” Dan gave Lily a lopsided smile. “By that time, you’ll have found where these people are keeping John and gotten him out of there.”

Lily gnawed on her lower lip.

“It’ll take more than a day to reach the border… that might be enough time to track this scum down, but if I fail… I can’t lose you too, Dan.”

“Don’t think like that.” Dan kissed Lily’s forehead. “We’ve both got to do what we’re good at if we’re going to save John. So, let me be the brawn and play decoy to buy you time to outsmart these jerks.”

Lily hated this plan and hated being in such a dangerous situation, but Dan was right. Several years in a cruddy job tracking down debtors for a collection agency had equipped her with skills she could use to find these people. Lily hugged Dan tightly. She wouldn’t let him, or John, down.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Lily realized the key to finding her brother would be to track down the drug dealers that took him. She started her search at one of the hottest nightclubs in town. She sat at the bar, away from the multicolored lights strobing across the dancefloor, and scanned the crowd. She was certain someone here would give her the lead she needed.

A man wearing a scuffed leather jacket stood out among the brightly-dressed dancers as he wove across the dancefloor. She slid from her seat and approached him.

“Hey, can you help me get some stuff,” Lily asked. “I heard there’s a new batch that’s really good.”

The man scowled at her. “What stuff are you talking about, lady?”

“You know…” Lily smiled coyly as she mimed flicking a lighter and made a ticking sound.

The man’s bewildered expression rapidly transformed into an outraged gasp. “Oh God, you think I’m a drug dealer! Get away from me. I don’t touch that stuff and you shouldn’t either!”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Lily backed away fast. She returned to the bar, where a man with a rubbery smile asked if he could buy her a drink.

“I’m actually looking for something a bit more… powerful.” Lily winked at him. “Do you know—”

“Heck no.” The guy backed off with his hands raised. “I don’t date junkies.”

Lily frowned. This was turning out to be much harder than she’d thought, and she was keenly aware that time wasn’t on her side. She beckoned to the bartender. She leaned across the bar to speak close to her ear.

“You’ve got to help me out,” Lily said. “I need to get some good stuff. Somebody here must have what I’m looking for. If you could just point me in the right direction.”

“Sure I can.” The bartender sneered and pointed toward the exit.

“That’s where you need to go: out those doors, and keep on walking. We run a respectable place and don’t tolerate any illegal activities.”

Moments later, security marched Lily out of the club, leaving her on the street with a warning to never return. She couldn’t give up so easily, though.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Lily had to get back inside, and she guessed there’d probably be a staff entrance or emergency exit on this side of the building. She was peering into the darkness when something landed on her shoulder.

“I hear you’re looking for something.”

Lily turned to face the man standing behind her. He wore a hoodie that left most of his face in shadow, except for his smug grin.

“Making a lot of noise about it, too,” he continued. “Typical noob. Let me guess: some buddy of yours gave you a taste of the good stuff, and now you’ve come looking for more.”

Lily licked her lips and nodded. “Something like that. My buddy said I had to try the newest batch… that it would blow my mind. You got any?”

The hooded man chuckled. “Of course I do, but you kicked the hornet’s nest in there.” He jerked his head toward the club. “Ain’t nothing I can do for you now. Meet me here at 12 tomorrow, and I’ll hook you up.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Lily parked at the alley entrance the next day and stifled a yawn. She’d hardly slept the previous night as her worries manifested into horrific nightmares about her brother.

Lily lowered her window as a man approached the car. He bent over to peer through her window, and she immediately recognized his cocky grin.

“Nice to see you again, lady. How much can I get for you?”

“Everything you’ve got.” Lily stared into his eyes. “I told my buddy I was going to meet you, and he asked me to get enough for a party. 100 grams should be fine.”

The man let out a low whistle. “Jeez, noob. Do you really think I walk around with bulk orders in my back pocket? I’m going to need some time to get that much for you.”

“Please, don’t make me wait any longer.” Lily looked up at him with puppy-dog eyes. “I need you to help me out now.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“And I will.” The man leaned in through the window and offered her his phone. “Put in your digits. I’ll call you in the hour to let you know where to meet me.”

Lily grinned at him and typed in her number. She watched him walk back into the alley, then started her car and pulled away. Lily circled the block, arriving at the opposite entrance to the alley just in time to see the man climb into a red sedan.

It was easy to follow the red car through traffic. Lily watched him pull into a restaurant drive-through and groaned in frustration. She didn’t have time to waste on this guy’s lunch break!

Lily kept her eyes on the red car as she slowly circled around the curb. He exited the drive-through, and her phone rang.

“I’ve got your stuff,” the man said. “Meet me at the park on the corner of Washington in ten minutes.”

Lily stared back at the restaurant. He’d just gone through the drive-through and hadn’t stopped anywhere else. Realization hit Lily like a lightning bolt. The restaurant was a front for the drug dealers!

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“Uh, sorry, man, but my buddy just texted me. He got what we need from his regular guy. Maybe next time,” Lily said.

A string of swear words carried across the line before Lily hung up. She circled the block, then parked outside the restaurant and hurried inside.

There was a counter near the entrance to order and pick up take-out. Tables filled the large dining area she glimpsed through an archway to her right. The people seated there were eating burgers and pizza. There was no sign that anything untoward was going on here.

Lily chewed her lip and studied a staff entrance near the swing doors leading into the kitchen. That was the ideal place to start looking for info, but she couldn’t just wander in. Lily checked her watch. Time was running out.

Lily glanced back at the entrance and froze. The man she’d met in the alley was standing beside her car with some scruffy-looking men. The drug dealer pointed at the restaurant, and the men approached the entrance.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

It was all over for John if those men caught her here. Lily dashed toward the closest exit, colliding with a server as she shoved through the swing doors into the kitchen.

“Hey, you can’t be in here!”

Lily stared down the angry cook pointing his spatula at her.

“Sorry, but I need to go out the back,” she cried as she hurried toward the exit on the far side of the kitchen.

The cook continued to shout as Lily dodged a pallet filled with vegetables and a man carrying a plastic tray of frozen meat. She lunged through the back entrance and walked into a man holding a clipboard.

“Sorry!” Lily ran around the side of the delivery truck parked near the door. Irate voices echoed from the kitchen. Those men must be right behind her. There wasn’t time to run; she had to hide.

A second delivery truck was parked nearby. One of the doors to the cargo space stood open. Lily ran to the truck, dived inside, and hid in the corner behind the closed door.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“The delivery guy said she went this way.”

Lily’s heart thundered in her chest. She pulled her pepper spray from her pocket and held it out, ready to use the moment someone poked their head into her hiding spot.

“She must’ve run round the side. Go back out front and check her car. I’ll go this way.”

Footsteps pounded on the concrete. They were getting closer, and Lily pressed her finger against the aerosol trigger. Then the footsteps passed her and continued until she no longer heard them.

Lily let out a deep sigh. She tilted her head to listen for any clue that her pursuers might still be nearby.

That’s when she noticed that this was not an ordinary delivery truck.

There were barrels in the far corner labeled with skulls and crossbones. Plastic-wrapped packages of safety glasses and face masks with bulbous respirators were stacked near the door beside a pile of hazmat suits… everything a lowlife might need to cook up drugs.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The door to the cargo area banged shut and sealed with a clang that resonated through the space. The truck lurched into motion a minute later, carrying Lily to an unknown destination.

It was bumpy and dark in the back of the truck. Lily braced herself in the corner and removed her phone from her pocket. This truck would surely take her to where John was being kept since it was loaded with chemicals and safety equipment. She’d send Dan her location the moment it stopped.

When she unlocked her screen, she immediately noticed a message from her husband. He was approaching the border in John’s car.

Her fingers shook from anxiety as she typed a response to him, letting him know she was close to finding her brother.

Lily shut her eyes and leaned back against the truck siding. Her 36 hours were almost up. Everything now depended on this truck taking her to John. If she’d guessed wrong about its destination, her brother would die, and it would be all her fault.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The truck finally stopped. Lily painfully stretched out her stiff legs. She stood as quietly as possible, but every sound seemed to echo through the cargo space. One of the doors clanged open, admitting a bright beam of light.

“…offload immediately?” A man said.

Lily flattened herself into the corner as a man stepped up to the opening. His shadow stretched across the truck bed, obscuring the light.

She didn’t dare to breathe as she studied his profile, just visible at the edge of the door. If he turned just a fraction, he’d spot her.

“Of course we offload immediately.” The man’s reply boomed in the cargo space. “Help me get the trolley for those barrels.”

The man jumped down from the truck. Lily listened to him and his companion walk away and crept to the open door.

It was grey outside, but not fully night yet. A chilly breeze tugged at Lily’s hair as she quickly scanned her surroundings. The truck had stopped on a dirt road strewn with sand. A mesquite tree grew nearby. Lily climbed from the truck and ran to hide behind it.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Thorns from various small plants growing beneath the mesquite pricked Lily’s shins and ankles as she crouched behind the tree. Coyotes cried in the hills behind her, and there were no signs of civilization for as far as Lily could see.

Lily watched the men offload the truck. Only after it had driven away did she see a long trailer placed directly on the desert sand. A light shone out from one of the windows. Lily crept closer and peeped inside.

John! Lily covered her mouth as she drank in the sight of her brother. She’d expected to find him chained and beaten, but he was unharmed, smiling…working with the door open and not a guard in sight. He fiddled with a device on a shelf, and music filled the night. John snapped his fingers in time to the music and went back to work.

John wasn’t being held prisoner; he was a willing participant in this drug business! All her fear and worry over the past day was nothing but a trick to get his drugs across the border.

Fury boiled in Lily’s veins as she stomped to the open door. John turned, the blood draining from his face when he spotted his sister.

“You lying, lowlife, scumbag!” Lily snarled. “I’m going to wring your neck!”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“Woah, Lily.” John raised his hands and backed away. “I know you’re mad, and you have every right to be, but I can explain!”

“I expect you to! And it better be a freaking good explanation too! How can you be involved in something like this? Mom and Dad must be spinning in their graves.”

“I had no choice. I… darn it.” John hung his head.

“I started taking stuff to help me study during college. I got into debt with the guy supplying me and then I lost my scholarship… I was in a bad place, Lily, and this was my only way out.”

John sniffed and sat on an office chair in a corner of the room. “They would’ve killed me if I didn’t work for them. I never wanted to get you involved in this, but there was a fire recently…it destroyed everything. I had to come up with a plan fast to keep my head off the chopping block.”

“So you turned to me…except, instead of asking me for help to get you out of this, you decided to trick me.” Lily shook her fist at John. “How could you?”

“I’m sorry!” John looked at her tearfully. “I knew you’d think badly of me if I told you the truth. Even now, you’re judging me—I can see it on your face! ‘Kid brother has got himself into trouble again and Lily has to save the day.’ That’s exactly what you’re thinking, isn’t it?”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“And let’s face it: you would never have agreed to smuggle drugs across the border to help me,” John continued. “You would’ve wanted to go to the police. Heaven forbid perfect Lily should get her hands dirty, right?”

“Of course, I would’ve gone to the police! Do you think I want to see my brother involved in criminal activities?” Lily shook her head. “It’s not too late, John. There’s got to be a way I can help you get out of this.”

“This was my last job for them, I swear.” John folded his hands together and gave her a pleading look. “I’m going to get out after this.”

Lily crossed her arms. She doubted her brother’s promise, not because she thought his intentions weren’t sincere, but because he always looked for an easy way out of his problems. He didn’t have the backbone to stay true to his word.

“Fine… I won’t report you to the police, John, but I can’t forgive you for this either. Forget the way to my house.” Lily wiped angrily at the tears forming in her eyes. “I don’t want to see you again until you’re clean and free of this drug-making nonsense.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Lily turned to leave, but her phone started vibrating in her pocket. She frowned when she saw she had a call from an unknown number.

“Mrs. Collins?” A man asked when she answered the call. “I’m calling from the Laredo Juarez-Lincoln Point of Entry to inform you that we’ve arrested your husband after he attempted to cross the border in a car containing contraband.”

Lily braced herself against the wall. Her chest felt tight, and her fingers began trembling. Dan was in trouble… big trouble, but the only way to save him was to turn John in.

Lily remembered Dan’s insistence that he drives the car to the border and his steadfast faith in her ability to find John. She’d just told her brother that she wouldn’t report him, but this was all his fault to begin with.

“He’s innocent, Officer.” Lily turned to face John. “I’m with someone right now who can explain everything to you.”

“You liar! You said you wouldn’t turn me in,” John shouted. He sprang to his feet and rushed for the door.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Lily took out her pepper spray, sprayed it at John, and slammed the door shut. She threw her weight against it as she locked the padlock hooked through a ring set into the wall.

“Ma’am?” The officer said. “Is everything okay?”

“Officer, I need to send you my location,” Lily said. “Please send police here as fast as possible.”

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This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life.

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