“Be careful with this guy. He’s dangerous, and doesn’t make idle threats. Please call us right away if he contacts you again.”
A week passed. The Johnsons had a home security alarm installed, but otherwise the incident began to fade away in their minds.
One bright morning after Ray left for work, Jan opened their automatic garage door and loaded Grace into her car seat. As she stood up, a massive hand viciously grabbed her hair and yanked her around. Jan cried out in pain and fear. She was looking at the lower chest of a huge man. He thrust his hulking frame against her so hard she gasped and crashed against the car’s door frame.
“MOMMY!” Grace sobbed.
The man clamped a hairy hand over Jan’s mouth, leaned down and brushed his lips against her ear. She felt his hot breath and the rough whiskers of a days’-old beard. His voice was deep and gravelly but he whispered so softly she had to strain to hear. “Make a sound, and she dies. Understand?” She quickly nodded. He unclamped her mouth.
“I’m okay, Grace. We’re just talking.”
The brute whispered “Gotta a message for your piss-ant husband: “I tried to settle this man to man but you called the cops instead. Do it again and your wife and daughter will die. Slowly.”
Burdett rubbed his rough hand against her face. “Tell him he’ll see me again. Soon.” He slapped her so hard her face felt on fire, her ears rang, blood trickled from her nose, and tears filled her eyes. “That’s a love tap compared to what I’ll do to you and your girl if the cops are called again.” He laughed; a wicked laugh which got louder and deeper as he walked away.
(To be continued…)