Vania quietly made her way through Ana’s house, not wanting to put her in any more danger than she already was, but knowing something was very wrong.
She was certain she had heard a gunshot.
I am a cop and I couldn’t protect my sister.
Lord don’t let her be dead, if Ana is dead I won’t be able to forgive myself.
I should have been here sooner.
Vania made her way to Ana’s home office, where she did all of her writing. She saw Ana’s cat frightened under the desk, and Ana laying on the ground, blood flowing from a womb, on her shoulder.
Lord let her be okay.
Vania felt for her sisters fault, remembering doing the same thing, twelve years prior when her Grandfather had poisoned Ana.
She knew without a doubt that monster was the one behind this, and if it was the last thing she did, Vania was going to make sure her Grandfather got the death penalty.
He did not deserve to live.
Vania understood the need for forgiveness, but it was hard to forgive someone who destroyed so many lives, and took so much pleasure in it.
He was the reason they had to hide for a year and a half, he had shot Aunt Anna, and her Mom, thankfully they had lived, but Anna’s life was forever changed, all of their lives were.
Lord help me let go of this hate, because right now I know it is doing nothing but hurting me, and if I let that happen then I am letting him win.
Vania was relieved to feel a strong pulse on her sister, and to see the rise and fall of her chest. She was still alive, so Vania dialed the paramedics, finding that the lines in the house had been cut, but she could still use the cell. Vania knew her sister hid one, but being a cop she had one too, and thought she better use that.
After Vania made the call, and gave the dispatcher the directions, she knelt down by Ana once again. If her sister woke up she wanted her to know that everything was okay. Vania was going to do everything in her power to keep her sister safe. She had already been shot, but Ana was alive, and Ana was thankful.
Vania had made sure whoever had tried to hurt Ana was gone. She could not keep her sister in danger, thankfully they had left, somehow sneaking out, probably when they had heard Vania’s squad car pulling out the drive. Vania had not seen anyone but that did not mean anything, she had been so focused on making sure Ana was still alive.
She can’t come back here, even after she is released from the hospital, whoever is trying to hurt Ana is going to come back and make sure the job is done. We have to keep Ana safe. I cannot let anything happen to my sister, our family has seen too pain already.
Ana began stirring when the paramedics came, vitals all proved good, but she had lost some blood because of the bullet wound, and they were going to have to take the bullet from her shoulder. Her sister would need surgery, but thankfully it was not so much worse. Ana could have easily been killed instead of having a bullet hit her shoulder.
Vania knew her sister would be in pain, but she would survive. Ana was a survivor, despite the way their own grandfather was trying to kill her, trying to kill everyone in her family.
Vania worried for her twin girls, because she had no doubt that he would go after them to.
The man was a monster he would kill a child if he thought it would do him good. Even his own flesh and blood. Vania knew that, and knew that she had to keep her sister and her family safe.
She prayed they wouldn’t have to go into hiding again. Vania and Ana both had careers to think about, their parents were retired now, but they had a life, and hiding was not the best option, but if it came down to it, she knew they would. Vania would do anything to keep her children safe.
Vania knew Ana felt the same way. She loved her niece and nephew, but Vania also knew she longed for children of her own.
If people stop shooting at Ana, perhaps she will be given the chance to have children one day. Vania thought.
Ana deserves at a chance for a family, a life, her books are part of that life I know, but she should not be shot at for what she is writing. She is a Christian Mystery novelists, it should not mean that she gets shot at. Still our Grandfather is trying to kill her, and I feel helpless.
“I thought they were going to kill me.” Ana told Vania once they regained consciousness. “I thought for sure I was a dead woman.”
“I wasn’t going to let them do that, but after you are released, you will either come to Mom and Dad’s or mine. I can’t let you go back their until we know it’s safe.”
“What about Teddy? Did he get shot.”
“No your cat is fine, he had some blood on him, but the blood was from you. We took him to be examined then he is going to go to my house.”
“Thank you Vania. Are the girls okay?”
“Yes they are fine, they are at Mom’s.”
“Good I am glad they are okay, sorry about this.”
“Ana this isn’t your fault.”
“I can’t help but feel guilty, if I didn’t write the things I write, he might not be trying to kill us.”
“Ana we both know that is not true , he has been trying to kill us for most of our lives, before you even had your first book published.”
“I know, but sometimes I feel like I am only adding fuel to the fire.”
“Ana he is a monster, that’s all there is to it, you cannot be blamed for his actions.”
Thankfully Ana’s surgery went through without a hitch, and soon Vania was helping to pack up her sisters things and take her to her house. She was not about to let her go to her house, not even for a toothbrush, she could always by a new one, but Ana could not be placed.
Ana wanted her laptop but Vania knew even that was too dangerous, Vania promised that when she was on patrol she would stop by and pick up Ana’s laptop. She knew how important it was to her sister. Bullet wound or no bullet wound she had a deadline to meet, and Vania understood that. She knew her sister was not one to sit around playing the victim, that just was not her style, and it never had been.
In many ways Ana was like their Mom, Marishka had went back to work after being shot, even after finding out she would never walk again, she had proved to everyone that she could still make a dang good cop.
Even today after her retirement Marishka was respected among the law enforcement community, and she would get called in, when a case was hard to close, she had a keen awareness, and sometimes got things others missed. Marishka had not yet fully retired because of this, but she was pretty much retired and it was good for her. Marishka deserved a break, she had worked so hard and long for so many years.
Their Mother was the reason they were all alive, the reason they had survived all they had overcome. She had done a wonderful job keeping them safe, even when the bullets were flying.
And all too often bullets were literally flying, and they were literally staring evil in the face,
The face of their Grandfather.
How can one person have so much evil in them Lord? How can they think of nothing other than destroying lives, the lives of their own family.
“Thank you for letting me stay here Vania.”
“Ana I wouldn’t take no for an answer, besides Sasha and Sonya are happy about auntie staying over. They think this is some big treat.”
“It will be a treat, I just don’t want them to be scared.”
“Ana they will be fine, they know you are hurt, but I didn’t tell them how, they just think you got a big owie, and the doctors are going to fix it up.”
“I guess that is as much of the truth as they need to know.”
Vania helped Ana get settled before she headed off to work. Jasmine would be coming over while Vania was on duty, because they did not want to leave Ana alone. Ana felt like a child, but knew this was necessary. She knew just what these monsters were capable of.
Once she was settled Ana opened up her Bible, something she had neglected in the past few days, and found herself turning to Isaiah 41, the words of the Lord always spoke to her heart, and she did not understand how anyone could say the Bible wasn’t the real deal, because it was as real as it got in this world.
The Helper of Israel
41 “Be silent before me, you islands!
Let the nations renew their strength!
Let them come forward and speak;
let us meet together at the place of judgment.
2 “Who has stirred up one from the east,
calling him in righteousness to his service[a]?
He hands nations over to him
and subdues kings before him.
He turns them to dust with his sword,
to windblown chaff with his bow.
3 He pursues them and moves on unscathed,
by a path his feet have not traveled before.
4 Who has done this and carried it through,
calling forth the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord—with the first of them
and with the last —I am he. ”
5 The islands have seen it and fear;
the ends of the earth tremble.
They approach and come forward;
6 they help each other
and say to their companions, “Be strong! ”
7 The metalworker encourages the goldsmith,
and the one who smooths with the hammer
spurs on the one who strikes the anvil.
One says of the welding, “It is good.”
The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.
8 “But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11 “All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,
new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
and reduce the hills to chaff.
16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up,
and a gale will blow them away.
But you will rejoice in the Lord
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17 “The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
21 “Present your case, ” says the Lord.
“Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.
22 “Tell us, you idols,
what is going to happen.
Tell us what the former things were,
so that we may consider them
and know their final outcome.
Or declare to us the things to come,
23 tell us what the future holds,
so we may know that you are gods.
Do something, whether good or bad,
so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.
24 But you are less than nothing
and your works are utterly worthless;
whoever chooses you is detestable.
25 “I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes—
one from the rising sun who calls on my name.
He treads on rulers as if they were mortar,
as if he were a potter treading the clay.
26 Who told of this from the beginning, so we could know,
or beforehand, so we could say, ‘He was right’?
No one told of this,
no one foretold it,
no one heard any words from you.
27 I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look, here they are!’
I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news.
28 I look but there is no one —
no one among the gods to give counsel,
no one to give answer when I ask them.
29 See, they are all false!
Their deeds amount to nothing;
their images are but wind and confusion.
Ana closed the Bible and put it back on the nightstand next to her bed. Thanking the Lord that she had made it this far, that she had been given a second chance. Ana had been terrified when they had come in and shot her, because she knew just what these monsters were capable of. Her Grandfather was trying to kill her even from behind prison walls, Ana knew that nothing beside death would stop this monster.