I thought this vacation would be a good idea. My wife and I had been planning this for over a year.
You see, I have a decent job at the city courthouse as a bailiff and my wife works at our local library. It’s a very nice change of pace.
Looking at us, we’re just a typical Texas couple from Port Neches. I’m tall, decently muscular, brown hair, brown eyes, and pretty plain looking. My wife is short with long black hair and violet eyes. She got pretty cheekbones and beautiful skin with a movie star body. The truth is, however, we’re really not that ordinary.
I’m a former deputy sheriff with ten years’ worth of experience, but I became the victim of budget cuts two years ago. I was fortunate to land this job with the local constables. I’m still hoping to get back into doing more investigative law enforcement sometime in the future.
My wife, on the other hand, is even more not-so-normal. She’s a retired army corporal who saw action during her two tours of duty in Iraq. She’s trained in all manner of survival skills.
We’ve been married three years after meeting at a Tea Party event. We started going to these rallies and events together. This part of the story confuses people because my wife is African American, but she’s about as Conservative as any talk radio host.
When I first got laid off, she got a job at a local library. At first, I thought she’d hate it, but she has told me how much she loves the peace and quiet.
Anyway, this career change has affected us both, so I thought a little getaway would do us some good. I booked us tickets to drive from Jack Brooks Regional Airport to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. From there we would travel to Florida for three days of R&R. It would be uneventful and just relaxing, or so we thought.
We packed our clothes, music players, a laptop, and a couple of novels.
We got on our bus, sitting in the very back. I felt like dozing off, but my wife elbowed me. She pointed to two military officers sitting up front by the driver. They had no clue she was a soldier. She was dressed in a navy blouse and jean shorts. They both had really thick hair, one blonde and one gray, and aviator glasses.
“Their hats don’t match.”
“What,” I asked confused.
“Their uniforms are Marine fatigues, but their hats are Army.”
My wife looked genuinely concerned.
I shrugged this off. “Maybe they bought them at a surplus store.”
My wife continued to stare at them. “Maybe,” but she did not sound convinced.
The ride was uneventful for the most part until the driver’s voice came over the speaker. “I’m sorry folks, but I just heard from my dispatcher that there is flooding ahead. No worries, we’re getting off the interstate and getting on state highway that will get us there behind by only about ten minutes.” His voice sounded very shaky.
“He never picked up his radio.” The comment was from my wife.
“Maybe you missed it, honey.”
She shook her head in total disagreement with me.
I realized that I recognized the look on her face before. She was in full survival mode.
I had encountered this only once when we started dating. A man attempted to mug us in downtown Beaumont. She had that same look in her eyes. The man had a large knife, but my wife disarmed him quickly. He ran away screaming that he was sorry.
We exited the I-10, and I felt the bump when we got off onto a side road.
Suddenly, the two men in the front stood up. It was then I noticed the radio was severely damaged.
The two men pulled two guns out of their jackets. It was then I realized they were wearing wigs.
Blonde guy said, “Listen up, ladies and gentlemen, your trip has been delayed. We’ll be collecting your electronic devices, cash, jewelry, and all of your luggage. As long as you do as we say and cooperate, you won’t get hurt. Now, my associate and I will begin collecting your things. No funny business.”
Gray guy stepped forward and started collecting all of our items. One guy in front of us tried to say he did not have a phone. That was a big mistake. Gray guy hit in the head and then frisked him. He took his phone immediately.
When he got to us, I looked at my wife’s eyes. Her survival mode was in full throttle. I could tell. She obliged giving them her phone much to my surprise and I did the same.
The cop in me was starting to activate. My mind raced to search for and find clues. I checked over the two thugs who held us hostage. They were large men, but I could tell one was slightly overweight. They definitely were not military. I knew enough soldiers through my wife to recognize how they carry themselves. These thugs were arrogant and unassuming. They had no idea who was on board this bus.
Blonde guy was conversing with the driver who was sweating like a pig. It looked as though the thug was taunting him.
We pulled off onto a small dirt road. It was clear they were going to dump us, or worse, and then take off in a getaway car.
Gray hair kept walking up and down, making it appear that he was in control.
As he approached us, I heard a voice, “We have an emergency.” I knew right away it was my wife.
Gray hair asked, “What is it, hot stuff? You gotta go to the bathroom?”
My wife hates being called that from strangers, but she did not appear to be angry.
“The emergency is I’m being kidnapped and driven down Pine Road.”
Gray hair rolled his eyes. “Shut your mouth or I’ll shut it for you. If you play nice, no one has to get hurt. Got it?”
I added, “Just let us go. We’ll give you what you want.”
He looked at my wife with lust in his eyes. “We’ll see about that.” Man, gray hair is a pig.
The drive was down the dirt road, apparently called, “Pine Road” was the hardest for me. I kept trying to formulate a plan, but from where I stood, at least I could not think of any outcomes that did not involve civilian casualties. During my days on the beat, I never lost a civilian, not once. I would not lose one now as a bailiff, whether I patrolled or not.
I jumped when I heard us coming to a stop.
Gray hair yelled, “Okay, folks, let’s start disembarking.”
We got up one at a time.
A plan started to formulate when I realized that Blonde guy was standing at the front of the bus. He got off, but stood close to the entrance to herd the other passengers. If I could grab him, knock him out, and disarm him, I could take out gray hair too. Through the front windshield of the bus, I could see their maroon getaway car. I would not let that happen.
I could hear Gray hair ordering me and my wife up. I became almost robot-like. I was a cop on a sting about to make a bust. I headed toward the front of the bus where the driver was still sweating and had his hands raised.
My wife was right behind me and I was concerned for her, but when I looked back at her, she seemed to read my mind and could see my plan. She gave me a reassuring nod that she would be ready for whatever I planned.
As I came down the steps, I could see Blonde hair was stabbing the front tire closest to the door. He obviously saw me as no threat to him. That was a mistake. I knew I had to take advantage of it before Gray hair got off.
As Blonde hair was standing up, I lunged at him full force. I karate-chopped the hand with the knife, and then went for the arm holding his gun. The other passengers started to cheer me on. He tried to shove me, but I got him in an arm lock and then punched his throat. He gagged and loosened his grip on his gun. I wrestled from his hand and then as quickly as I could I pistol whipped him across the face. He fell to the ground in an almost folding chair fashion. Before he could even crash on the ground, a few of the other passengers ran to tackle him.
I put both hands on the gun and spun around expecting some sort of stand-off, but instead I found my wife pinning the man’s gun-hand to the door frame. With the other, he tried to wildly slap her. That was mistake. She blocked and then punched him twice in the gut, hard. This was followed by a knee to the groin. He dropped his gun and my wife scooped it up before it clattered. She grabbed his collar and threw him on the ground.
We both raised her weapons at the two thugs.
With the adrenaline still pumping, I told my wife, “We need to call the police.”
“No we don’t,” my wife replied, still holding her gun steady.
“What do you mean?”
She pulled her cell-phone out of her back pocket. “I called them. They’re on their way.”
The shock from her statement went into overload when I heard sirens coming.
“How did you do that? I mean, I saw you hand over your phone.”
She laughed as she said, “No, honey, I gave them my music player. They look so similar, these two knuckleheads couldn’t tell the difference.”
My mouth was gaping open in stunned silence.
“You better close your mouth,” she said. “You wouldn’t want a fly to choke you to death before you get your job as a policemen back.”
I let out a smile as the policemen came to take the would hostage takers away.
My wife and I embraced as the other passengers walked up to thank us. We both kissed and I realized just how in sync the two of us were.
“What’ll we do for our vacation now, darling,” I asked her.
She kissed me on the cheek. “Don’t worry about that. There’s still plenty of time to get away.”
I let out a boyish grin. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Copyright Jacob Airey 2016
AFTERWORD: I promised once a month I would put one of my original writings or art on this blog. I hope you liked this piece. It was fun to write.