If she hadn’t seen it with her own two eyes, she would never have believed it possible. But there it was—the proof—two bodies sprawled on the floor of her family’s home.
Barely able to contain the scream, she swallowed down the nausea while tears welled up in her eyes, blurring her vision; Mary Beth covered her mouth to stifle any sounds threatening to escape.
Only 17 years old, and now she was alone. Well and truly alone. She struggled with that unexpected realization. She’d had her dear parents for all of her life...but now, they were gone.
Staying hidden, Mary Beth watched as the 3 men—armed with 9mm handguns—stood over James and Sherry Tiding, talking together in low tones as they gestured toward the bodies.
She could almost hear them as they spoke to each other, motioning angrily all the while. They were discussing ways to dispose of the bodies; and something else—something was wrong. Then, she understood one of them, saying that there had been three people. They had missed someone! One of them held up 3 of his fingers as he spoke, and she carefully sat back, making sure she didn’t make any noise.
When she was at last in a semi-comfortable sitting position, Mary Beth closed her eyes, trying in vain to block out the image of the 2 inert bodies lying in a pool of dark sickening blood. Then, her entire frame began to shake. Unsuccessfully taking a deep breath in order to calm her shaking body, Mary Beth closed her yes.. The trembling would surely give her away.