The set up part 23

“Take a walk outside your mind
Tell me how it feels to be
The one who turns the knife inside of me
Take a look, and you will find there’s nothing there girl.”
Hole in my soul ~ Aerosmith

Bringing her eyes up from the ground, Gypsy used her hand to shield the light from burning a hole in her soul. Those few hours locked away in the safe room felt as though she closed the door for a million years. Time flies when you’re having fun. She laid on the wooden porch. Her head rested in the palms of her hands. No one in the world knew of the hell she was living, but as they walked by, everyone waved to the girl on the porch. To a passerby, she would seem to be the typical teenager watching for the waves to increase. Surfboards sat next to the door, all of them well used and in need of a fresh layer of wax. A year ago, that was her favorite thing to do on a warm day. Now, all she wanted to do was survive to see the next sunrise.

“Hey there, girly. You okay?” Gypsy’s neighbor called out as she walked by with her dog.

Waving, she hoped her face didn’t show the stress of a few moments prior. That was the last thing she wanted to explain. “I’m fine. I was enjoying this warm day. He’s getting big,” she said. Small talk was what she hoped for, and thankfully when the lady walked on, that was all she got. She could never tell a soul what happened inside of her mind. She didn’t understand it enough to form the words. A cackle of laughter fell from her lips as she thought about the therapist who would try and decipher the mess she was in one day.

Therapist: “Miss Kennedy, tell me about the past year.”
Gypsy: “Oh, well, I got shot by my father, got married, had a daughter, gave her up for adoption, kidnapped, and I think I fucked a ghost! It’s been a rather interesting year.”

Even thinking about it made her laugh harder. That would be the day the men in white coats locked her away for good. If, no when, she got through this, she was running away as far as she could. Somewhere that no one knew her name or her family. She would live with Grace on the moon if that meant they were safe. When you give life to a child, that is the day all of your needs come second. The last year of her life had been the hardest she ever endured, and the best all at the same time.

She rolled to her back to look at the clouds. The sky held freedom that the earth never could. Everything about the ground was free, and the way the birds soared, she sometimes wished she could fly along with them.


From inside of the house, a shrill of the phone brought Gypsy to her feet, running to answer. Since the disappearance of her daughter, she always made sure to pick up the phone. If she missed a call from the kidnapper, she would never forgive herself for that.

“Hello,” she said. Breathless and panting, Gyspy leaned back on the table, waiting and praying she would hear her daughter was safe. Her heart fluttered, waiting, but when the female said hello, she’s deflated once again. How can this person, this monster, hold a 2-month-old infant hostage without giving the mother some hope for her safe return? The last time she heard from the police, they mentioned that sometimes these things go sour after 48 hours. It’s well past that now, and she refused to give up hope. God can’t be so cruel that the 10 minutes she held Grace would be her last. She couldn’t fathom the thought of never looking down into the cerulean blue eyes, stroking her hand through her dark locks, and hearing her cry. Every mother wonders the moment there is life inside of her what her child will look like. For Gypsy, she only wanted her child to be safe. Her appearance was never in question, though she was a stunning child. Grace is the kind of child that you fall in love with the moment you see her.

“Mary Kennedy?” she said? Nicolette was making a call that had her skin tingling with electricity. She had 24 hours to set up the chess set, and for now, she needed to get all the pieces on the board at the same time. “This is your one-call—container berth 47, Port of Los Angeles, 5 pm tomorrow. Come alone, and do not tell anyone. Grace will be waiting,” she said before hanging up. The woman on the phone allowed her no questions, nor did she give her a chance to have the call traced. All Gypsy knew was she needed to come alone.

The moment the line went dead, the young blonde had a full-blown panic attack. Gypsy’s heart raced, beating so rapidly that her chest physically hurt from it. Without thinking, she put her fingers to her wrist, clocking her pulse at 150. Her daughter was coming home, or so she hoped. You can’t give up hope when hope is all you have. For what seemed like hours, she held the phone in her hand, her eyes glued to the screen as though it would do tricks, or suddenly come to life and explain the world. None of that happened, but she did realize that she needed to bug out. The moment she had Grace in her hands, she would be gone.

“Fuck this. I need to get packed and ready to run. Grace, Mama is coming to get you. Hold tight little one. I won’t ever let you down again,” she said. In a split second, she went from zombie to warrior. Pulling open the entryway closet, two large backpacks, they would be packed and gone by 5:30 pm tomorrow. It was then that she realized she had nothing at all for a baby. What kind of mother has nothing for her child? She would need a list of supplies, plane tickets, and enough money to last her for a very long time—all cash. The last thing she wanted was to leave a paper trail for these people to follow.

Thirty minutes later, her bag packed, she sat in her car, key in hand, a real smile on her face for the first time in a year. Sitting next to her on the seat was a list of supplies she would need for the baby, a withdrawal slip for one million dollars in cashiers checks, and the knife. Lately, that knife of her grandfathers never left her sight. It was still stained with Spencer blood. She left it as a reminder that she did have the courage to protect herself from anyone—even her own family.

“Never doubt the strength of a woman when she becomes a mother.”

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