Chloe climbs out in silence, lost in her own thoughts. She walks up to the door scared and exhausted. She enters the home first to see Mrs. Hounds pulling herself up to a seated position. Mrs. Hounds is weak and holding a stained with blood handkerchief embroidered in blue flowers around the edges. Slowly dying of tuberculosis, Mrs. Hounds has been unable to speak above a whisper, or eat much for the last several months.
Despite the fact that she’s always in pain and coughing blood on the daily, she’s remained positive. She’s convinced that if she keeps a good attitude then God may eventually cure her. The vision of Chloe’s slow saunter into the door, and without her boys close in tow, caused the corners of her face to drop with worry.
“Is everything okay honey?” Her scratchy voice is hardly audible. “I heard the bells a few hours back and everyone was gone.”
Steven and Mrs. Victor follow Chloe into the home, and Mrs. Hounds’ stomach churns. Panic settles in her core.
“Where are my sons?”
Mrs. Victor eases herself slowly onto the couch next to her, and begins explaining details of Misty’s disappearance. All the while Chloe and Steven fetch a drink of water and some bread in milk with ginger, to ease and settle Mrs. Hound’s stomach. They work together in silence while listening in on Mrs. Victor’s explanation to Mrs. Hounds. The details of the search and of the evidence that Chloe and Mr. Smith had found on the outskirts of town linger in the air like a plague.
The extremity of the interrogation inflicted on Michael and John are excluded. Soon, the four are all gathered together on the worn down furniture in the dimly lit room. They sugar coat details, stating that the boys were merely questioned and are now at the store helping the townsfolk.
Mrs. Hounds can tell by the look on their faces that her boys are in worse shape than they’re letting on. Michael’s previous experience with Sheriff Black is a strong testament that he wouldn’t be so easy on either of them in a full on interrogation. She tries to swallow the excruciating lump in the back of her throat. Mrs. Hounds knows she’ll find out soon enough, the severity of the shape of her boys well-being.
Steven offers to stay with Mrs. Hounds while Mrs. Victor and Chloe embark on rallying up the other women nearby. Upon the town’s orders to stay indoors with their children, they decide a group setting may be best.
Chloe and Mrs. Victor have no trouble convincing the women who are spread out and alone to rally together at the Hounds residence, especially while they have a ride to get there. Mrs. Hounds is in no shape to leave her home, so they’re determined to bring help to her. It doesn’t take them long to round up five women with their children.
They intend to stay there, and take care of one another until Misty is found. After that, their families will return to the comfort of their own homes. They’re a strong and determined bunch of women and should have no trouble fending off any intruders if they worked together. It brings Mrs. Victor, Chloe and Steven comfort as they make their way back to town. An anchored feel of accomplishment takes place, and is topped off with a layer of safe keeping.
Michael and John are sitting up and talking by the time they return to the tiny room in the back of the store. Sore and with slow movements they’ve both regained full consciousness, and are ready to do whatever they’re physically capable of. Given the broken ribs and blurred sight, what they’re able to do will surely be limited. But they’re ready and willing nonetheless.
When local girl Misty is found dead in an underground bunker, the town is thrown into a whirlwind of panic and speculation. Times are tough, but the spaced-out farmer community pulls together as one, trying to uncover who’s guilty.
Thrown smack in the middle of the chaos is a group of teens: local troublemakers, but with good hearts. Although they’re innocent, the local law enforcers believe otherwise, and the true killer is lurking far too close for comfort.
Will the four be able to uncover the truth before one of them pays the price for Misty’s death?