Grandmama sat on the front steps of the porch as her neighbor Alonzo put his strong, muscular arm around her shoulders.
"They're gonna find her. You've told her folks. Somehow they'll know." Alonzo whispered. He had seen Mia while visiting Grandmama but didn't know the girl very well. Grandmama was obviously deeply attached to the girl. He didn't blame her. She was a motherly, caring person by nature and a grandmother figure to the neighborhood in general. He was both furious that this man threatened the mother of his deceased friend and stunned that this White man was bold enough to threaten such a well-known figure in the Black neighborhood.
"Grandmama, why didn't you call the police?" Alonzo asked.
"He said he come down here with other White boys and sweep this block clean." Grandmama shuddered.
Alonzo didn't press the subject. He didn't know who she could be talking about. Roland Heights was now largely free of gang activity but Alonzo still knew a few retired homies in the area who wouldn't mind bringing out their hood ways for this mystery White man.
An Uber car drove up to their house and stopped. Alonzo protectively placed himself between Grandmama and the front gate. Two men stepped out of the car. The first was a very tall, dark, Hispanic man with wavy Black hair, a mustache, and a muscular build. He appeared to be in his 40s or 50s. The second was a younger man who appeared to be in his 20s or 30s. He was of average height with a slender build and light brown skin. Alonzo guessed he was of biracial makeup.
"That's them!" Grandmama stood up, pushing past Alonzo and opening the gate to greet Ricardo and Peter. "Are you Mia's father?"
"Yes! I'm Ricardo Iglesias! You must be Mrs. Hayfield!" Ricardo sputtered.
"I'm Mia's friend, Peter." Peter introduced himself. "We briefly spoke over the phone as well. Forgive us for barging on you like this."
"No! I'm happy you here. Come on in!" Grandmama ushered the three men into the house.
Once inside, Peter turned to Alonzo. "I'm sorry for not greeting you earlier. Are you her son, sir?"
"Me? No! I'm just a family friend. I was actually going to drive his daughter, your friend, to the airport yesterday." Alonzo said.
Grandmama gasped when Ricardo zoomed in on the photos that Misha took of Mia and Jones together at Springfield Park. Peter and Alonzo rushed over.
"That's him!" Grandmama exclaimed. "The man that took your baby girl!"
"Is this the man who threatened you, Grandmama?" Aloznzo exclaimed.
She ran back outside over to the parking space directly in front of the front gate of her house. "That's where he was parked. Big black Chevy Express van."
"Grandmama, do you remember the plate number?" Alonzo asked.
Grandmama shook her head. "No. I just remember it be a big Black van."
Ricardo turned to Alonzo. "Are you Mrs. Hayfield's son?"
"No, I'm a neighbor." Alonzo repeated again.
"Did you see this person?" Ricardo asked.
"I didn't. I only know what Grandmama told me." Alonzo said, angry at finally having seen the man who threatened his friend's mother. "He said he was a friend of your daughter's and was coming to take her home early. He accused Grandmama of kicking your daughter out early in order to get more money out of your her your daughter than she paid for. When Grandmama argued, he kicked the fence and threatened to come back with his skinhead friends and force her to pay."
"And not just that! He say that your baby girl told him I was scamming her! Grandmama shouted.
"WHAT!? Are you saying that my daughter used this man to extort you?" Ricardo was utterly appalled at this news.
Alonzo stepped in, trying to mediate. "Of course not, sir! Your daughter and Grandmama were very close. Your daughter was extremely well behaved and polite to her. I would not believe it even if your daughter admitted to it. This man was lying and using your daughter to cover up his tracks." He said, still shaking with anger at the thought.
"I didn't know what to do, Alonzo!" Grandmama burst out crying. She turned to Ricardo. "I even gave all the money back to your baby girl. Oh Lord Jesus, I didn't mean it when I shouted! I was just tryin' to keep that sweet child safe from stayin' out so late out!" Alonzo knelt down and protectively hugged the sobbing old lady, patting her back. Ricardo and Peter were stunned by the old lady's emotional outburst. It seemed she truly cared about Mia in the short time the two knew each other.
"Mr. Iglesias." Peter turned to the shocked Ricardo.
"We need to get to Iron Furnace Gym." Ricardo said. He turned to Grandmama. "Thank you, Mrs. Hayfield. I will call you when my daughter is found. Thank you- for everything." Ricardo called an Uber.
Iron Furnace Gym Parking Lot
The two stepped into the parking lot, which was totally empty
"What the fuck is this?" Ricardo gasped. "How can it be closed?" Without thinking, he charged towards the single metal door entrance as Peter followed. It was locked.
"HEY! OPEN UP! ANYONE THERE!" Ricardo shouted mindlessly. Before Peter could pull him back to stop him from breaking his hand on the thick metal, the door swung open, almost hitting Ricardo.
A mountain of a man, easily 7 and a half feet tall, stepped out, scowling at the two smaller men. The two jumped back in fear at the unexpected sight of this giant. He was absolutely gargantuan, dwarfing even Hercules. Something about him seemed familiar to Peter. Minus the absence of long unkempt hair and thick beard, he looked notoriously similar to a certain wrestler Peter had seen on TV.
"Is Jones in there? Are you his bodyguard?" Ricardo finally found his voice. "Your boss has my daughter!" Ricardo tried to push past the man but he was so impossibly huge that he blocked the entire doorway. Peter looked at Ricardo then back at the man. Bodyguard or not, there was absolutely no fighting this guy.
"Sir, we are not trying to fight you. We heard tour employer was last seen with this man's daughter and just wanted to know if he is…."
The giant slammed the door shut behind him, silencing Peter. He reached into his pocket, pulled out his phone, and showed them a photograph he took of Mia climbing into Jones's van the day she visited the gym.
Ricardo looked at it. He already knew. But for some reason, he didn't have it in him to yell at this giant. He nodded.
"COME WITH ME." Anthony boomed.
"We got everything! Let's get out of here!" Jones said as he finished packing the extensive list of survival, bug-out gear including tents, purifiers, machetes, matches, a stone, portable radio, and first-aid kit. As he owned a rather large van, most of it fit into the spacious interior.
"Are we going to the airport first?" Mia asked, still confused as to what they were doing. But she had to ask.
"DOES IT LOOK LIKE WE'RE GOING TO THE AIRPORT?" Jones screamed in uncontrolled rage.
"Jones! I promise I am not going to ask for my wallet back! Can you just take me back to the city before you go wherever it is that you're going? I won't…"
Jones got out of the car, lit a match and then threw it in the direction of the house, lighting the oil doused structure ablaze instantly. Mia shouted in surprise.
"WHAT ARE YOU…" Mia yelled in fear.
"GET IN THE CAR! NOW! IF YOU WANT TO LIVE!" Jones shoved her inside the vehicle. Climbing inside, he seized her hair and pulled her up to face him. His blue eyes were wide with terror and madness.
"Any minute from now, some hostile parties are coming to this house. If you care about your life at all, you will keep your head down for the duration of this ride. He spun her around, pulled out a piece of cloth out of his pocket, and wrapped it around her eyes.
"DO NOT TAKE THIS BLINDFOLD OFF UNTIL I SAY SO! OR I WILL LITERALLY KICK YOU OUT OF THIS CAR WHILE IT IS STILL MOVING! I AM TAKING YOU TO RENO. FROM THERE, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. YOU WILL NOT TAKE OFF THE BLINDFOLD FOR THE DURATION OF THE RIDE HOME UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE LEFT THE VEHICLE, CLOSED THE DOOR, AND WALKED TWENTY PACES! OR I WILL BE FORCED TO SHOOT YOU DEAD!"
Mia nodded, her breathing heavy and ragged. Jones didn't wait for an answer. He spun her around, tied the blindfold around her eyes, and forced her head down. He turned on the ignition….
And paused when he heard the sound of motorcycles in the distance.
Then a bullet smashed into the rear window. Several more took out the tires, causing the large van to sag to the ground.
Mia took advantage of the distraction to punch Jones between the eyes, causing the skinhead to stumble back with a roar of pain. She threw off her blindfold, pushed open the door, and ran out of the vehicle. Before Jones could chase her, somebody smashed his side of the window with a crowbar and dragged him out.
"We got him! We got Jones, Mr. Alvarez!" Somebody yelled in Spanish. Three hulking Hispanic men in biker jackets forced him to the ground, guns pointed. More bikers arrived. Without looking, Jones instantly recognized them as members of the Spanish Bulls Motorcycle Club. Then he heard a voice he recognized.
"There she is! It's the girl!" John Hammer yelled.
Jones took a moment to process what had happen. The Axe-Heads had flipped. The girl who escaped on Friday had likely run to the Axe-Heads, who then gave away his location to the Spanish Bulls.
"That race traitor son of a bitch!" He yelled. "OOF!" The bikers punched him in the stomach and dragged him to feet. In front of him was a familiar figure- a tall, bald, and middle-aged Mexican man in a business suit.
"Alvarez!?" Jones gasped in terror.
"So, this is the legendary Keith Jones I've been hearing so much about." Benecio Alvarez growled as he approached the captured Neo-Nazi leader.
Jones suddenly laughed. "Who was the race traitor snitch that ratted me out and paid your crew of illegal spics to come here? Hartmann? Jackson? Logan?"
"All of them." Alvarez said. Without waiting for an answer, he turned to his men. "Get this White trash out of my sight back to the warehouse!" The men dragged Jones into a van and took off.
"DAD?" Mia screamed as a familiar face ran towards her.
"MIA!" Ricardo hollered as he ran across the desert towards his daughter. "WE'RE HERE!"
"We're here!" Peter yelled
Mia stopped when she heard the second voice. There was no way. It was impossible. How did he know she was here?
Then she saw him. Somewhat thinner than before but unmistakably him.
"Peter!?" Mia gasped.
"MIA!" Peter shouted. She covered her mouth in shock.
"Peter!" She shouted.
"Mia!" Ricardo and Peter yelled as they ran up her. Ricardo caught her in a crushing embrace as they cried in happiness.