The past few Fridays you’ve met the key characters from Heaven’s Prey: Ruth Warner (the woman in peril), Tony Warner (the frantic husband), and Harry Silver (the villain). Today I thought it would be interesting to get the reactions of some of the other people affected by this story:
Carol Silver Daniels: (Harry’s sister and only living relative)
We shared the same parents, but after what he did, I have no brother. <gulping sigh> He killed one of those young women here in Calgary, while he was visiting us. We had no clue. My sons were so proud to have a famous uncle. <snort> I tried to shield them from the news reports, but they knew. Kids in school can be so cruel. Adults, too.
The shame of being connected to him is bad enough, but some people are too angry to think straight and they want to take it out on us. Things were settling down, and then he had to escape from prison and stir it up again. Thanks to a two-faced reporter, I’ve had my photo splashed across the news again—in front of my apartment building, so the crazies know where I live. I’m only talking to you now because it doesn’t matter anymore. Last night we got a death threat. We’re moving. Hiding.
As for Harry, I hope they find him. I hope he resists arrest and they kill him. Excuse me, I have to pack.
Tracey: (the woman Harry loved and lost)
<Skyping in from her work at an orphanage in Latvia>
It’s funny you’d ask about Harry now. These past few days I’ve had a strong urge to pray for him. <smile> He wouldn’t like that very much. But I’m praying anyway.
My husband and I were already working here at the mission when Harry was arrested. My grandfather wouldn’t tell me much, just to pray, but one of my friends sent me the details. <looks away, looks back> We were engaged once, Harry and I. When I became a Christian, he broke it off. He was so angry! A few years later I met Bob, and here we are, with a fulfilling ministry and two beautiful children.
But it’s affected me. <she touches her hair> You may notice Harry’s victims all had long, blond hair and blue eyes like me. They were close to the age I was when we broke up. Was he really killing me?
Sometimes if I wake in the night I still struggle with this weird survivor guilt. Or worse, I wonder if their deaths are my fault. If I’d renounced my faith and he’d taken me back, would those women still be alive and their families unbroken? <sad smile> But I couldn’t have really walked away from God. And I loved Harry too much to lie to him. I can only hope and pray that he’ll open his heart to Jesus. There’s room at the cross for people who’ve done even worse.
Mr. Delaney: (Harry’s mentor)
You’ll have to speak up, please. My hearing’s going as fast as the rest of me. Harry Silver … <suspicion of tears> I loved that boy like a son. Talent! He had the gift—and the passion to use it. He started his stock car career with Team Delaney, and I was so proud. It hurt when he moved on to the IndyCar circuit, but I’d never have tried to hold him back. <humph> Maybe I should have. Should have kept a better eye on him. For a boy who loved to race, his crimes were suicide.
George Sinclare: (the drug lord)
<incoming cell call, untraceable> I hear you’re asking questions about that escaped killer, Harry Silver. My representatives took the risk of getting him out of prison, and this is how he repays us—by blowing his cover. And he didn’t even grab the victim he wanted. <coarse laugh> I saw a photo of the one he got, and it serves him right.
We had a decoy heading for the other side of the country to lead the cops away. I’d tip them off on where to find him, but it would reflect badly on one of my business associates. Once the boat picks Silver up and they get to international waters, he’ll tell the captain where the money’s hidden. <noncommittal sound> If the cops find and shoot him, they’ll be doing me a favour. I’d lose his escape fee, but money isn’t everything to a successful businessman. Security matters more, and Silver is a loose end.
Too bad about the woman. I hear she was on her way home from a prayer meeting, of all things. Didn’t do her much good.
Prison spokesman (anonymous):
Three Corrections Canada employees were injured trying to stop Harry Silver’s escape, and I resent media implications about our attention to our duties. With the latest funding cuts we’re stretched thinner than ever, but I assure you that each warden, guard and support worker does his or her best to uphold our responsibilities and to keep the citizens of Canada safe.
Pastor John Linton:
The odds of this happening are incredible, and I don’t know what God is up to. Whatever happens—or has already happened—I believe that God is enough for Ruth. Since He didn’t prevent this, He’ll somehow sustain her through it.
Remember, Harry Silver can do a lot of hurt, but only short-term. He can’t touch Ruth’s soul. If he sticks to his pattern of killing his victims <clears his throat> then my friend and sister in faith will suffer terribly–but then she’ll enter into eternity with her Lord and Saviour. It’s we who remain who’ll have the hardest time in the days ahead.
I challenge you with this: what if this “coincidental” abduction of a woman who’s been praying for Harry Silver is God’s way of turning up the heat in a battle for a lost soul? We write off people like Harry as too far gone to save, but God says the only ones He’ll reject are those who reject His outstretched hand.
Harry Silver could be forgiven and his life made new. It’s happened before. Let’s just hope and pray it will happen this time.
Ruth’s sister, Lorna:
Ruth and my daughter, Susan, were very close. When Susan was murdered, it shattered us all. Ruth took it really hard, and I was afraid she’d lose her faith. So I was glad when she started praying for the killer. It helped her forgive and find healing. But now—I forgave Harry Silver once. I don’t know if I can do it again. How could God let him take my daughter and my sister? <sound of sobs, Lorna hangs up the phone>
The girl who got away:
<Her parents say she can’t be contacted … still crying, and under psychological care>
Constable TJ Weber: (blond police officer, female)
All officers are fully briefed on the existing situation and the criminal record of the accused. Based on security videos at and near the abduction site, we’ve increased our patrols here in the Chester area. He may have kept driving, or doubled back, but we’re serious about keeping our citizens safe and about apprehending Harry Silver. If at all possible, before Ms. Warner comes to any harm.
As you can see, I’m an older version of Silver’s target victim. That may give me some extra motivation to see this case solved, but my personal feelings will not affect performance of my duty. I’m neither afraid of the accused nor out for vengeance. If I were the one to locate him, and if he were to make a threatening move, I would shoot to incapacitate. Lethal force would only be a last resort.
Janet Sketchley‘s novel, Heaven’s Prey, releases November 1, 2013 from Choose NOW Publishing. Feel free to tell your friends! For more information and a free sample chapter, see the Heaven’s Prey page.