It Comes Back At You


Chapter 13


The sound of the gunshot caused panic at the farm.  There were screams and shouts.  Several people identified the direction from which the sound had come and rushed toward the barn.

Molinson got there first.  Gun drawn, he yanked open the barn door and then proceeded in cautiously.  He heard Trixie faintly call for help and headed in her direction.  By this time, Brian was right on his heels.

When they reached the stall, they saw Luke sprawled on top of Trixie.  Molinson grabbed him, threw him off of her, and shoved his weapon in Luke’s face... or what was left of it.

Brian rushed over to Trixie.  She was covered in blood and was clutching her left hand, which had caught the edge of the impact of the gun going off in Luke’s face.  As Brian bent over to check her out, she whimpered in pain, her eyes rolling back in her head.

Molinson whipped out his radio and called for an ambulance.  He then holstered his gun and came over to check on Trixie.

Dan rushed in with a couple of other cops.  He saw Luke lying there, then looked up at the sergeant, who shook his head.  Dan clenched his jaw and turned his attention to Trixie, who had by now passed out.  Molinson knelt down beside Brian, and gently placed a hand on his shoulder.  “A lot of the blood is Luke’s,” he said quietly.

Brian just barely acknowledged the policeman.  He was busy wrapping his shirt around his sister’s hand to stem the bleeding.  The welcomed sound of sirens could be heard in the distance.




It was a very long day, and a long night as well.  There were ambulances, police, and the coroner.  There were statements to be taken, and many people made trips back and forth to the hospital.  Trixie’s hand was broken and bloody, and required surgery and a cast.  She had to spend the night in the hospital before being released in the morning.

The Bob-Whites all spent the night at the hospital, taking turns sitting by Trixie’s bedside.  She barely noticed, being unconscious most of the time.  She woke up once, when Mart was sitting with her.

“Hi,” she whispered hoarsely.

Mart leaned over her, and tenderly brushed a curl off her forehead.  “Hey, Princess.  How do you feel?”

She winced in pain.  “Like an elephant is standing on my hand.”

 “Well, at least you still have it,” he chuckled softly.  He sobered and looked at her very seriously.  “Another couple of inches and you wouldn’t be that lucky.”

The fear and worry in his eyes tugged at Trixie’s heart.  Then another thought struck her, and she searched Mart’s face.  She wasn’t sure she really wanted the answer, but she had to ask.


He gazed at her sadly and just shook his head.

Shock and horror were reflected in her eyes before she squeezed them shut tightly, as if that could block out the reality of what had happened.  Tears slowly trailed down her cheeks.

Mart leaned over and kissed her cheek before laying his forehead against hers, tears falling from his own eyes.  In a choked voice, he said, “I’m just glad it wasn’t you.”



In the morning, Honey and Di helped Trixie get dressed so she could leave the hospital.  Trixie went to use the bathroom, and returned stomping her foot in frustration.

“This is ridiculous,” Trixie wailed.  “I can barely wipe myself with this stupid cast on.  How am I supposed to get dressed?”

“That’s why we’re here,” Di soothed.  “Your personal ladies-in-waiting.”

“Yeah.  You might actually learn that you can’t do everything by yourself,” Honey put in bitingly.

Trixie looked sharply at Honey, surprised by the anger and bitterness in her face.  She turned to look pleadingly at Di.  The violet-eyed beauty smiled reassuringly, and went on as if Honey had not spoken.

“I know this is embarrassing, Trix, but it’s just us.  Hang on to the bed rail with your good hand and lift your feet for me.  We’ll get your underwear and pants on before we worry about trying to fit that cast through anything.”

Trixie nodded and did as she was told, all the while glancing warily in Honey’s direction.  Di calmly and efficiently helped Trixie dress, just as if she was helping one of the twins.  Honey remained silent, arms folded tightly across her chest, her face a mask of hostility.

When Di finished with her pants, Trixie went and stood in front of Honey.  “I never meant to shut you out, Hon.”

“You usually talk through your ideas and suspicions.  We do this together.”  The anger was fading away, and quickly being replaced by tears welling up in the hurt, hazel eyes.

Trixie fought back her own tears.  “I know.  It’s just that I wanted to be wrong.”

“Then you could have told me that.  Instead of sulking in your room for hours, waiting to hear back from Molinson, you could have talked to me,” Honey ranted.  “You could have told me what you were afraid of.  You could have shared.  Stop shutting me out!”

Trixie looked as if she’d been slapped.  She thought back over the past week, searching through her own actions.  Had she been trying to exclude Honey intentionally?

Di walked up and put an arm around each of her best friends.  “You know, nothing’s been normal about this whole mystery.  How about if we just call it an aberration in our otherwise pretty cool lives, and move on, okay?”

Trixie and Honey looked at each other, trying to figure out where to go from here.  Trixie offered a tentative, “Honey, I’m sorry…”

Honey cut her off.  “Oh, Trixie, I’m the one who’s sorry!  I’m being such a brat.  It’s just that… I’ve never actually been so scared before.  Even in Mississippi.”

Trixie laughed ruefully, and answered in a very shaky voice, “Well, that makes two of us.”

Honey snorted.  “Yeah, right.  You weren’t scared.”

Trixie shook her head.  “Terrified,” she whispered.

Honey started to say something, but Di cut her off.  “Shut up.  She’s actually admitting it!  Don’t ruin the moment.”

The three girls laughed, then shared a group hug.  After a moment, Honey pulled pack and looked at Di.  “Aberration?”

Eyes twinkling, Trixie nodded at Honey.  “I told you she’s been spending too much time with that loony brother of mine.”

Honey returned Trixie’s nod.  “I’ll have to cure her of that, and occupy more of her time myself.”

Trixie pretended horror.  “And stick me with him?  Do you hate me that much?”

Honey patted her good arm sympathetically.  “No, no, dear.  You just stick with us.  We’ll palm him off on poor Dan.  Only he is goony enough to be able to survive Mart.  We’ll just have a good, old-fashioned girls’ night.”

Trixie sighed dramatically in relief.  “Thank you!  I’d be lost without you!”

Di laughed.  “Okay, you two clowns.  You set yourselves up for this one, and I’m not letting you out of it.  Girls’ night, complete with sleepover, at my house on Saturday.”

“What’s wrong with Friday?” Honey wondered.

“Bobby!” Di and Trixie chorused, before the three girls burst into loud laughter.


At home, Trixie was tucked safely into bed with a heavy dose of painkillers.  Bobby fussed over her, plumping her pillows.  He sat next to her and read to her from his favorite Dr. Suess book, The Foot Book.  When he thought she was asleep, he leaned over and kissed her cheek. 

“I love you, Trix.  You’re my hero,” he whispered.  Then he softly padded out of the room and closed the door behind him.

A single tear slid down Trixie’s cheek before sleep overcame her completely.



Once Trixie was settled, everyone else had been shooed away to their respective homes.  They were all exhausted, most having spent the night at the hospital with her, and in need of good sleep in a real bed.  Nearly everyone slept all day.

The entire gang met back up at Crabapple Farm for dinner.  Helen insisted on hosting everyone, but Miss Trask and Cook arranged most of the food, having Regan and Tom bring it down from Manor House.  They insisted Helen needed a break.

After dinner Tom would be driving Brian and Jim back to Boston, so they could return to classes.  The entire crew had already missed two days of school, and there was no reason to miss any more.

Trixie still slept soundly.  During dinner, Brian slipped upstairs to see his sister.  She lay on her right side, with her cast-encased left hand cradled on a large pillow.  Her curls sprawled randomly across her pillow.  Her face was soft and peaceful, and she looked young, innocent, cherubic.  How is it that this little bit of a thing can look so angelic, and yet get herself into so much trouble?

Brian reached out and gently brushed a curl back off her forehead.  He whispered her name, and she slowly stirred from her slumber.  Sleepy blue eyes met warm chocolate brown.  Trixie offered a small smile while she tried to clear her head and focus her thoughts.

“What time is it?” she asked fuzzily.

“About six-thirty.  Everyone is downstairs having dinner.”

She processed that for a moment, then slowly started to sit up.  “I suppose I should eat something, huh?”

He helped her to sit, and arranged her pillows behind her back as well as one on her lap to cushion her arm.  Then he sat down next to her.  “Only if you feel like it.  Besides, we can always just bring up a tray for you.  That’s not why I woke you.”

Trixie gazed at him curiously before a look of understanding crossed her features.  “How soon are you leaving for Boston?”

“Eight at the latest.”

They sat in companionable silence for a while, her head resting on his shoulder.  Trixie finally spoke.  “I’m sorry, Brian.”

Brian looked at her with a question in his eyes.  “For what, exactly?”

“For being such a problem.  I mean, you’ve only been gone away to college for three weeks, and you’ve already had to come running home to rescue me.”

With a wry grin he responded, “I don’t think we needed to.  There were more than enough males here eager to rescue you, not to mention that you had the police absolutely at your beck and call.  Then there’s the fact that, in the end, you rescued yourself.”

Trixie snorted.  “Got myself shot, you mean.”

“Took out the bad guy, you mean.”

A shadow passed over her face.  “Killed him, you mean,” she said quietly.

Brian lifted her chin to look into her eyes.  “Trix, it was kill or be killed.  If you continue to walk this path of yours, this won’t be the last time.  Personally, I’d rather you weren’t killed.”

Trixie raised an eyebrow.  “That’s it?  No tirade about keeping myself away from dangerous situations?”

Brian sighed deeply and ran a hand through his hair.  He stared up at the ceiling in deep thought for a moment before looking back at her.  “I wish you were never in danger.  But this time you did nothing; you did what you were told, you kept the cops close, you were surrounded by big brothers and friends at all times, and yet you were still in danger.  You attract it.  It’s a part of you.  If you’re going to deal with it, at least do it right.  Otherwise, I am going to have to lock you in a glass cage and put you up on a shelf.”

A far away look clouded her eyes.  “I once told Hallie that I felt like I was all alone in a glass box.  All the world is a parade marching by and I can’t touch anyone or join the parade until I can melt the glass.”

Brian stared at her, first in astonishment, then with guilt and regret.  “And I’m constantly trying to keep you in the glass, making you feel even more alone.”

Tears welled up in her eyes.  “Let me out, Bri.  Please.  The world may be dangerous, but I won’t be alone.”

He pulled her into his arms and held her.  Emotion clogging his voice, he promised, “You will never be alone, Trix.  Too many people in this world love you.  They love you for who you are, and for all you do for everyone you meet.  They reflect the love you give.  As long as you are true to who you are, you will never, ever be alone.”

They sat together for a long while before Trixie sighed.  “Come on, let’s get downstairs.  You need to go soon, and I have to be sociable so I can prove that I am still alive and well.”

They went downstairs together and joined the noisy crowd.  Trixie suffered through her mother’s fussing while she had something to eat.  They chatted and visited until it was time for Brian and Jim to leave.

When Jim was done with his goodbyes, Trixie stepped out on the porch with him.  “Come on, College Man.  Time for your show to hit the road.”

“Trixie, we…”

Cutting him off, she continued, “You need the time to figure out how to apologize to Tonya for blowing her off Sunday night.”

Suddenly realizing he’d forgotten about his date, Jim uttered a sheepish, “Oops.”

Trixie laughed.  “Make it a good story, Frayne.”

Emerald eyes stared at her intensely.  “I know one way I could tell it.”

She grew serious.  “You have to go back there.  And I have to stay here.”

They stared at each other for a long moment, lost in a battle between responsibility and freedom, carefree hopes, flights of fancy, dreams, desire, and all the paths in the labyrinth of the future.

Brian and Tom came out onto the porch.  “You ready, Jim?” Tom asked.

“I’ll be right there,” Jim replied, his gaze never wavering.

Brian glanced back and forth between his best friend and his sister.  “Come on, Tom,” he said and walked to the car.  Tom shrugged and followed him.

“Go,” she said.  It seemed lately that every word spoken between them held layers upon layers of meaning.  “You need to fly.”

“I’ll call you Friday,” he whispered.

She smiled softly.  “Please.”

He hugged her tightly, but quickly, careful to avoid her injured arm.  She returned it fiercely, then jumped back.

“Go back to Boston, College Man.  Have fun.”

He nodded and hurried to the car.  She stood and watched until the car was gone before allowing a single tear to slide down her cheek.

She wiped her face and breathed deeply.  The warm September air cleansed her soul and refreshed her spirit.  She painted on her best smile and went back inside to join the parade.



The End.



Author's Notes:

Aren't you guys glad it's finally over?

April and Kathy deserve an award.  They faithfully edited this for me, and kept their mouths shut and played along with all my teasers on the boards.  April even volunteered to be tortured. (with Mart, of course)  Kathy deserves and extra hug for demanding I rewrite the last chapter a few times.  The story is so much better for all her nagging.  I love you guys!


Thanks to Zap for hosting the Trixie Belden Home Page, and posting so much fanfic.  Without her I wouldn't have learned to weave my wicked web.  (Oops, sorry.  Not wicked.  EVIL.

Trixie has Tad help her with her geometry homework.  During this day and age in the State of New York , schools did not teach geometry.  This is only because the State Board of Regents was stupid.  They have since recanted and reinstated the study of geometry.  I prefer to allow Trixie to live in a world of sanity.  We all occasionally fixed tainted timeline problems from the books; I’m choosing to remove tainted educational theory from my world.  There must be some advantage to being the writer, after all.

Trivial Pursuit® is owned by Parker Brothers, and was used without permission, but just for the record:  all questions quoted are real questions from the Genus III Edition, © 1994.  I searched forever for just the right questions.  They worked out perfectly. Thank you, Parker Brothers!


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