Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Story-A-Day #83: Tresspass
This had to be the place. He pulled out his iPhone and looked at the message for the third time in the past hour.
Drive one hour west to a chained off dirt road marked by two reflectors. Follow the road for approximately one hour to the abandoned factory. Don’t be late. If you are late, she dies.
The message was dated the day before and it was the only thing he had been able to think of since he had received it. He looked at his watch and was relieved to discover that he was almost an hour early.
He wiped a sleeve across his sweaty brow and started off across the grassy clearing towards the factory. The bright sun shining above was a stark contrast to the gloomy sense of oppression that emanated from the factory. He could hear it creaking as it slowly settled into itself. Loose panels of sheet metal banged in the breeze.
He placed a hand on his lower back and gained a bit of resolve from the lump of the gun tucked into his belt. It was a precaution, and one he hoped he wouldn’t have to use. Still, there was no motive to the kidnapping, and he hadn’t been instructed to bring a ransom, or files, or anything else as an exchange. The situation was suspicious at best.
He stepped into a large opening in the side of the factory and waited as his eyes adjusted to the gloom. When he had regained his bearings, he called out, “Hello? I’m here.”
“You’re early,” a gruff voice replied from above. He looked upward and saw the vague impression of a man standing in the shadows on the catwalk above.
“I am. Now maybe you can tell me why I am here?”
“I think you know the answer. Really, take a minute to think it over. You’ll get there.”
He was a normal guy with a normal job. He had a girlfriend, a beautiful, smart, and talented girl that he would do anything for. His parents were comfortably upstanding members of society, but not wealthy or prominent. His coworkers, friends, and associates were normal, average people without any ties to criminal activities – maybe a bit of weed now and then, but that was the extent of their underbellies.
“I haven’t the faintest idea,” he finally called up into the gloom. A handful of pigeons scattered into the interrupted silence.
“You’re here for her, are you not?”
“I am. But why is she here, and why me?”
“Because you have something we need. Something extremely valuable to us, but of little consequence to most.”
“Is that supposed to be a riddle, or just some cryptic crap because you don’t have an answer?”
“I told you. You’re here for her.”
There was a sudden stirring in the far corner of the enclosure near a hulking pile of rusted machinery. He peered into the shadows, seeking out the source of the shuffling noise, then took a step backwards. She stepped out of the shadows, a large rifle pointed at his chest.
“You’re here for me,” she offered. “How sweet.”
He was almost choking on the confusion that now clouded his mind, as he swallowed the lump in his throat. This was not what he had expected at all.