Sunday 9 – Tuesday 11 January 2010
The call was disconnected as unexpectedly as it had come in. He looked towards where he thought the Senior Detective was sitting. Ryan’s face told the Detective everything. The ransom drop was a failure. They had been made, probably as soon as they had arrived. It was time to shut down the operation, head back to the Symonds’ residence, and figure out where to go from here.
Ryan stewed in his anger the whole way home. Someone was going to pay for this mess up. He sped home as fast as he could. When he got back inside he threw the duffle bag containing the money across the room. It smashed Angie’s favourite vase on its path to the sofa. He didn’t know what to do next. An unidentified kidnapper had his wife and son, and no one knew where to start looking for them.
When the Senior Detective entered the room, Ryan turned on him with viciousness and rage.
‘Take your equipment, and your useless selves and get the hell out of my house. NOW. I want you gone.’
‘Mr. Symonds – ’ he said.
‘No. No more talking. Get out. Get OUT. GET OUT.’
The Senior Detective indicated to those who followed him inside the house that the clean up needed to begin. In his experience, it was futile to argue with a victim of crime who had made up their mind about a course of action. It was simply easier to do as they wanted, but continue to work the case from back at the station. And that was exactly what was going to happen.
It took the police nearly three hours to remove all of the equipment from the house. Ryan was sure that they were drawing it out in case he changed his mind. He wasn’t going to change his mind. Not about this. He would have to try and get Angie and Oliver back by himself.
A day after the police had cleared out, the package arrived via courier, at the Symonds’ residence. Ryan had signed for it, thinking that Angie had ordered something from the Internet before she had been taken. It wasn’t until he put it on the kitchen table that he saw the package was addressed to him.
As he pulled the package towards him for closer inspection, he felt the weight inside shift. It was disconcerting. He began to pull the packing tape from the edges, but intuition told him to stop. Instead, he carefully picked it up and transferred it to the coffee table in the lounge room, that only twenty four hours prior, had held police monitoring equipment. There’s something odd about this package, Ryan thought to himself.
Over the next five hours, Ryan transferred the box from the lounge room, to the kitchen and back again. Every time he did so, he felt as if whatever was inside was rolling around. Finally, the box was back on the coffee table, and Ryan had decided to open it.
Once again, he began to pull the packing tape away from the edges. It sat in a loose ball on the floor by his right foot. The package was ready to be opened. Cautiously, he pulled the flaps up, one by one, until all four exposed the contents of the box.
Mentally bracing himself, Ryan leaned forward and looked inside. Forty centimetres by forty centimetres. Terror lit his face . . .
. . . The end . . .