Sunday 20 – Wednesday 23 October 2013
Dilapidated buildings were the norm in this stretch of the warehouse district. Broken windows, shattered glass, crushed bricks, rotting wood, all of it contributed to the area looking like a war zone. In this part of the city, it would be incredibly difficult to find someone who did not wish to be found, and that is exactly what he had intended. No one would find Nora Aitcheson, at least not until he wanted her to be found, and that would be when he was done with her. She was coming around, and that meant that he would soon be dealing with a woman in the throes of hysteria. He readied his tools while Nora floated back to consciousness.
‘You’re going to be in a lot of pain very shortly. You took a pretty hard blow to the back of your head,’ he said. Nora fought the fuzzy feeling in her head to understand what he was saying.
‘The sedative that I gave you is wearing off, and that’s why you’re coming around. And you’re smart enough to know that if you’re in pain, and you take a sedative, it takes the pain away. And then when you start to wake up, the pain comes back. You’ll feel it fully in a matter of minutes.’
The fuzziness in Nora’s head was slowly turning into a thud. She began to think that perhaps she didn’t want to be conscious again, if there was going to be pain involved.
‘Who . . . who are you?’ Nora mumbled.
‘Who I am is not important. However, what I’m going to do is,’ he replied.
‘What are you going to do?’
‘I’ve been hired to teach your husband a lesson, and just so it’s a little easier for you, you can call me Lance.’
‘You’ve been hired to teach him a lesson, but you’re using me?’ She could feel that she was seconds away from bursting in to tears, and as much as she didn’t want to give Lance the satisfaction, it was happening whether she wanted it to or not.
‘Oh, now come on, Nora, I really haven’t started with you yet. What I did to you at your house, that didn’t even scratch the surface.’
She noted the expression on his face. He was enjoying every minute of her torment.
‘What has Wade done? Who has he pissed off this time?’ Nora pushed for an answer. ‘If I’m going to die or be disfigured on his behalf, the very least you can do is tell me what he’s done, and who he’s done it to.’
Lance couldn’t fault Nora’s logic. However, he’d made a point of never giving information to any of his victims in the event that something went wrong, and resulted in his victim escaping. It was highly unlikely that one might break free, but it wasn’t impossible, and Lance preferred to play it safe rather than end up sorry. He moved closer to Nora, physically intimidating her by his proximity to both her, and the small tray of gruesome looking tools.
Instead of reaching for a tool, Lance took a small remote control from the tray, pointed it to his left, and pressed a button. Nora breathed a sigh of relief, and offered him a weak smile and a shrug of her shoulders.
‘It’s off now,’ he said.
‘Oh God, why did you have to do that?’ Nora asked.
‘Sedate me. I feel like shit now,’ she replied.
‘We talked about that, and you agreed with me. If any of your neighbours happened to see me take you from the house, it had to look realistic. It wouldn’t have looked real if you were conscious because you would have been too relaxed . . .you wouldn’t have struggled like a woman being abducted,’ said Lance. ‘Don’t worry, you’ll feel better in about an hour. Just drink plenty of water.’
‘Are we done here?’ Nora rubbed her temples as she spoke. The throbbing in her head was getting worse. Lance pointed to a backpack resting against the leg of her chair.
‘There’s water in the bag, Nora. Start drinking. It was a pretty strong sedative.’
‘My head is killing me. You didn’t whack me while I was out, did you?’
‘No, it’s probably a reaction to the drug. I think it’s a good idea if you avoid paracetamol for a while, until you get the sedative out of your system,’ he replied. ‘You stay there, and let me pack up the gear that we’re taking with us. As planned, we’ll leave the van here, take the rental back to the apartment, and fly out tomorrow.’
Lance packed the equipment in the rental car while Nora sat quietly sipping from a bottle of water. He staged the area to look as if there had been a struggle, pushing the tray of tools to the floor, and knocking over the video camera that he had used to record the earlier act.
‘Hey, can you look in the front pocket of my rucksack, and get out the vial of blood please, Nora?’
She rifled through the front pocket and found the vial. Prior to the staged abduction, Lance had drawn blood from her arm, and collected it in several small containers. They wanted to make Wade Aitcheson suffer; they wanted to make Wade believe that Nora was hurt so badly that she might have died. She held out her hand to Lance, the vial of her blood sitting perfectly in her palm.
A few minutes later, the blood was spilled on the floor around the chair that Nora had been sitting on, and they were driving from the warehouse back to the apartment that they had short-term leased three months prior to the staged abduction.
‘We’ll stop on the way and I’ll call nine one one with a tip about the warehouse. I left a few papers around as well. It’ll point them in the opposite direction. We’ll be half way around the world before Wade or the cops have any idea that this was a set up,’ he said.
‘And Wade? When does that happen?’ asked Nora.
‘Next week. It’ll look like he killed himself out of desperation. So frustrated and upset at not knowing whether you’re alive or dead, Wade’ll write a note and then kill himself. Problem solved. Then we’ll be able to get married.’
‘Finally,’ she said, ‘I’ll be rid of him, and we can start our life together, Lance. I can’t wait to finally have the life that I deserve.’
. . . To be continued . . .