“No, no, no! You idiot! Listen to me!” I said, a dark bag over my head and my hands tied up. I had been bagged, tagged, and thrown into the back of a van somewhere on the side of Billington Street. I hadn’t even been paying attention. Better yet: why was I kidnapped? Where did I show my wealth or renown? Nevermind. “Hey! Hey you!”
Finally, the thickheaded chump turned around. “What, man? What could you possibly have to say to me? ‘Let me go I’ll pay you millions!’ ” The kidnapper chortled, wheels squealing as he made a sharp right turn.
He really is an idiot, I thought*.* “No, I want you to keep me. But I want you to get back on Billington instead of the left turn you just made onto Lasseter.” I could hear the sound of sirens in the very far distance as he yielded to turn. “They’re coming for you now, because they were just coming for me. You pay attention, and we can get away. Your choice. They want me, but they’ll take you, too.”
I heard him slow down, and felt the RPM’s change in the vehicle. Good. “Why should I believe you?”
“Alright, let’s go through this with some transparency, because the truth is the only thing that’s going to save us. It’s my job to acquire high value targets for… certain organizations. I usually work for criminal groups and charge a premium. But, I’ve also worked for the Feds. My last job was a little sloppy, and a local couple of detectives suspect me for the missing Senator’s kid. It was me.” I was sitting upright, and my core was sore from trying to stay erect. “I know it’s crazy, but I need you to listen to me for now. You don’t even have to untie me yet.”
Silence. Good, he’s contemplating, I thought. Then he spoke, “A’ight. Where are we going?”
“Okay, listen close. Get back on Billington first and foremost. Blow the next red light.” I placed by back against the barrier directly behind his seat, to try to leverage myself into staying upright. I wasn’t as young as I used to be. Why didn’t he have help? Did he do this by himself? I can’t remember. “Good, now. Do you know where Silven Street is?”
“Yes,” the man replied.
“Turn in, and turn behind Gibbens Restaurant.” I stiffened my legs, trying to stay firm as the van turned. “We’re going to the docks. I hope you don’t mind losing the van for a while.” I felt the van turn slowly behind the restaurant, and I recognized it by the telltale bump-rattle-bump of the concrete dip above the culvert and the drainage grating.
“It’s a rental, man!” He said, his words nervous.
“Are you kidding me?” I asked, incredulously. “Just go.” If I had mentally groaned any louder, it would have come out of my mouth. “Good, now, cut across traffic and go down Manheim, and then make an immediate turn on Third. When you get through the far side of third. Take Finings, and Dolins down to the bay.”
I stayed silent the rest of the way, following the path he took by the feeling of the roads they were on. This had been his stomping ground for his whole life, so these roads were like braille to him. He knew where he was when he was blindfolded. When the vehicle finally reached the docks, the man in the front seat panicked and looked around, “Alright, man, what do I do?”
“Look for Targeaux’s fishery. It’s an old warehouse that stored fish. It’s full of junk now. I don’t own it, but I use it.” I shifted, the van slowly started rolling toward the warehouse. “Get out, open the doors, the keys are under the fifth brick from the bottom. Park inside the crate stack inside. Pull past, then back up.”
After all this chaos had abated, my kidnapper came to the back of the van and opened the doors. “Alright, man. You kept us both out of cuffs. I guess…” he trailed. “I guess I’m going to let you go.”
I slid to the edge of the van and felt the guy undoing my bonds and removing the bag over my head. I’m older, but my initial reaction was to punch him in the nose. He fell to the ground, bleeding, eyes welling up. “You’re rough, you’re amateur, and you have no polish to your efforts. It’s all sloppy!” I thought about kicking him around, but instead a bulb went off in my head and I reached down to help him up. “But you could learn.”
He took my head and stood up. “And, what, you’ll teach me?”