This morning, I’m sharing Chapter 4, Part 9 of my story, “Garage Sale Addict”. If you’d like to catch up, here’s:
“Garage Sale Addict, Part 1“
“Garage Sale Addict, Part 2“
“Garage Sale Addict, Part 3“
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 4“
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 5“
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 6”
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 7”
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 8”
And, here is my disclaimer one more time…
Disclaimer: I am nervous about sharing this. Instead of me being able to use words like “crap” or my made up favorites like “goody-ness”, what I’m about to share will be held to a higher standard. Because it’s part of my hidden soul-my personal writing projects. Who knows if this will ever go anywhere-but it’s fun to write and to dream. I’d love to hear what you have to say, or maybe I won’t.
“Micah! Hello! Anyone home?”, Bonnie pounded on Micah’s front door.
He soon opened the front door, Spartan following closely behind.
“Hey, Bonnie. It’s good to see you.”
“Yeah-you too. When was the last time you saw Rosalyn?” Bonnie had a ratty tissue between her hand, wringing it the entire time she spoke. She wiped at a tear that spilled onto her cheek.
“Bonnie, what’s wrong?” Micah placed a hand on her shoulder.
“I’ve been calling her all day and she hasn’t answered. It’s not like her. She always answers.”
“I’m sure there’s an explanation. Maybe she’s just taking a day for herself. Or maybe she’s photographing and can’t pick up.”
“She called me this morning to tell me she was meeting The Suit downtown at 10am.” Another tear spilled out.
Micah quickly told her of their encounter the night before at the sushi restaurant.
“I thought the whole thing was pretty strange, but now it’s getting really weird. Let’s go look for her.” He grabbed the keys off the wall, leashed up Spartan and led Bonnie to his car.
It only took the pair fifteen minutes to get downtown, and they began circling the building that was Roslayn’s destination. The building was dark, the streets vacant.
“Are you sure this is the right address?”, Micah asked.
“Positive. I even had her text it to me-just in case.” Bonnie started crying again.
Micah pulled into the parking garage adjacent to the building. The bottom level of the garage only had a scooter, so Micah drove the ramp up onto the second level. They both spotted Rosalyn’s car at the same time.
“There it is!” Bonnie flung open Micah’s car door before he had completely stopped. She began peering through the window’s on Rosalyn’s car. Micah joined her and tried each door and the trunk.
“It’s locked. Her purse is gone, but her camera bag is in plain sight on the back seat,” he said.
“If she was robbed, they would have taken her camera. That means, all they wanted-was-her.” Bonnie started sobbing again.
Micah grabbed Bonnie and hugged her.
“It’s going to be alright. We’ll call the police, we’ll figure this out. Let’s look for any clue as to which way she went.”
Bonnie immediately quit crying and began scanning the pavement. She found a bottle cap, a quarter and a lid to a coffee cup.
“Wait a second, this looks like Rosalyn’s travel mug lid,” she said. “In fact, I know it is. She went this way.”
Bonnie headed towards the staircase Rosalyn had previously fled to. She stopped a few feet before the stairs and bent over to smell the cement.
“Look at this, it’s a puddle of drying coffee.”
“Maybe somebody spilled their coffee?”, Micah asked.
“I think Rosalyn used what she learned in her self-defense class and threw hot coffee on someone.”
“Smart girl.” Micah said.
“I see scuff marks all the way up the stairs, as if something was dragged from above.”
Bonnie slowly ascended the staircase pointing at each scuff mark as she passed.
“I think you missed your calling, Detective Bonnie.”
“Lots of Nancy Drew books. Lots.”
The scuff marks ended at the top of the stairs. They were surrounded by four tall buildings, all of which were dark.
“Now what?,” she said.
“If I were Rosalyn, forced against my will, what would I do?”, Micah asked.
“I would leave a trail.”
“A trail of what?”
“Of whatever I had on hand.”
The pair began scouring the pavement once again, searching for clues. The had traveled several feet before something caught Bonnie’s eye.
“Micah, I think this might be a start.” She lifted up a pink sticky note that had been crumpled into a wad.
“Those look like the ones she’s been using at her garage sale. Good girl, Ros.” Micah jumped a few feet forward, picking up another sticky note wad.
“Look-there’s one in the grass ahead of you.”
The trail ended at the hedges surrounding the civic center building. They looked at the backside of the building, void of doors, windows or any sort of entrance.
“Maybe she went around the side. Or, maybe these weren’t her sticky notes.” Bonnie slumped to the grass. Micah sat down next to her, smoothing out each sticky note.
“These are definitely hers. Look at the handwriting. I would recognize the way she writes “7’s” anywhere, with the line going straight through it.”
“It always irritated her when she couldn’t read people’s 2’s or 7’s.” Bonnie sniffled and smiled.
“These look like sticky notes from her last sale. She must have stuffed them in her pockets. That means, we’re on the right trail. Come on, let’s keep looking.” Micah lifted Bonnie up and headed around the side of the building.
The speaker shouted at her, breaking the silence that had been permeating her cell.
“How do your friends know where you’re at?”
Rosalyn, huddled in the corner, only lifted up her head.
“I told Bonnie where I was going. My friends keep track of me, because they care. Not that you would ever know what that feels like.” She buried her head back into her hands.
“I don’t appreciate your sarcasm.”
“Well, get used to it.”
“How much longer do you want to stay here, Ms. Jones?”
“Forever.” She rolled her eyes. “Of course I don’t want to be here. Will you please just let me go? It’s only a matter of time before my friends find out where you’re keeping me.”
The door suddenly opened and The Suit stepped inside. He calmly walked towards the chair, pulled it out and quietly sat down.
“They’ll never find you, Ms. Jones. You see-you are at our mercy. You are hidden between two floors, something only a few select people know about. This area is encased in concrete and even if you try to escape, you’ll never figure out how to get out of here. Where you’re at was created with the express purpose of never being able to be found.”
“If I tell you what you want to know, will you let me go?” Rosalyn looked up just for a second, worried he might see her tears.
“That depends on what you tell us.” The Suit touched his ear and responded, ‘Copy that’ to no one. “Your friends have given up. They’re gone.”
“That’s a lie. They’ll never give up.”
“That’s not what it looks like to me, Ms. Jones. They just left in a black jeep. A dog was in the back seat. It looks as if you are very much alone.”
Rosalyn didn’t care anymore-she started to cry. The Suit threw a packet of tissues at her from his pocket and left the room.
“Yes, her name is Rosalyn Jones. She’s been missing since this morning. Yes, I’ll hold.” Bonnie practically screamed into the phone. Micah patted her shoulder, but continued to drive.
He could hear squabbling on the other end and hoped the police had already found her.
“What do you mean-24 hours?! She’s been kidnapped and I have to wait a whole day before you’ll do anything?” Bonnie had pulled the phone away from her ear and yelled directly into the mic at the bottom of the phone. “She could be dead by then! Who’s your superior officer? I want to speak to them.”
More squabbling. Micah could hear a pitch change and then a new voice on the other end of the line. He took a left, circling the same building once again.
“Yes, I’m looking for help in finding Ms. Rosalyn Jones. She had a meeting downtown this morning with a Robert Stope of the FBI at 1 Civic Center.”
The squabbling stopped and there was silence.
“Hello?” Bonnie said.
The squabbling started again but soon Bonnie hung up the phone.
“Well, what did they say?” Micah asked, parking on the side of the street.
“They said, ‘There is nothing we can do. However, know that she is safe’ and then he hung up on me. It was like that guys’ name spooked them.”
“What is happening here?” Micah pounded the steering wheel. After a few moments, he pulled back out onto the deserted street and they drove home in silence.