This morning, I’m sharing Chapter 5, Part 10 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”
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 9“
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.
Chapter 5-Part 10
Bonnie awoke to a light tapping on her window. She glanced at the clock-3:30 am. Grabbing the robe at the foot of her bed, she walked to the window and gently lifted a slat in the blinds. A pair of eyes stared back at her-the only thing visible in the darkness. Scared, she dropped the blind and jumped back.
“Who are you?,” she called from inside the room. Slowly, she slid the baseball bat out from underneath her bed.
“I may know where your friend Rosalyn is being held,” the muffled voice, with a thick accent, responded. “Let me in and I’ll tell you what you need to know.”
“No way. I’m not letting some stranger in my home at 3:30am. Why didn’t you knock on the front door, like a normal person?”
“I didn’t want to be seen from the street. Please, I know where they are holding Ms. Jones.”
“Who are you?,” Bonnie moved further away from the window.
“I’m a man that had the same thing happen to him. My name is Tibar. I had garage sales and I was abducted, just like Ms. Jones.”
“Come to the back door. I’ll open the door, but I’m leaving the screen door shut and locked. Try anything and you’ll get a face full of pepper spray. Understand, Tibar?” Bonnie added to her weaponry the pepper spray kept in the night stand drawer.
“I understand. Don’t turn on any lights. We don’t want the neighbors to know.”
Bonnie tied the robe as tight as possible, baseball bat in hand and stuffed the pepper spray in her robe pocket. Slowly, she unlocked the dead bolt and opened the back door.
“How did you know where to find me? How do you know that I know Rosalyn?,” Bonnie stared into the eyes of a short man with greasy brown hair. He was dressed in black from head to toe and looked the part of a cat burglar, save his large belly protruding over his belted pants.
“I came to her sale, and while I was there, I saw him.” Tibar’s eyes grew wide.
“Him? The Suit?”
“Yes. He’s the same man that abducted me.”
“What happened to you? Where did he take you and why did he take you?” Bonnie loosened her grip on her pepper spray.
“I am Tibar, purveyor of fine, used books. I know books and I know their value. But–” Tibar’s finger shot in the air, “–most people don’t. At a flea market, I found an original Velveteen Rabbit and paid $5 for it. I sold it for more than $250.” Tibar’s smile stretched across his face.
“That’s, um, great. But, how does this coincide with the disappearance of my friend?” Bonnie yawned.
“Ah, yes. And, I apologize ma’am for waking you. But there was no other time I felt it would be safe to contact you. After I sold and shipped that book, I started getting strange phone calls in the middle of the night. A man showed up at my garage sales. He kept asking me who my source was.”
“Was it that same man at our garage sale?”
“Exactly the same man. Then, he started following me to book stores and to flea markets. I didn’t feel safe,” Tibar removed his glasses and wiped at them with a handkerchief.
“Why did he care about the books you were buying?,” Bonnie unlatched the screen door and let Tibar inside. For a moment, he let his eyes adjust to the dimly lit kitchen.
“I wondered the same thing. Then, one day, I came home and my front door was wide open. My wife was talking with some man in the kitchen. She was crying and told me I could never buy another book. I agreed, just to get him out of my home. But, I saw a book I just couldn’t pass up later that week. I paid generously for it and resold it for only a few dollar’s profit. That very next day, that man abducted me.”
“What did he do to you?”
“He took me from a parking lot, put a bag over my head, and the next thing I knew, I was in a concrete room being asked all sorts of questions.” Tibar rubbed at his temples, but then continued. “I was there for several days and when finally released, they told me I couldn’t tell anyone, or my wife would be in danger. She was told that I was on a business trip-by my own office.”
“I don’t understand,” Bonnie paced around the kitchen, her robe swishing behind her. “What did they want with you and now with Ros? You’re just a couple of normal people.”
“I have no idea,” Tibar grabbed her shoulders and stopped her pacing. “But, I do know that these are not nice people. Not nice at all.” He pulled down the edge of his black t-shirt, revealing a scar just above his clavicle.
“What did they do to you?,” Bonnie’s voice was squeaking.
“I can’t remember-they gave me a drug so that I would forget. I just know I didn’t have this until I met that man. He’s dangerous.” Tibar put his glasses back on.
“So, where is she? You said you knew where they were taking her.” She fished around for a piece of paper and a pencil from her kitchen drawer.
“When I woke up, I was sitting on a park bench, downtown. I was right in front of the Civic Center building, in the middle of the day. People were passing me by as if nothing had happened. But, they had to have dragged me to that bench. Someone must have seen something.” He shook his head.
Tibar exited the back door quietly, after giving a detailed description of exactly where he awoke and on what bench downtown. Bonnie looked at the clock after he’d gone–it was almost 5am. There was no use going back to bed. By the time she’d had a shower, an entire pot of coffee and breakfast, she left for work.
She called Micah on the way and filled him in on that early morning meeting.
“I’m going downtown over my lunch hour,” she said. “Do you want to meet me?”
“You bet. I’ll be there at noon.” Micah said goodbye and two hung up.
Bonnie parked her car in front of the library, just steps away from the bench Tibar had described to her. The bench faced the Civic Center building, with its back to the library. A large fountain was between the two buildings and presently was crawling with worker bees enjoying the fresh air.
Micah approached Bonnie from the opposite direction, having parked closer to the Civic Center.
“I checked around the building again, and I found something interesting,” Micah whispered to Bonnie. Nonchalantly, she slung her arm through his and the two slowly approached the building, pretending to enjoy a stroll.
They came to the point in the landscaping where the pink sticky notes– surmised as Rosalyn’s–had ended during their first investigation.
“Let me take a picture of you,” Micah winked to Bonnie and grabbed his phone. “Just a little to the left, a little to the left. Oh, the sun is so bright. Can you go between those two hedges?”
Bonnie backed up slowly, looking around to see if anyone else was watching them. She slunk in between the hedges and then, behind them. Flattening herself between the building and the bushes, she waited for Michael.
“Oh, no,” Micah’s muffled voice reached her ears. “I dropped my phone behind these bushes.”
“You get an “A” for improvisation but an “F” for acting,” Bonnie whispered to him once he had joined her behind the hedges.
“I never was the star of any school plays,” he smiled back to her. “Now, look down here.” Micah pointed to a spot on the slab of the building where an arc of dirt seemed to disappear into the wall. The two began to push against the wall, running their fingers along seams and cracks.
“There has to be a door somewhere, right?,” Bonnie was pressing against a small rock embedded in the side wall. “Dirt just doesn’t naturally do that.”
“That’s exactly what I thought.” Micah was now squatted down, pressing against the bottom of the wall, right next to where the dirt stopped.
The bushes next to them rustled. Both Micah and Bonnie froze. They heard a twig snap and then another. Micah signaled to her to run the opposite direction. The pair took off, heading for a break in the hedges. Bonnie’s loose shirt was snagged and she tore it as she ran. Micah’s baseball cap had been ripped off by a low hanging branch. Behind them, they heard two voices.
“Hey! You two come back here!,” one of the men yelled, chasing after them.
“Run faster, Bonnie!” Micah was almost stepping on her heels.
They found a break in the hedges and took off in two different directions-each for their own car. The man stumbled out from behind the building, searching for Bonnie. She had already immersed herself in the group of people inhabiting the fountain, removed her top button up-shirt and threw it away, leaving only a tank top underneath. Bonnie pulled her hair up into a ponytail and put on her sunglasses.
A makeshift disguise, she thought to herself.
The second man stumbled out seconds later, his mission clearly on Micah. Bonnie peered over her shoulder, but Micah was nowhere to be seen. She smiled, and made her way to the car, meandering through a parking lot, weaving between rows of cars. She felt just like a spy, just like her hero-Nancy Drew.
Bonnie unlocked her car, checked over her shoulder again to make sure she wasn’t spotted, and then drove away.