Neither I or Constable Roswell dared move. Every second that ticked by felt like an eternity that never ended. I could hear the tick of the second-hand of the clock echo out across the entire room. It was as if that was the only thing that mattered. That and the ringing of the phone. A receptionist wheeled over to the phone on her chair, intending to answer it. “Don't touch it!” Roswell yelled, startling the young receptionist. She lurched in her chair and slowly backed away from the phone, back to her desk. I heard the bathroom door swing open. Mother was coming back. I glanced towards the door and found that Mother was already making a move for the phone. She beat me to it and picked it up. “For heaven's sake,” she muttered, putting the phone to her ear. “Hello? Who is this?” She asked. There was a moment of quiet as the second party on the line spoke. “I'm sorry,” Mother replied. “Do I know you?” There was another moment of silence before the phone clattered down to the hard surface of the reception desk and Mother fell sideways. Constable Roswell lunged forwards and caught her before she hit the floor. I launched forward and snapped the telephone of the desk, putting it to my ear.
“What do you want?” I spat into the receiver.
“Now, now, Jonathan,” the other end said, “that is no way to answer the telephone, is it?” The voice was seemingly upper-class, yet it held a slight accent, almost Danish. “Where's Alice?” I asked, my heart racing. Right now, all I cared that she was alive. “Why, she's right here, Jonathan,” the voice said. My heart was in my throat. I heard the sound of duct tape peeling off of flesh. “Say hello to your older brother,” I heard the voice say, away from the receiver. A wheezing filled the telephone and I waited for the words.
“Jay.” The words that filled the receiver instantly filled me with relief and anger. Relief that Alice was alive; relief that there was still a chance to save my baby sister. And anger at the man who now held her captive, bound silent by duct tape. “Where are you?” I hissed into the phone. There was a moment's pause as the man replaced the duct tape and took the phone back from Alice. “Let's just say, Jonathan, that I am close enough to know that Constable Roswell is currently giving your mother, Amelia, some water to try and make her recover from her collapse just moments ago.” I glanced to my right, and, sure enough, Roswell was making Mother drink cold water out of a plastic cup. I lowered the handset and pushed it against my chest. “Roswell,” I hissed. He glanced up at me. “He's nearby,” I mouthed. “He can see us.” Roswell nodded and left the receptionist tending to Mother, whilst he rounded up the officers in the room and quickly informed them of the situation. I raised the telephone back to my ear. “Now, now, Jonathan,” the voice said. “I do not appreciate it when you leave me out of the loop like that. Please be sure to include me in the next pathetic attempt at finding me.” He had seen me telling Roswell. He had seen everything. “And, if I were you, Jonathan, I would stop all the police officers from stepping outside of that building.”
“Why is that?” I replied. “Are you afraid that they'll see you if they step outside?” The man chuckled; a deep, crackling chuckle that reverberated down the telephone. “No, I'm afraid catching me is not going to be that simple, Jonathan. I am merely warning you that, if any of those police officers open the front door of the police station and step outside, then the street cleaners will be mopping up a pool of blood from the steps and glass door.” There was the sound of a gun bolt sliding into place. He had a sniper. That's how he could see us. My gaze wandered the room and I realised that there was an officer about to leave the station. “Wait!” I yelled. The officer pushed the door open and turned to face me. Light poured into the station. I heard the man on the other side of the phone line sigh. “So be it,” he said.
There was a loud bang from the phone and the officer's face that was staring so intently at me exploded as a high calibre bullet powered through it, rupturing his skull and blowing it up. Blood splattered outwards and was blown around the room; it covered the door, the floors and the reception desk. I dropped down behind it. “Holy Christ!” I yelled, crouching behind the desk. “What did you do that for?” I yelled. “You didn't have to kill him! I had only just found out about the rules!”
“The rules must be obeyed at all times, Jonathan,” the man replied.
“Okay. Okay!” I yelled, shaking and struggling to breathe. I took a few deep breaths and pushed myself to my feet. I looked out of the window, trying to find the man that now held my life in his hands. “What do you want?” I asked.
“I want only what my note said, Jonathan. I want to play a game. A game,” he said, chuckling quietly into the receiver, “of Hide and Seek.”