The Following Ficlet Takes Place Between 11:00 PM and 12:00 AMMature

11:03:36 PM

Sara’s parents had taken her home. The adults had confiscated her laptop and cell phone as well as Randall’s, and his parents had confined him to his room.

Dr. Reeves was on his way downtown to Chuck E. Cheese. This bought Randall some time, but not much. Randall had to get out of there, and do it quickly, if he was going to be effective in recovering Jason.

Randall checked his surroundings. There was not a lot he could use: A boombox, a TV, a Wii, which did have internet capability, but was so cumbersome to use that he didn’t even consider it.

Wait a minute! Randall’s parents had disconnected the handset to his landline, but they neglected the spare buried in his closet. The ringer was broken, but you didn’t need a ringer to dial out.

Randall dug out the phone and plugged it in. Now if he could just remember the number. Randall dialed (310) 597-3781. He heard a ringtone and the click of someone picking up.

“Hello?”

“Edgar,” Randall whispered, “Listen very carefully…”

11:21:41 PM

“I’m a professional, kid,” Marcos said without any hint of anger. “To me, this is just a job.”

He sat across from Jason, who was still tied up, soaked and shivering. Ice cubes lay scattered at his feet.

“I just want to know who might have an axe to grind with your dad,” Marcos continued. “You tell me that, all this can stop. I might even let you go.”

Jason didn’t reply. Marcos nodded to Victor, who dumped another bucket of ice water over Jason’s head.

“We can do this all night.”

Guillermo entered and handed Marcos a sheet of paper. Marcos read it, then looked up at Jason.

“What if I said your father was a traitor?” he asked Jason.

“What?” It was Jason’s first word in half an hour.

“Says here that Philip Bauer sold nuclear weapons to Russian extremists, then killed your brother, Graem, to cover his involvement,” Marcos read. “Nuclear weapons! Why would you protect a man like that?”

“Philip Bauer is not my father,” Jason said finally. “My dad’s name is Gordon Reeves.”

11:30:41 PM

Arnold stood outside of Randall’s window and waited for all of the lights in his house to go out. Then he counted to three hundred, just as Randall had instructed. After that, Arnold tossed a pebble at the window. It opened and Randall poked his head out.

“Throw me the rope,” Randall hissed.

It took nine tries, but Arnold got the rope to him. Randall tied it to the leg of his dresser, then climbed out the window and began to rappel down.

Then came the awkward sound of wood grinding against wood.

“Oh crap!”

Randall heard the dresser leg snap, then dropped onto the grass. Nothing was broken on him, but, man, was he going to feel that later.

Randall collected the rope, with the now broken dresser leg still attached to it.

“Did you bring the two-way?” he asked.

Arnold handed him a Spider-Man walkie-talkie. It had no range and it was shaped like Spidey’s head, which made it embarrassing to use, but it was all they had.

“Good job, Edgar,” Randall said. “Let’s get Chloe.”

11:48:51 PM

Marcos sat in his car in the parking lot of the Chuck E. Cheese and double checked the address Jason had given him.

“Damn it!” he cursed to himself.

The restaurant was closed and dark. The lot was empty, save for his car and a silver BMW 328i parked at the other end.

Marcos was just about to start up his car and pull away, when he spotted him. Gordon Reeves came around from the back of the building, crossed the lot and got into the Beamer.

Marcos waited a moment as Reeves started up the car and pulled out of the lot. Even this guy’s car is only generically successful, Marcos thought as he pulled out after him.

He stayed two cars behind Reeves, so as not to be spotted, but just as he was about to follow Reeves onto the freeway, Marcos’ phone rang.

Marcos checked the ID on the call. It was the Mastermind. Marcos swore to himself and hit send.

“This is Marcos,” he said.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” The Mastermind spat back.

The End

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