CXVI:Secrets Broken(4)

By: Angie Smith

Barnes, struggling to stay in one position, had managed to sit and prop herself up in the back corner of the Transit. Her arms were stretched out, one hand gripped the vehicle’s side rail, the other held the rear door; her feet were planted firmly against the intruding rear wheel arch, pushing her torso diagonally back. In spite of this, it was becoming increasingly difficult to remain stationary, given the speed and erratic nature in which the van was being driven.

She couldn’t hear any pursuing sirens, so she assumed they were not being chased. Nevertheless, Williams wasn’t hanging around. She’d tried to visualise the route he was taking. He’d reversed out of the property and driven off down the street, turning left at the end and going the opposite way to which she and Woods had arrived, of that she was certain. But she’d quickly lost her bearings, and now had no idea where they were heading.

Attempting to suppress the maelstrom of information swirling around in her mind, regarding what had just taken place in the building, she focused on how she might overpower her abductor. She decided her best chance would be when he changed vehicles, and knowing his modus operandi she presumed this should be taking place quite soon.

Unfortunately, as her eyes accustomed to the darkness, it became clear there wasn’t anything in the back of the van that she could utilise as a weapon. Therefore, she needed a plan to outwit him. But she knew he was smart. Suddenly her senses heightened as she smelt something. What was it? She sniffed, but whatever it was had gone. Her mind quickly redeployed as she got the distinct impression they were now travelling over rough unmade terrain. He’ll have a vehicle waiting nearby… she told herself, I’ll leave DNA. She tore out a clump of hair and pushed it behind the side rail. The van bounced, skidded and swayed as it fought for traction; then with a loud bang, followed by shuddering, they were back on smooth ground and slowing down. Was it broken? It swung violently to the right and skidded to a halt; she braced hard tensing every muscle. It began to reverse. As it did she could hear squeaking metal and a chain clanking; it sounded like a roller shutter door. She guessed they were entering a building. They stopped and the engine silenced, but the squeaking and clanking continued for another twenty seconds.

She crept into a more central position, crouched and got ready to pounce. The driver’s door closed with force and the van fleetingly swayed with the momentum. She listened to footsteps fading away, then some rummaging and finally the footsteps getting louder and approaching the back of the vehicle. Immediately the metal locking mechanism squealed as the handle was pulled down and the doors flung open. She squinted and put her hand up to shade the brightness of what appeared to be a high powered torch shining straight into her eyes. She was aware of someone — she assumed it to be Williams — jumping in the back, but she couldn’t see. She felt his hands on her, then the weight of him as he forced her to the floor face down while her wrists were being pulled behind her and handcuffed. She screamed and tried to kick out as she felt her ankles being secured together, and then she was roughly turned over. It was Williams. “What do you think you are doing?” she managed to call out, before duct tape was stuck across her mouth.

He picked her up and carried her out of the van. She glanced around. It was dimly lit with a few sporadic fluorescent light tubes, but she noted they were inside what looked like a medium sized workshop. There were various benches up against the perimeter walls, an assortment of tools and machinery, and also parked at the opposite side to the Transit was a large shiny, silver Mercedes coupe. The boot lid was already open and they were heading towards it.

“There’s plenty of room in here,” he said, dropping her in. “I’ll deal with you later.”

She landed awkwardly and stared in horror at the lid automatically closing down on top of her. She opened her eyes wide, seeing nothing but blackness. Over the sound of her pounding heart she listened to his footsteps, wondering what he was doing. The sound of squeaking metal and a chain clanking, partly answered, as did the Transit driver’s door banging shut and the sound of its engine. He’s leaving me here! I need to get out!

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