For Chapter 6 I tried to pull back the reins a little bit and take stock of where we were and maybe set up where we are going. Trying to match up with everything that came before was tough but I did my best. I can't say too much about my motivations as that would be a violation of the book club rules. Enjoy.
Chapter 6: Operation Umbrella, or All Is Not Lost
It’s stopped raining
My phones display reads 91, my finger poised over that final digit.
What would I tell them? This story is so insane. “So I was walking around casually minding my own business, when this mysterious woman told me to get into her car at gunpoint, then she told me to get out and we were at the park where my fiancée Adeline was murdered, so that was eerie, but this time there were no pigeons around, well I mean there were pigeons at my store a few days ago, and I guess that’s an odd coincidence and I might be interested in reading something into it, but it’s not really all that relevant to now, when she was about to shoot me, but then she hesitated for some reason and got shot by this other guy with a gun and then he told me to tase her, and so I picked up the taser – oh yeah there was a taser – and then I tased her and then the other guy put her in the back of his car and drove off.”
Just listening to this rambling mess, even I think I may just be going crazy.
Outside the Mercury Zephyr the rain is weakly protesting the day’s events. Misting. The worst kind of rain.
In the back seat of the unidentified man’s car Rain, blindfolded, gagged, and bound, has regained consciousness, but has yet to move. This isn’t the first time she’s been captured. She knows it won’t be the last. Her thoughts are on the man, Jerry Marston. He’s the first person she’s ever failed to kill. She knows she should feel something – anger, frustration, disappointment, anything really – but she’s numb. She wonders if that’s an effect of the taser.
The man picks up his phone. Dials.
Operation Umbrella is proceeding as planned sir. You’ll have her in less than a week.
I could deliver faster, but I don’t want to. I get my time. That was the deal.
Don’t worry. I have no intention of hurting her.
Her thoughts go to Driftwood as she formulates her escape plan.
I look away from the phone for a minute. A cat is sitting in my lap. Driftwood, is stitched into his emerald green collar. His presence is calming.
“How do you factor into this little buddy?”
He doesn’t answer. It’s odd to admit that I was kind of expecting him to. After everything that’s happened these past few days, why shouldn’t cats talk?
Am I actually going crazy?
I look around the park, trying to get my bearings. The sun is back out, and excluding my own disheveled appearance the park accurately reflects South Haverbrook opulence. The shed, once dilapidated was restored within a week of Adeline’s murder. Another example of the world moving on without me. Ignoring me.
My phone’s backlight has gone off and through the glare I can barely make out the two digits I’ve entered. Calling the police is the right thing to do, even if they’ll never find my abductor, or my savior.
I push the 1.
Moments after hatching the escape plan Rain’s hands are already free of their constrictions. She keeps them behind her back to prevent the unidentified man from noticing.
She envisions the break out in her mind. She’ll wait for a bump in the road when he won’t be attuned to slight movements of her body. Then, she will wrap the rope that had been used to tie her hands around his neck. She thought there was something poetic about that – as the hunted become the hunter, the bounds would become the weapon. She would grab both ends of the rope with her left hand and with her right she would constrict both of his arms.
Her mind shifts gears. She dwells on Jerry once more. And the poem. The poem that had been lodged in her brain, the poem that seemed so important to her, the poem that he choose to say a part of before he died. She realizes that as soon as she gets out of this situation she needs to get back to Jerry Marston.
The car starts slowing, then stops. The unidentified man gets out of the driver’s seat. Rain can hear his footsteps crunching the loose gravel of the shoulder as he walks to the trunk. The trunk opens, something is lifted out, and then it is closed. The door at her feet is opened.
I know you untied my knots. Show me your hands slowly. Good. Now remove your blindfold.
The man is pointing a gun – her gun – at her.
I’m holding the phone to my ear, but I don’t hear anything. I look at the display, 9-1-1. Right, I always forget that you need to push send. I waver once more.
What are the police going to do? There are no witnesses. More importantly, there is no crime. I stare at the screen.
The phone is ringing. Driftwood looks at it and then at me. I answer it.
A faint scratching and flapping noise.
“Seriously? This again? What are there pigeons in my apartment now?”
“No Mr. Marston. There are no pigeons in your apartment. The pigeons were a warning. I suggest you heed it.”
“Are you serious right now? The pigeons were a warning? Why didn’t you just call me and say hey, Jerry the crazy bitch that killed Adeline is coming to kill you? That would have been a much more effective warning asshole”
“She didn’t kill Adeline, and that’s not what the warning was. I can’t explain it all to you now, but things are in motion and you are a part of it. The pigeons were a heads up.”
“Oh great! Things are in motion! That’s an eye opening revelation. What the fuck does that even mean? What is this, Lost?”
“I assure you this is no TV show. You are not in purgatory, or hell or the afterlife. You have not been transported in time or place. You are in South Haverbrook CT, and things are in motion. What those things are, Jerry, is up to you.”
The phone clicks dead. I look at Driftwood. “So. Where do we go from here?”