Number one Fan

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Featured Review on this writing by Robert Helliger

In this sequel to "If You Could Hear What I See." Jack Donovan is held hostage by a strange women who pretends to be married to him. How will Jack get away from here and return home?

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

Number One Fan

By Brian Lee Clements


With sirens blaring, the ambulance quickly pulled up to St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs.  The EMT’s jumped out and got Jack out of the back of the ambulance and rushed him into the emergency room to get checked out.


“He’s sunburned and severely dehydrated.” one of the technicians said.” Unfortunately he also got hit by a car.  No broken bones that we can see but a lot of bruising. He seems to be very confused and, for some reason, he’s not responding to our questions.”

“It’s because he’s deaf.” Dr Robinson said. “This is Dr. Donovan’s husband, Jack.”

“Wow, Bummer."

“Yea, Bummer.”


Kate rushed to the emergency room when she heard what happened. There, she saw her husband laying there in the examination room and went and tried to help him in some way. But she was stopped by JoAnne.


“Kate, please.’ JoAnne said, “You can’t be here.  Let me take care of Jack for you like you took care of Lee when he got shot...I got this."


Two years before, JoAnne’s husband was shot twice while on patrol with the Colorado State Patrol. Kate came in to take over for JoAnne when Lee came into the emergency room and helped save his life.


As they looked at each other and hugged, tears started flowing from both doctor’s eyes.  Kate knew that JoAnne was right. But she wasn’t sure what to do.  She’s never seen Jack this bad before.


A couple of nurses led Kate into the waiting room and sat with her until they were needed, which was only for a few minutes.


“Jack,” Kate said to herself, “What in the hell happened to you these last two days?”


Forty-eight hours earlier at around five am, Jack was already up and getting everything ready for Kate. She wanted to be woken at 5:30. No earlier, no later.  Coffee just started brewing and Jack will start the toast in a few minutes.  Kate was one of those people who would love to be able to take their coffee intravenously. But she would have to take it the old fashion way; in a mug.  Jack, on the other hand, was a tea lover.  Yes, they had a mixed marriage.


“Alright Kate. Up and at em. You’re finally beating the sun up this morning.”

“Jack. Please. Five more minutes. If you give me these extra minutes, you can rub my back this evening.”

“Honey, you know I can’t hear you.  If you don’t get up, I’m letting the dogs in.  That’s right, Hanz, Franz and Porthos will help wake you up.

“Okay, Okay. I’m up. 


Kate grabbed her pillow and tried to throw it at him but it only reached the end of the bed.


“Wow, what a throw. Is that the best you can do?”


Kate then grabbed a throw pillow and smacked him square in the face.  She then got out of bed and went to take her shower.  In the meantime, Jack just laughed, then headed back downstairs and got her toast and coffee ready.  Sam, their sixteen year old daughter, was enjoying her last few days of freedom before school started later in the week. 


After Jack got Kate off to work, he went to his office to check on emails like he does every morning.  Since his shoulder was healing pretty well after his surgery a couple of months ago, he figured he could probably do more with it. But not overdo it.


About 10 minutes later, Hanz, Franz and Porthos came upstairs and just stared at Jack.  He knew what that meant.  They wanted cheese and to go outside.  Jack went down and gave them their snack.  Not too much for Porthos, since he was only a nine week old German Shepard and still with a delicate stomach. Jack gave him too much cheese a week ago and had to clean up the mess.  He called the trio, “The Three Muskateers.”


After their little romp outside chasing the squirrels, they came in and took their morning naps. Even Porthos, their new German Shepherd, did too. it won’t be too long until he’s bigger than the dachshunds.


After everybody got settled, Jack then went back upstairs to check his email.  His new website made it a lot easier to manage everything. He was able to avoid all of those prank emails that he used to get.


As he looked through the new inquiries; three to be exact, there was always the one that catches his eye.  Those are the ones that get him in trouble. This one was a missing person's request.Jack was hoping this would be an easier one since the person has only been missing for a week.  Unlike the one from a few weeks ago when the person was gone for nineteen years.


Mr. Donovan,


I hope you are doing well.  Writing emails is all new to me so I’ll get right to the point. 


My daughter has been missing since August 16.  Kathleen just recently broke up with her fiance the day before and we are very worried about her.  She  found out that her fiance's ex-wife was sleeping in his house when he's not there. So he says. We are afraid she will harm herself because she doesn't feel loved.  I guess when you feel your life is over and you have no one in it, why care.


Could you please help us? The Denver police won’t do anything because she’s an adult and no foul play is suspected.  We think she may be in the Colorado Springs area where she has some close friends.


My cell phone number is 303-555-0176


Thank you in advance.


Jozi Zimmer.


After Jack read the email, he decided to text her since that will be a little quicker.


“Ms. Zimmer, this is Jack Donovan.  I thought it would be better to text you so we could get your daughter, Kathleen, back a little faster.  Just to let you know that I am deaf but I read lips pretty good.  Would you like to meet me at my office or somewhere more public?”


Jack was surprised that he got a really quick response.


“I was wondering if you could meet me at our place on Edison Road out in Yoder. Just past Sopko Lane/”


“That seems odd,” Jack said to himself. “That’s way out in the boonies. Cattle country. Who from Denver has a place out in Yoder?”


“Sure. Can you send me the address?  Is this where your daughter might be staying?”

The address is sent and then the text reads “AFAIK, no.”


“What the heck does AFAIK mean?” Jack wonders.


“I’ll be there as soon as I can”

“PLMN so I can be ready.”


“What in the world?” 


“She’s a PYT and I really don’t want anything to happen to her.  TTFN”


“Wow,” Jack keeps talking to himself. “TTFN, something I finally understand.  That’s what Tigger always said. “Ta Ta for now.”


Before he left to go to Yoder, Jack decided to look up these codes so he would know what he was dealing with.


PLMK (please let me know)

PYT (pretty young thing)

AFAIK  (As far as I know)

TTFN  (Ta Ta for now)


Jack was right. He only knew one of the abbreviations. And that’s from a cartoon. Jack decided to get his service revolver, a 9mm out of the safe just in case something went wrong. Almost like a premonition. What could possibly happen. But with Jack, you never know. 


After he changed into his jeans and tennis shoes, Jack texted her that it would take about an hour and fifteen minutes to get out there.  And the response was. “SYL


“I hope it means ‘see you later’,” Jack said to himself. ”For a person who doesn’t know how to use email, she sure can text pretty well.”


Jack headed out around eleven o’clock and, since the high will be in the nineties,  stopped by Chick Fil-A and got some sweet iced tea to sip on while he drove out to the address in Yoder.  It took him about an hour and twenty minutes to find the street he was looking for.  And then fifteen more minutes to get to Sopko Lane.


When Jack got to the intersection of Edison Road and Sopko lane, he decided to get out of his car and look around.  Since there were no cars on the highway and he hadn’t seen any for the last ten minutes, he stopped his car in the middle of the intersection.


He got out, looked to his right. Saw nothing.  Looked to his left, Saw nothing. And then behind him, still saw nothing and then just shook his head.


Jack then said to himself, “Why am I even out here?  This is just a big waste of time.”


At that moment, Jack gets a text from Ms Zimmer,


“Just wondering where you are right now.”

Jack responds, “I’m at Edison and Sopko. Don’t see any houses around here.”

“My house is about three miles to the south of where you’re located.  The first one on the left.  You can’t miss it.”

“OK. Will be there as soon as I can.”

“Can’t wait.


Before Jack got back in his car, he decided to text Kate.


In Yoder on a case. Will text you when I am finished out here.  Sure is hot.”

Kate responds, “Yoder?”


That was the extent of their conversation since Jack doesn’t like to text and drive. driving and not being able to hear is bad enough.  Add texting would be an accident waiting to happen for Jack.


As Jack pulled up to the address, he noticed that the house was a nice modern two story brick home probably not more than two years old.  It had a type of old English pink veneer brick with grey trim and a couple of bay windows, Very nice.


The aspens and ponderosa pines along the driveway looked about the same age.  The yard and trees will look great in about five years.


After driving up the two hundred yard driveway, Jack pulls up in front of the garage. As he got out of the car, he noticed how still the trees were with no wind.  Jack felt that he was at a disadvantage since he can’t hear.


As he walked towards the front porch, Jack noticed a swing going back and forth.  With no wind, he has to assume that there was somebody sitting there when he pulled up.  But, where is that person now? Jack decided to get his gun out of his hoster.  He slowly walked up to the house and towards the stairs.  He then climbed the stairs one by one until he got to the top step. Or so he thought was the top step.  But that step wasn’t there. He miscounted


Suddenly, the step he thought was there was gone and Jack stumbled three steps like a drunken sailor toward the front door. He then fell and realized he needed to protect his right shoulder. While doing that, he landed on his left shoulder, dropped his gun and then hit his head on the door landing.  What happened shortly after that, Jack doesn’t remember.


About an hour later, Jack woke with a whopper of a headache.  He sat up on the edge of a  bed in a nicely decorated bedroom.  He notices a bathroom and decides to look at the damage and to freshen up. 


As he looked at the mirror he noticed a scrap above his right eye  and said to himself, “Oh my, what the hell happened to my forehead.” Crap. Kate is going to kill me when she sees this.”


He also sees blood coming out of his right ear and fears the worst.


“God, I hope I don’t have a skull Fracture.”


As he was looking and examining himself in the mirror, Jack was startled when a young woman suddenly appeared behind him in the door and took a picture of him.


“Who are you?” Jack asked. “What in the hell is going on?”

“Uh, My name is Kathleen Zimmer. What’s going on? I have no idea. What’s your name?”


Jack had to think fast so he could figure everything out.


“I don’t know.  That fall seems to have joggle my memory.  Apparently, it looks like I don’t have any hearing either. So please bare with me.”

“You don’t remember anything?”

“Nope. Not a thing.  I don’t even know how I got here or why.”

“Well, your name is Jack Donovan and I am your wife.”

“What? My wife? How long have we been married?”

“About three years. We bought this house soon after we got married.”

“Aren’t you a little young to be married to me?”

“That’s what people said when we got married.  But we’ve been very happy.”

“Boy, my head is hurting. Do you have any Tylenol or Aleve?”

“Sure. Follow me.”


As they walked toward the kitchen, Jack notices how the house was decorated.  Mainly antiques and older furniture.  Some of the items were even from the seventies. The taste leaves a lot to be desired.  Kathleen then takes more pictures of Jack and then of the two of them together


“You said we are married? 

“Yea, babe. What about it?” 

“Why keep your maiden name? And Where is your wedding ring?”

“I lost it a couple of weeks ago. As for my name, I kept it for professional reasons.“I’m a computer geek.”

“I don’t see a computer around here.”

“I work for Oracle in the Springs.”

“And what do I do?”

“You’re a cattle farmer.”


“How big is the herd?”

“About 100 head”


Jack noticed a bite mark on her hand and was puzzled about it.


“What happened to your hand?

“Got bit by a pig.”

“You did? You're kidding me? Right?  A pig?I thought this was a cattle farm.”

“It happened at a neighbor's farm. I was petting the little bastard and it took a big chunk out of me.”

“It doesn’t look too bad.  I guess we’re having pork chops for dinner tonight.”


Jack looked outside and didn’t see a barn or any cattle in sight.  He started to wonder if this was really a cattle farm. Where is the equipment?


“Kathleen, where are the cows?” “We keep them about five miles down the road.  We couldn’t find any extra acreage near this place so we bought some acres on the other side of the next house. I know it sounds confusing, but at least I can get some sleep without all the noise.”

“I guess that makes sense.  I’m going to go outside for a minute.”

“Would you like your binoculars? You like to spy on the neighbors a lot.”

“Sure. They might come in handy.”


Jack went outside to look around the area to see where he was. He would like to run, but he didn’t know where his gun was.  Did she have it or did it fall in the bushes in front of the house?


While looking around, he saw where Pikes Peak was located, which helped him get a sense of direction.  If he had to run on foot, at least he knew which direction to go. He also saw an electrical substation along the same route. Hopefully he could use that to his advantage.  He decided to keep walking around the house and when he got to the back, he saw his car.


“What the heck? Jack thinks to himself,  “How did it get back here? It looks ok. Let’s look under the hood.” 


 The battery was gone. Kathleen took it.


“Crap. Now what will I do? Run? Better not do it now with it being so blasted hot.  Probably will try tonight”


Jack starts planning his escape. But he had to be discreet.


“Can we go see the cattle this afternoon?”

“No, not today. When you had your accident, I asked a couple of neighbors to check up on them. Is that okay?”

“Sure. I’m anxious to get back to work.”

“Tomorrow, my dear.  After a good night's sleep.”

“Okay. you probably know best.”


“Well, that idea won’t work.” Jack thought to himself.  “Maybe I can try something when she is asleep.”


Well, dinnertime came around and, sure enough, they had pork chops for dinner. Jack’s favorite.


“This isn’t the pig that bit you, is it?

“Oh no. I bought this a few days ago”

“Good. I would have felt bad if that pig lost his life because of that bite.”

“He’ll probably be around for a few more months before he is sold.”


After dinner, Jack tried to figure out what the next move will be.  In the meantime, he started to get drowsy from the warm milk that Katleen had given him after the meal.  He suddenly realized that the milk could have been drugged.  He went out like a light.


The next thing Jack remembered was waking up in bed with the sun shining in his eyes.  Kathleen got up and opened the blinds and drapes. He now understood why Kate hated how he opened the blinds each morning. Jack decided to ignore what she was wearing so he won’t be tempted because she was wearing a nice red spaghetti strap red nightgown.


“How did you sleep, honey?” Kathleen asked in a happy tone.

“Okay, I guess. What did you put in that milk?”

“Just something to help you sleep. Remember, you did have an accident yesterday>”

“How can I forget.”


After he got up, Jack decided to eat breakfast and some unsweetened tea that she had in the cupboard.


“God. This  tea is terrible.” Jack said to himself.


While drinking the unforgivable tea, Jack decided to walk around the house and, once again, tried to figure out how to make his escape from this awful woman.  Jack then started to think about his wife, Kate, and what she must be going through.


While walking, Jack got an idea about escaping. But he needed to act fast.  He quickly went inside and started to look around the kitchen.


“Kathleen, do you know where I can find a sweater.  I’m getting a little chilled.”

“Yes, dear. Your Cardigan should be in the hall closet.  Would you like me to get it?” 

“Yes, Please.”


As she headed to the coat closet, Jack grabbed one of the dining room chairs and carried it towards the front without banging anything, which was a big accomplishment for Jack.


As she opened the door, Jack rushed towards her and quickly pushed her in the closet. He then grabbed the chair and pushed it up against the doorknob locking her there, at least for a little while.  In the meantime, Jack grabbed a small hammer that he noticed earlier in the drawer. 


Jack ran out of the house and ran north on Edison.  Or so he hopes is north.  Even though it was already a little warm, Jack was able to get to the electric substation in about fifteen minutes.


When he got there, Jack was sucking air like you wouldn’t believe.  He was a little out of shape plus being about a mile above sea level and being very thirsty sure didn’t help.  After he caught his breath, Jack tried to figure out how to get into the substation.


Jack noticed that the lock on the gate was one of those flimsy ones from years ago with about a ton of rust on it. Jack took one swing of the hammer and the lock fell apart even with his weak shoulder.  Now the question was, what to do next? 


As Jack checked out the electrical station, he saw quite a few places where he could do some  damage. But he would probably be electrocuted.He then wondered how far he could throw the hammer that he had.


He found a rock about the same weight as the hammer and decided to throw it towards the electrical circuits.  His first attempt overhanded did not go well.


“Crap. That’s not going to work.” Jack said to himself.  “Only three yards. I have to do better than that.  I wonder how far I can throw it underhanded.”


Jack tried it underhanded and made it 10 yards.


That meant that he will have to be closer to all that electricity than he had hoped. He ran around the substation until he saw what looked like the weakest part of the whole structure.  A control panel that was left open.  He opened it and got a gleam in his eyes. 


Jack stepped back and decided to throw the hammer at the opened door.

“Here goes nothing.”


When he threw it, the hammer hit the panel in the perfect place and caused the largest sparks that Jack ever saw.  It even caused Jack to fall on his back while every piece of equipment went up in smoke.


“If this doesn’t get anyone’s attention, nothing will. Don’t know how I’m going to also explain this to Kate.”


After causing as much damage as he could, he ran toward the road to find a car passing by. No cars were coming from the north or the south.  So, he decided to walk north as quickly as he could.  As he walked, Jack kept checking behind him making sure Kathleen was not following him.


After about five minutes, Jack started to get a little confused and more tired.  He realized that he needed to get some water very quickly or his situation will not turn out too well.


When he turned around, Jack noticed that a car was coming fast from Kathleen’s home and he figured he better do something quickly.  Fortunately, there was a truck coming from the opposite way coming towards him just as fast.


“God, I hope whoever that is gets here first.” Jack said to himself.


Jack waved the truck down and there was a young couple driving the truck.


“Hi, I’m John Cary and this is my wife, May. How can we help you?”

“Can you please call 911? I’ve been held hostage and am very dehydrated. And we need to move fast before she gets here.”


At that moment, Kathleen drove by Jack and the truck he was standing by and suddenly stopped about thirty yards in front of them.  She then put the car in reverse and put on the gas towards Jack. 


Jack decided to make a mad dash toward the field but just wasn’t fast enough in his condition. Before he was able to get across, Jack tried to jump up and landed on the trunk of the car. Kathleen quickly stopped the car and Jack fell off the trunk, landed onto the road and got the wind knocked out of him.


She then drove the car forward and started to back up over Jack again.  Fortunately, John Cary pulled his truck in front of Jack protecting him from being hit again.  Kathleen then put her car in forward and drove off leaving them behind.


John got out of the car and asked, ”Are you okay? Help is on the way.”

“Thanks. Not really. By the way. I’m Jack Donovan. Unfortunately, I am deaf and can’t hear a word you’re saying. But I can read lips pretty well. Please bare with me.”

“Yes sir.  I’m on the phone with 911.  Hold on for a minute, sir.”

“Okay. Please ask them to hurry.  I feel like crap.”

John tapped Jack on the shoulder “EMT’s should be here in five minutes.  911 said that they know you pretty well and that you’ve been missing for about a day. Your wife called the police when you didn’t respond to her text message.”

“Thank God.  Going to kiss her when I see her next.”

“Great idea. But after you take a shower.”

Jack lets out a small laugh.  “I don’t think she’ll mind.”


The ambulance and fire trucks got there and the emergency personnel got Jack checked out and put him in the ambulance.  They then gave him a saline I.V. and started to ask him questions. Jack was so out of it that he couldn’t understand what was being said.

The hour drive felt like forever to Jack.  Probably for the EMT’s also.


“Mr Donovan, Jack. We’ve notified the St Francis Hospital and your wife will meet us there.  Don’t worry.  You should be ok.  Bruised, dehydrated but okay.”


Once at the hospital, they got Jack out of the ambulance and whisked him into an examination room.  After the initial examination from Dr. Robinson, she steps out and talks to Jack’s wife, who comes running down.  From where Jack was sitting, it looked like an intense conversation.  After Kate and JoAnne hugged,  Kate was led to the waiting room by a couple of nurses.


While Jack was waiting for JoAnne to get back, he asked one of the nurses for a notepad and scribbled a short message and gave it to one of the nurses.  The nurse then got on the phone and called security to come down.


At that time, Kathleen came running into the emergency room and started to demand answers.


“Where’s my husband?” Kathleen yelled out.  “I heard he was brought in here and I want to see him.”


Kate heard all the commotion and walked over to her, “Can I help? Who is your husband?”

“Why, Jack Donovan, of course. He was working the farm and he got trampled by a cow.”

Kate is a little stunned and says, “Let me talk with the admissions desk and find out something for you.  Why don’t you sit over here?”


Kate went over to the desk and said to the attendant, “This woman says that she is Jack’s wife and that he got trampled by a cow.  Do you know what in the hell is going on?

“Doctor,” The attendant said, “Your husband has already told the nurses about her and security is coming down.  Also, the police are on their way.”

“Thanks.  I’ll go sit with her and get some information”


At that time, security and police entered the emergency room.  The officers talked to Jack and he pointed to the woman, Kathleen, who held him captive for the last couple of days. The woman was placed under arrest and escorted by the police and taken to the police station. She was charged with kidnapping and assault.


In the meantime, a security guard is placed in front of his room so there would be no more interruptions.  About an hour later, Kate came into the room in her scrubs, looked at Jack and tears started to flow from her pretty blue eyes.  She then walked over and gave Jack a big hug and kiss.


“Ahh.  Not too hard.” Jack yelled out.  “It even hurts when I blink my eyes.”

Kate laughs out, “Jack, you’re looking better. What in the world am I going to do with you?”

“It wasn’t my fault this time  I was just doing a missing person’s case that sent me out into the boonies.”

“Jack, yes and no.  I checked your email last night and the message from Mrs. Zimmer had the wrong phone number on it.  She sent you a corrected number after you left.”

“Then who was the person I was with these last couple of days? What happened to Kathleen Zimmer?”

“Katheen returned home this morning. The other woman turned out to be Amelia Myers.  She escaped from a mental hospital in South Dakota. You’re lucky to be alive. She was in the hospital for an evaluation for a murder case there.”


“Wow is right…. How come I wasn’t invited?”

“To what?”
“Your wedding. And she is so young. Can you imagine the shock?”

“About that. You’re going to laugh.  I pretended to have amnesia so I wouldn’t give anything away.  Apparently, I pretended too well. Didn’t expect all of that to happen.  I hope the electric company isn’t too upset.”

“I doubt it.  They were going to dismantle the substation next month. They’ll just start a little earlier.  In the meantime, you will be staying here overnight for observation. 

“Okay. Can I get the same room as last time?”

“Maybe. When you get home, Sam and I will make you some pork chops. How does that sound?”

Jack makes a face, “Sounds good. But Kathleen, or whatever her name was, got bit by a pig the other day and I’m afraid that she may had used it to make pork chops yesterday.”


They both laughed concerning the pork chops and started talking about his next case and when Jack will surprise her in the emergency room.  Hopefully not too soon 


Submitted: September 21, 2019

© Copyright 2021 Brian Lee Clements. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Robert Helliger

An excellent, well written, thriller.

Mon, September 30th, 2019 5:32am


Thank you.

Mon, September 30th, 2019 7:30am

Antietam 5


Mon, November 18th, 2019 1:15am


I really enjoyed reading this well written thriller that really hits the mark. I have written my own thriller "Glory" which you can read here on Booksie and your story and style and skill are very inspiring to me to show me how to write a great thriller.
You work a lot more with dialogues than I did and you have written great dialogues.

Sun, August 8th, 2021 11:24pm


Loved this from start to end.

Sun, August 8th, 2021 11:38pm

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