The briefcase was heavier than it should be. 

“Margaret, open the note.” Peter urged his wife. He didn’t like this. Something was wrong. Margaret’s fingers fumbled with the note. Peter could tell that she was as uncomfortable as himself. 

“Go Home.” Margaret read. She flipped the slip of paper over in her hand. “How could that be all it says? We can’t go home, we have to get our son back,” she whispered urgently. 

Peter couldn’t believe that was all the note said and snatched it from Margaret’s grasp. He flipped it back and forth as well, willing some other part of the note to appear, but nothing else was visible.

“What should we do?” Margaret asked. “We can’t leave the train station, we came all this way, we can’t leave without him.” Margaret desperately wanted Peter to have the answers that he wasn’t privileged to either. Peter looked around the train station. Everyone was focused on where they were going and didn’t make eye contact with him, which was probably for the best, as he would have grabbed them and demanded answers. 

“I think we need to get out of here. Act like we are going home. Come on.” Peter took Margaret’s hand and led her toward the doors. 

“What about our son?” Margaret pleaded behind him. 

“We are being watched. We have to act like we are going to do as the note instructs us to do.”

“We were being watched? By whom?”

“I can just feel it. We have to get out of here and see what is in the briefcase. That is the only other clue that we have right now.”

Peter could hear Margaret’s heels clicking along rapidly; she was having issues keeping up with his long stride, but he couldn’t slow down. Something in his gut was telling him to leave, to get out of there right away, and Peter always listened to his gut.

They came up to their blue dodge town sedan and got inside. Peter was behind the wheel with the briefcase on his lap. Both of them were looking at it. Peter took a deep breath and let it out as he hit the clasps. He opened the top and Margaret screamed, throwing her hands up to her mouth, with huge unbelieving eyes.

After a long silence, Margaret broke out in retching sobs. “Is that...is that from…?” She didn’t want to finish the sentence. Peter didn’t want to believe it either. 

Margaret let out another sob, “Is that Brian’s hand?”

“Yes, Margaret,” Peter whispered.

Margaret moaned and cried out harder than she had before. “Does this mean that he is dead?”

“Not necessarily.” Peter gulped. With the hand in the briefcase and the note telling them to go home, it didn’t look good, but if the mafia wanted their money, they would keep Brian alive. Peter had to believe that. 

 


Submitted: April 30, 2020

© Copyright 2023 Sydney Mason. All rights reserved.

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