Chapter 70: Seventy

Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 15

Natalie is using binoculars, ‘That’s not his child, look, she has no clue where she is, just standing. Her affect is entirely blank.’
‘McKenzie confirmed the target, but what now?’
‘We can’t just wait until he has his fun then drops her someplace.’
I hear the car door open, hear Natalie, ‘McKenzie…wait’
McKenzie doesn’t wait, she and Zelda approach the target, he’s got the girl by the arm, something between guiding her and pushing her along. Their backs are to us, he doesn’t see them yet, then he stops and turns, says something and reaches out for McKenzie who says, ‘k?geki,’ Zelda’s command to attack
Bad idea, for him anyway, Zelda clamps his wrist and pulls him away from both McKenzie and the girl. A few feet, then she yanks hard and the man falls down. Zelda straddles him, her snout in his face.
Natalie is out, dashing for the girl, I’m watching Zelda and McKenzie, the mastiff over the man, McKenzie alongside. He raises his hand to Zelda’s chest, doesn’t touch it. Zelda yelps, pops back like she’s been hit with…nothing? Doesn’t matter, if the target thought he could get Zelda to move with McKenzie vulnerable, he’s sadly mistaken.
He reaches for Zelda again, I’m hauling it over the sidewalk, I see McKenzie put her hand over the target’s face, Zelda, irritated now, chomps his wrist. Then blood seeps from his eyes….how in hell?
Zoe C wheels up, I get in her head, ‘take the girl and disappear.’
Zoe C, ‘text location later,’ then she, Elle, and the girl are gone.
I go to McKenzie, tell Zelda to kaih?, release. The dog lets go the bloody wrist, the arm drops to his chest.
‘Nat, help me drag him inside.’
We drag him to the door, I fish around for his keys, Natalie tries the knob, the door is open. Forget keys, drag him inside, shut the door.
‘Quick look around, two minutes.’
I find a laptop, open the lid, he’s left it running, the screen lights up. Images of young girls, you can guess how they’re not dressed. They appear to be actively engaged, even smiles as they spread their legs for the camera, touch themselves.
Natalie comes in, ‘Nothing much out…what the fuck is that?’
‘Photos and video of prior abductions I presume, notice all the pictures have the same background and bed.’
‘That’s the bed down the hall, I was wondering why the room was empty, he didn’t want it to be recognizable.’
‘Do we leave the laptop running? Cops will figure out he’s a pedo.’
‘But who are the girls? What if the computer is misplaced, or stolen?’
‘I don’t know, if we leave no evidence…’
‘Chef, the asshole is dead, cops finding out he’s a perv doesn’t help anything, particularly if they go off looking for the children in the photos.’
‘Okay, take it, we need to get moving…wait, find bleach, soak a washcloth and wipe his arm, Zelda’s DNA will be on it, while you’re at it, wipe his face and any exposed skin. Put the cloth in a plastic bag, we’ll take it with us. I need to make a wound adjustment.’
While she searches out bleach and a rag, I make the bite marks disappear, a few swipes with a kitchen knife, maybe they’ll think suicide, maybe not, but they won’t think dog.
Natalie washes the arm, wipes his dead face, thoughtfully brought another wet cloth to remove much of the bleach smell. Not perfect, but better than nothing.
We pack it in. As far as I can tell, we were shielded from the street for the short time we were in front of the house. Now to find Zoe C.
I try mind to mind, get no reply, she’s too far away. Our personal cell towers aren’t strong enough yet. I go old fashioned.
‘Nat, text Zoe C and find out where they are.’
She taps away on her phone, a few second later she reads the reply, sonic
Natalie skips the typing and calls, ‘How is she?’
Zoe C, ‘Fine, vague on how she got with the target. She was walking through an open air mall on the way to a movie, then she is blank until we rescued her.’
Nat, ‘I’ll call back, we need to figure out how to get her safe without getting involved. She’s seen our cars, McKenzie, and most of all Zelda, who is pretty unforgettable.’
‘Wait, put it on speaker.’
She does, I lay out the plan, ‘She knows a little girl and a big dog. We altered our plates just enough to create confusion if anyone took a plate number. Everyone had light disguise, hats, long sleeves, non-descript clothing and sunglasses. McKenzie’s auburn was stuffed under a watch cap. The only identifiable not-person was Zelda. I think we took care of that with bleach.’
Zoe C, ‘Good, still better if you stay away. Let me question her a bit, then we find a place to drop her and evaporate.’
‘Can’t leave her alone.’
‘Chef, please, of course we’ll watch from a distance until parents show up, but you don’t need to be there.’
‘Alright, but we return to Malibu tonight, there’s no percentage in hanging around once she’s safe. We’ll find a burger joint, call when it’s done.’
A McDonald’s I recall seeing on the main street, about four blocks down. We don’t go in, from the drive-thru I collect a twenty piece nuggets, Diet Cokes, a couple of large fries and a chicken sandwich for Natalie. My phone dings.
Zoe C, ‘She called her parents, we’re at the mall she was lifted from. Casey is in the food court, I gave her a ten to order whatever and tried to explain why we couldn’t hang around. I didn’t tell her the abductor was dead, just that she would never see him again. At the moment, Elle is in the mall keeping her under watch at a distance.’
‘We’ll do a slow drive towards Malibu, call when you’re on the road.’
‘Will do,’ we click off.
We cruise up the I-5, Zoe checks in, ‘Parents showed, hugs and tears, Elle split, we’re getting on the five now.’
‘Keep to the limit, we’ll poke along, we’re about fifteen miles ahead of you, should we pull off and wait? You want your car back?’ they took the Hyundai because of Zelda, I have Natalie’s NSX.
‘No, let’s get home…how’s McKenzie?’
‘She has an ice pack on Zelda’s chest, eats a McNugget, feeds one to Zelda, she’s talking to her pal, soothing her. I don’t think it’s much beyond a bruise, I looked, no blood, nothing obviously injured. I think the big girl is just sore.’
‘If she doesn’t improve, we’ll take her to the vet for an x-ray, but if she has something broken, we’d know.’

Submitted: September 22, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Daphne Sylk. All rights reserved.


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