Accomplice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Boy is torn when he discovers his father is holding a girl his age prisoner in his garage.

Submitted: December 10, 2009

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Submitted: December 10, 2009

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Dad never told us how she ended up in our garage. But I had seen stories like this on America’s Most Wanted and figured it had to go something like this: he waited in a dark alley while she was walking home from school with her friends. No, wait, alone. Yeah, she had to be alone, or else the police would’ve been contacted. It was simple as that. Or maybe her friends would be too scared to call anyone. And then there’s the issue of him getting her into the house in broad daylight without anyone seeing. Or maybe someone did see. That’s just how it happens sometimes. Things like this go unreported.
I guess I should've watched for the signs. My dad told me and mom to go to the tool shed out back and get a large chain and a power drill. Why we don't keep that stuff in the garage in the first place is a question I'm not ready to answer yet, but we should've expected something was up when dad didn't let me come into the garage to help him.
"What're you going to build?" I asked.
"Just a little project I'm working on. Let me worry about that."
Dad didn't work on "projects" too often (though he certainly knew his way around the tool shed), so I figured it must have to be extra important for him to keep it secret. I just thought he was helping our neighbor with his kid's swing set or something like that.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My mom was the first to find out. We were sitting down to dinner, salad, mashed potatoes & meatloaf, when mom saw that we were out of Thousand Island salad dressing. "Oh, that's right. I bought a new bottle a couple of weeks ago. Lemme go to the garage and get it." And off she went.
Seconds later, Dad looked up at me from his meatloaf and said, "Where'd your mother say she was going, Brent?"
"The garage, to get some more salad dressing."
Shocked, dad threw his fork down and rushed after mom. Confused, I ran after them. We both found mom frozen in the doorway, unable to scream. The light wasn't on, but there was enough light in the hall to break up the darkness. There, in the corner, was the huddled figure of a young girl, possibly high school age. She was on her knees, her wrists and ankles shackled to the wall. A dog dish lay just to her side. She didn't look up at us.
Mom slammed the door and turned, terrified, to dad. "You knew! You knew, didn't you? You're the one who kidnapped her!"
Dad nodded. "Yes. I did."
"And you planned it out, too! How long, Randy? How long has she been here?"
"A couple of days," he replied nonchalantly, as if this was a hobby of his.
"A couple of-" mom gasped out. She made a beeline for the phone, but dad slammed her hand and the receiver back onto the hook.
"No! You won't!"
"Do you have any idea what this means, Randy? You're a kidnapper! You kidnapped and molested an innocent young girl!"
"Molested? No, not that."
"Then why? Why'd you do it? What have you been…doing to her?"
"That's none of your business. Now look here," he pointed at mom. "What about you? You both helped me set it up."
"But…" After much difficulty, "We didn't know. You can't make it look like-"
"I can, and I will."
"Not Brent! Not your own son!"
"Especially him!" This scared me. Me, an accomplice, to my father's crime? He was actually serious about that?
"He's 17, Randy! How could you sell him out like that?"
"Never mind. Let's go back to dinner!"
Mom persisted with several more questions after that, like who was she, how long had he planned this, what he planned on doing if anyone found out, but he just shrugged the questions off. Finally she said what she must've thought was thought was the appropriate response for the situation: “God help you, Randy. God help us all.”
We returned to dinner after that, although mom found she couldn't eat and went to her room. I don’t read the paper much, so I didn’t even recognize the girl. My guess was that she wasn’t from the same neighborhood as us.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Later that week my friends Jake and Evan were over to help work on a group project for one of our classes. I figured as long as nobody looked in the garage I was fine. But Jake had conveniently heard of the news story and was yapping back and forth with Evan about it.
“I heard the man who kidnapped her was an old man who had just killed his wife.”
"What? That's stupid!"
"Well, what do you think?"
“What do you mean ‘waddya think’?”
“I mean, do you think she’s dead?”
“Hell if I know. Most likely.”
"You guys," I chimed in. "I really don’t want to discuss this. Can we please focus on our project?"
"It's not due until next Wednesday," replied Jake. "We have plenty of time. What about you, Brent? You think she's dead?"
I sighed. Jake and Evan were my best friends, so I figured I could trust them. "You guys want to know the truth?" Both nodded. "The girl's here, at my dad's. He's the one who kidnapped her."
"No way!"
"You're bullshitting us, Brent!"
"She's in our garage right now!"
"No way! Show us!"
I led them along the hall to the garage door, sure I had opened a hornet's nest but not caring anyway because it was too late to take it back anyway. I turned the knob and slowly opened the door slightly so we could all peer inside. The girl was still knelt on the epoxy floor, chained up next to an empty food bowl.
"Oh my god," was Evan's reply after I had closed the door. "She's been here this whole time?"
"Yes. Now let's go back to my room. She might hear us."
"Does your mom know about this?" I nodded in reply. "Dude, when the police find out, they'll put your dad away for at least a decade!"
"Yeah, not only that, but they'll want to talk to you and your mom, too. I mean, you knew about this, and didn’t talk to them." The words immediately reminded me of what my dad had said earlier that week.
"Look, forget it, okay? The only reason I told you because I thought you were trustworthy."
"No way, man. We're not going to keep your dirty little secret. Not when we could go to jail, too!"
"You will if you know what's good for you!" I grumbled, shaking my fist. I'm not the most athletic kid in my school, but I can be good at threatening people when I had to. But neither of them seemed fazed. They kept trying to push me to turn my dad in.
Exasperated, I shouted at them to get the hell out of my house. They stormed out calling my dad a criminal and a rapist. "My dad's an upright, tax-paying citizen!" I shouted after Jake, who had said a bulk of the insults. "He is not a rapist!" Neither of them responded, either because they couldn't think of a rebuttal or they didn't hear me as they walked down the street.
I closed the door, now afraid more for my safety than my father's. They were right, whether I wanted to admit it or not. I was involved in her kidnapping, whether I wanted to admit it or not. What was to stop Jake from telling the police it was entirely my idea? I walked over to the garage door and opened it slowly. The girl had her head lifted up, and I got a look at her face. Her hair, once curly and springy the night we first saw her, drooped down past her eyes, which ran eye shadow and mascara down her face from her tears. Her figure was worn down, but not to the bone.
I closed the door, feeling slightly guilty. I rushed down the hall to my room, took out a notebook and a pen, and scribbled a few sentences down. I would constantly scratch out a sentence, sometimes even the whole thing and start over. By the time I was satisfied with the final product it was pretty late, and neither of my parents were home yet. I fixed a small bag lunch, got my jacket, and went out the back screen door.
My bike was outside, underneath the patio canopy which shielded it from rain. My helmet was propped on the seat, so all I had to do was strap it on and be on my way. When I rounded the corner to the front of the house, the driveway was completely empty. Neither of my parents parked their cars in the garage on a regular basis, even when it rained, which was a good thing because it protected us from prying eyes.
Down the street I pedaled until I reached the gas station closest to our house. I stopped by there every now and then on my way home from school, so the clerks knew me. It didn't matter anyway; I wasn't going in. I parked near the payphone, then checked my pockets to see that I had 75 cents. I plopped the change in the slot and dialed three numbers.
"Hello, Police Department?" I read off the piece of paper I had with me. I was going to disguise my voice, but I figured if I did they'd think it was just a crank call. "I have a tip on the young girl who was kidnapped earlier this month. I know the identity of the kidnapper. He lives at…" I gave them my address. When I was done, I hung up and sat on the curb near the entrance. All that was left was to wait.


© Copyright 2020 Mavi Hunter. All rights reserved.

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