Sunday, November 18, 2007

Chapter Fifty-Four

Pete tried to push the door closed but Stone forced his way inside and closed it behind himself. “Just back up slowly and take a seat. If you’re a good boy, maybe you’ll live to see your Mom and Dad again. That’s right. Nice and slow.” Without taking his eyes off of him he deftly cut the cord of a nearby lamp and used it to quickly lash Pete to a chair. “Now we’re going to make a call to your father. You’re going to tell him you’ve had an expected visitor who wants to talk to him.” He brought the telephone close to Pete. “What’s your home number?”


Stone dialed the number and held the receiver to Pete’s ear. Pete heard the phone ringing and then his mother’s voice on the outgoing message. “I’m getting their answering machine.”

Stone put the receiver to his own ear. “Mr. Britt. We’ve never met but I’m sitting here in your son’s apartment and we were thinking how nice it would be if you and Mrs. Britt joined us for a little visit. And Mr. Britt, let’s keep this little visit our little secret, okay? Because if anyone hears about this, it might not be too healthy for young Peter. We’ll be sitting here getting better acquainted while we wait for your call.” Stone hung up the telephone and clicked on the television. “What say we watch a little TV while we’re waiting for your dad to call us back?” He switched the channel to Fox. “Look at that. America’s Most Wanted. My favorite.” For the next forty-five minutes Stone silently watched television while tossing his knife from his left hand to his right. Every now and then he stood up and taunted Pete by bringing the knife closed to his face.

When the Ten O’clock News came on Stone got up and walked over to the telephone. “Guess we better make another call.” He hit redial, and started to bring the phone to his ear. His motion was abruptly stopped by what he saw on the screen. He was watching Senator Jaffe being led out of the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton. The announcer described the scene. “In a surprise development Senator Stuart Jaffe was taken into custody this evening at a fundraiser in Northern Virginia. His office has had no comment but we have learned that at the time of his arrest, the Senator was being questioned in connection with a series of recent homicides including the gruesome murder of Lillian Petulengro.”

Stone let the telephone drop from his hand and ran from the apartment. Through the open door Pete watched Stone get into his car and speed away toward the highway. Still lashed to the kitchen chair, Pete began to slide himself toward the open door.



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