With over 50% of the votes, the premise, ‘Underground kidnapping syndicate controlled by a corrupt politician starts to crumble when one of its underlings gains a conscience’ won out over the other story ideas. Although I’ve written the first 3 chapters of each of the story ideas, this will be the one I will be continuing on with on this blog. If anyone is interested in giving the first chapter a look, I will be starting the a new parent page for this story soon. In the meantime, you can also read the first 2-page chapter right here. As this is my first book that’s neither sci-fi nor fantasy, I’d appreciate any feedback you can give.
A Well-Oiled Machine
The Taser had come a long way since NASA researcher, Jack Cover, began developing it in 1969. It now allowed police to apply non-lethal force to criminals, it allowed women to protect themselves against muggers in the street, and it allowed kidnappers like Kid to detain his victims without much of a struggle.
Kid could see its appeal. After all, he didn’t want to get physical with the girl, just make her still long enough that he could slip the needle in. The main problem was the scream. When 50,000 volts passes through the human body, it’s only natural for that body to make some noise. That’s where the luring came in.
In order to lure someone, you had to study a person’s character. For some people it’s a little difficult, but for this girl it was child’s play. After stalking her internet profiles, he noticed her tendency to be offended by anything that made her uncomfortable. Rebecca ‘Becky’ Wilson was a girl living in a dream world. This only made sense considering who her father was.
To put it lightly, Becky’s father, Benjamin Wilson, was a wealthy politician. Considering his political decisions directly influenced his stocks, to say the man had integrity would be like saying Kid was a popular escort. He could only assume that Becky herself was the result of the sheltered life his money provided.
To lure this sheltered girl into a place where her scream was less likely to be heard was as simple as blocking her path with something that contradicted the girl’s fantasy of the real world. It hadn’t cost much to pay the homeless man to change his sitting area in a way that would redirect her into the dark alleyway where Kid waited.
“Homeless… and… hungry.” Becky could barely read the ink on the cardboard sheet ahead of her.
She understood why the homeless man was begging in this part of town. The bus shelter was where drug dealers would wait for their customers. If the man was really as desperate as he looked and not just a drug addict, he could have gotten a roof over his head and some warm food within the day by getting arrested for something as simple as breaking and entering. Doing something like that made sense to her, being a prisoner must be infinitely better than being homeless without a soul to care about you.
What she couldn’t understand was why he had to take up the entire footpath on this side of the street. Still, she didn’t want to seem insensitive by crossing the busy road. Fortunately, there was an alleyway between two of the buildings branching off between where she was walking and where he lay sprawled.
She pulled out her cell phone to avoid the eye contact of any bystanders and then casually turned into the alley, as though this was her intended route all-along. When she looked up from her screen, the dank and dark of the alley made her think that maybe stepping over the homeless man would have been the better choice after all.
With her phone already out, she brought up a message box to send a text to her mother. Tapping the screen, the auto-corrected text wrote: “Hello.”
A dark figure in a hidden alley corner appeared before she could fully spell out the word ‘help’, and she instead sent a worthless message they would assume was her attempting to start a conversation. As the young black man came closer she felt two things: panic, and anger at her father for putting her in this situation. Both lost out to a new contender, the pain of the muscles in her torso shaking in spasms, completely overriding any pain she might have felt from the needle that was slipped into her neck.
Even as strong hands shifted her, she fought its effect. Cotton candy may have flooded her conscious mind but she knew it was all mind over matter. She was a stubborn girl, she could just…
Kid had been told many times by Mr. Gray that rendering the detainee unconscious was the easiest part of the job, both in that it was the easiest part to execute and the easiest part to mess up. The hardest part came next. The transporting of the body from the point of collection to Corridor Floor in a way that the detainee wouldn’t struggle against the environment or damage themselves, and finally, keeping them occupied for the length of time that Mr. Gray’s well-oiled machine would work it’s magic on the parents.
Fortunately, Becky was a light weight, and light weights allowed the sedative to work its own magic swiftly. For her, it would be as though a second had passed between seeing a mysterious figure in an alleyway and then waking up in a furnished apartment room. For him, it would be a sweat laden struggle to carry her limp body out of the alley to a tinted-windowed van in the parking lot behind the building. Hopefully the homeless man had moved in front of the alley to dissuade anyone with the desire to enter it, as had been part of their deal.
Time was a factor. Kid wobbled out of the shadows toward the empty lot, her legs in one arm, back in the other. Sometimes he wished he was old enough to use the Ed Gein method of kidnapping girls, but a black teenager with a crutch trying to get a young women to help him lift furniture into his van would be a more memorable sight. Besides, he didn’t think a homeless-avoiding brat like Becky would go out of her way to help a cripple when there were full-grown men walking past.
She moaned as Kid opened the doors, putting up more of a fight than he gave her credit for. No one passed to hear it though, and despite the soft jolt of her ass sliding over the edge of the van, he thought that he made a pretty smooth transition onto the mattress.
Suddenly, a suited, middle-aged man walked into the empty lot and stopped, pointing with a furrowed brow as though he had walked into the wrong place. Not panicking, Kid slammed the doors just as the man spun to leave again. Nothing to worry about.
The second step halfway done, he allowed himself a little skip as he rushed into the driver’s seat and started the engine. He really wanted Mr. Gray to hear the van purring so he would assume he was already on the road. Nothing like making yourself seem like Superman to rise in rank in a syndicate.
Kid pulled out his phone to ring him, but as soon as he tapped the screen, it rang.
“Mr. Gray!” he said, knowing who it was from the name ‘Boss’ in big letters over the screen.
“From how quickly you answered, I assume your hands are already empty,” the cold voice rolled. “Either that or you answered while handling her.”
“Don’t worry, Mr. Gray, your first assumption was spot on,” Kid replied. “I’m already on my way.”
“Don’t lie to me. The van has a GPS that I’m tracking right now.” He breathed out a laugh through his nostrils. “We’ll talk about the importance of honesty later. I’m not expecting you to be inhuman, just competent. Now why aren’t you moving?”
Kid sighed and began to back out. “Right, multitasking, I remember.”
“Good, you’re learning then. Putting application to my lessons is all I ask.”
“I’m still not so confident about driving and talking to you at the same time.”
Kid waited for a reply, but after not getting one, he pulled the cell phone away from his face to see that the call had already been disconnected.
“No goodbye, huh?” he asked as the van made it’s way down the busy city road.