It's a first attempt and not fully proofread at this point, but I want to get it written down as I develop the ideas in my head. There will plenty of time for editing and proof reading later.
I welcome your first impressions and comments about this new effort.
Norman Pyle took a sick day from work and spent all day at the keyboard writing. He couldn’t shower and shave fast enough this morning because he’d had the perfect dream – the type of dream that all aspiring novelists crave. After all these years starting and stopping, writing and re-writing only to abandon the work after a few short chapters, it was his turn now. He would turn last night’s dream into a best-selling suspense novel. It was perfect.
He stood at the window watching and waiting for her arrival as he had every day for the past two weeks. Deserted, the rundown house provided the perfect vantage point for his plan and tonight it was time to implement it.
At 3:10 p.m. Laci Blevins pulled her blue Nissan Sentra into the driveway. She retrieved the mail from the curbside box and walked inside. She returned two minutes later to walk Rocky, her Miniature Pinscher.
Approaching darkness at 5:50 p.m., she re-entered the house through a side door and placed the garbage can near the curb. She pulled the Nissan into the garage and the mechanical door closed behind her.
The lights in the kitchen illuminated the scene like a Broadway theatre production and Kyle Timothy had a front row seat.
She walked out of the room for exactly three minutes and twenty-four seconds and returned to the kitchen wearing a blue sweatshirt and grey sweatpants.
For supper, Laci had a TV dinner and chased it all down with a can of Diet Coke.
For desert she grabbed a spoon from the right hand drawer by the sink and ate ice cream direct from the container before retiring to the upstairs bedroom for the evening.
Kyle Timothy watched it all. The lighting in the upstairs bedroom provided a perfect view from the house across the street. He could see the bedroom and the entrance to the adjoining bathroom.
After a quick trip to the closet, Laci returned wearing floral pajamas. She spent the remainder of the evening lounging on the bed and channel surfing, propped up by two fluffy pillows against the headboard.
He had been watching this nightly ritual for three weeks and could recite it from memory; luckily, Laci Blevins was a predictable creature of habit.
“What do you think? Is it a best seller?” Norman asked.
“Oh my god,” Marci shouted, “I can't believe you. You’re writing a story about stalking me.”
“I’ve always heard you should write about things you know well,” he responded. “This is what I know best.”
“Where do you come up with this stuff?” she asked.
“Then you don’t like it?” he responded, shrugging his shoulders in disappointment.
“I hate it when you do that,” she said.
“When I do what?” he asked.
“You ask my opinion and then get your feelings hurt when I give it to you,” she explained.
She had been through this before. Sometimes it was hard to love him so much. Every day it was something new. One day he’s read some obscure news article about a new path to riches and another day it’s a story idea for the next million selling novel. The whole thing was getting a little stale. But, she did love him and wanted to be supportive.
“Well, how does it turn out?” she asked, feigning interest. “Are you going to rape her? Torture her? Chop her into itsy bitsy tiny pieces?”
“I’m planning a kidnapping.”
At 1:14 a.m. Marci Evans entered the bathroom and flicked on the light. In the mirror, she saw the reflection of a man dressed in olive drab Army fatigues standing behind her.
She screamed in panic and attempted to close the bathroom door, but it was too late.
The man approached her from behind and placed a pillow case over her head and arms. He slapped duct tape over her mouth to silence the screams. A brawny man standing 6'2", he handled her 5'2" and 107 lbs. with ease.
He wrestled her to the floor and tied her hands behind her back. He bound her feet tight with rope, lifted her to the bed, and dropped her on it.
"I don't want to hurt you," the attacker said. "Please, don't make me hurt you."
"What is this lunatic going to do with me?" Marci asked herself. "Is it a rape? Is he going to kill me? Who would do this?"
Laying face down on the bed and feeling exposed, she lay still and listened for the attacker, but heard nothing. It all happened so fast. She saw the man in the mirror and then it was over in just a few seconds.
"Where is the bastard?" she asked herself. "Why did he leave me tied up like this?"
Too frightened to cry and struggling to control her breathing, Marci's mind raced 1,000 miles per hour and she realized that he could still be in the room standing right beside her and planning for the next move.
She waited. Five minutes passed and then fifteen. The wait was the worst part. Part of her just wanted it over.
"What will be, will be."
She heard a slight movement behind her and tried to roll over, but the rope restricted her movement. Seconds later, she felt a sharp twinge in her buttocks as the needle pierced her flesh through the pajamas.
"Take it easy, Marci. It won't hurt you," the attacker explained. "You will be asleep soon."
"Oh my God," she thought. "The son-of-a-bitch knows me. What the...."
And then she dosed off as the drugs took effect.
Marci awakened to the pungent odor of disinfectant. Her naked body was covered in white cotton sheets and a light wool blanket.
“Who would do this to me?”
She strained to hear, but heard nothing. She tried to move her body by first rolling over and then by sitting up, but couldn’t.
She felt the restraints that bound her tightly onto the bed. With a leather strap around each wrist and two large straps holding her legs snugly to the mattress, it was futile. She was completely immobile.
The room was dark, but laying face up she noticed the whitewashed ceiling. The walls of the room were made of plain unpainted wood slats and there was no furniture in the room besides the metal bed and a light stand in the opposite corner.
“Help me,” she screamed. “Is anyone there?”
She paused to listen for a response, but heard nothing. The gravity of her predicament began to sink in.
“Why are you doing this to me?” she continued. “Where am I?”
She heard a key in the door lock and braced herself for the worst. The camouflaged figure with a flash light approached the bed.
“No one can hear you,” the voice said. “It will do you no good to scream. I won’t hurt you.”
“Don’t move,” the voice commanded.
Marci felt a sharp prick as the needle enter her arm.
“What are you doing to me? Why did you bring me here?” she demanded.
“You’ll go back to sleep now. Get some rest,” the voice said.
And with that, he turned and walked out of the room.
At 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Carol Adams entered the Fairmont police station and walked straight toward the uniformed officer seated behind the wooden desk near the hallway entrance.
"I need to speak to a detective," Carol Adams explained.
"Please take a seat ma'm. I'll be with you soon," the officer said.
"You don't understand," she said. "I'd need to report a missing person."
"Go ahead and take a seat," he said again.
"I'm not going to take a seat until I talk to someone," Carol said.The officer was losing patience with her now and in a restrained, but authoritative voice, he tried again.
"Ma'm, you're not going to talk to anyone until you calm down. Now sit down....please."
Carol Adams found a seat in the row of chairs and waited.
Carol taught second grade and had become close friends with Marci. They often ate lunch together in the teacher's lounge. When Marci didn't arrive to school on Tuesday, Carol didn't really think much about it and assumed she had stayed home with some type of stomach bug.In a few minutes, another uniformed officer walked up the hallway and toward Carol's seat."I'm Officer McClellan m'am. How can I help you?"
"It's my friend," Carol explained. "She didn't show up at school today. It's not like her."
"What makes you think she's missing?" McClellan asked.
"Well, we're school teachers. I teach second grade and she has kindergarten down the hall. She didn't show up to work today, or yesterday either," Carol said.
"That's what this is about?" he asked. "Someone missed work today?"
"I stopped her house tonight and all the lights are off. I rang the bell and no one answered. Her cars gone too," Carol said.
"Like I said, that doesn't make her a missing person," McClellan said.
"Her car’s missing and the door to the house was wide open," Carol repeated. "Something's wrong."
"I'm sure everything is fine m'am. Maybe she's out on a date tonight," McClellan said.
"Look. Are you people going to do anything or not?" Carol yelled. "Something is wrong here, and if you won't do anything about it, I want to speak to your supervisor."
She was losing control and took a deep breath to regain composure."It's just not like Marci. We're friends. Something's wrong. I know it," she said, her voice trembling.
Detective Demetria Weston arrived at the Evan's house the next morning. After parking the Crown Victoria she was greeted by Monty Deeson, another detective from the department.
"Am I always the last one to know about these things?" she asked.
"Someone's got to be first and someone's got to be last" Deeson replied. "This time I was first." A couple of uniforms called me about an hour ago."
"What's going on?" Weston asked.
"A friend of the homeowner filed a missing person report last night. After the shift change this morning the desk sergeant sent a car out to do a drive-by. They saw the garage door open and called it in," Deeson said.
"Any signs of a struggle?" Weston asked.
"None. Nothing. Nada, " Deeson said.
"Neighbors?" Weston asked.
"Nobody we've talked to so far saw anything, but a couple of them aren't home right now," Deeson said. "The folks across the street have gone to work already I guess."
"Come upstairs with me Demetria and tell me what you make of the bedroom," Deeson said.
The bedroom was on the right at the top of the stairs and looked very normal. Weston surveyed the room, not really sure what she was looking for, but sure she'd know it when she saw it.
"He must have caught her sleeping," Deeson said.
"Or when she wasn't sleeping," Weston explained. "Take a look at the bed. The covers are folded back."
"Yeah, so what," Deeson said.
"So when was the last time you've heard of someone awakened from a dead sleep and the sheets and blankets are neatly folded back?" Weston asked.
"You got me there Demetria. I see what you mean," Deeson said.
“I'm going to take a look in the bathroom," Weston said.
The crime scene techs were still dusting for prints when Weston interrupted.
"You guys get anything in here?" she asked.
"We've picked up a single near the sink that seems a little out of place," a female replied. "She must have lived alone, because the multiples appear to be from a single source."
"Let me know when you find out who the single belongs to," Weston said.
Demetria Weston, a twelve-year veteran of the department, was the most experienced homicide detective in the department, but that didn’t make it any easier. Breaking news to family was the hardest part of the job.
“Mrs. Evans?” Weston asked. “My name is Detective Demetria Weston and this is my partner, detective Deeson.”
“Have you found her?” Mrs. Evans asked. “What have they done to her?
Deeson took over.
“Mrs. Evans, we’re very sorry to tell you that you’re daughter has been reported missing. We’ve been to the house and she’s gone.”
“Is it possible that your daughter is staying overnight with a friend, or was she planning an out of town trip recently?” Weston asked.
“No,” Mrs. Evans responded, sobbing. “Not that I know of, not during the school year.”
“Mr. Evans, I know it’s hard, but we’re trying to find her. I apologize to have to ask this, but do you know anyone that might want to harm you daughter,” Weston asked.
“Harm her? Do you think…” he voice trailed off.
“We hope not, but at this point, we’ve got to consider it. The garage door was open. The car is missing.”
“You’ve got to find my daughter,” Mrs. Evans said. “She’s all I have left.”
“Where did they find her?" Deeson asked.
“Neighbor found her lying in the roadway without a stitch of clothes,” Weston replied. "He almost ran her over. Somebody must have dumped her overnight."
The partners exited the elevator at Fairmont General on the third floor and headed for the nurses’ station. The duty nurse escorted them to the room. Weston entered first and began talking.
“Hi Marci, I’m Detective Demetria Weston,” Weston said, extending her hand. “This is my partner Monte Deeson.”
“Ummm, hello,” Marci returned.”It’s nice to meet you both.”
“Marci. Who did this to you?” Deeson asked. “Please tell us so…”
“Please forgive his manners,” Weston interrupted. “Sometimes my partner can be a little insensitive.”
“The nurse said you’ve got some scrapes and scratches. How are you feeling?” Weston asked.
“Marci, if you’re up to it now, we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about the last couple of days,” Weston explained.
“Do you have any idea who would do this to you?” Deeson interjected.
“Did see him?” Weston asked. “Did you see anything that could help us find the person that did this to you? Hair color, what he was wearing, anything like that?”
“It was dark. But...it was a man’s voice.”
A nurse entered the room and asked them to step into the corridor outside.
“Hang in there Marci,” Weston said as she opened the door. “We’re going to get this guy.”
From the age of thirteen Norman Pyle always aspired to achieve something great in his lifetime, to make a difference, to get noticed; and growing up in Fairmont, a farming community on the Treasure Coast of Florida fanned the flames.
At one time Fairmont was a typical farming town, kids grew up and worked side by side with fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers on the family farm. But as farming declined, the biggest employer in town became the school system and after that there wasn’t much you could do, but search for work in larger communities. For most kids it wasn’t much to aspire to; and being a red-headed, freckled face kid with glasses, with worn out shoes and worn out clothes, Norman Pyle ached to be “somebody”.
After 72 hours of “sick leave” Norman Pyle returned to his job at the Fairmont Bank and Trust where he worked as a loan officer.
“Norman,” a squeaky voice called from two offices down the hall. “Norman I need to talk to you.” The squeaky voice belonged to Nancy Beale, the bank’s assistant vice-president who also happened to be the daughter of the bank’s president.
“You called?” Norman asked, standing in the door way.
“Norman I need to discuss some things with you,” Nancy explained.
“Well, right now I’m kind of busy catching up on things,” Norman responded. “My inbox is jammed full of applications. What’s the matter? You guys just can’t get along without me?” His attempt at lightening the air, didn’t work.
“Norman, you’re attendance record is getting out of hand,” Nancy said. She handed him a type written reprimand to sign.
“What’s this? You can’t be serious,” Norman said.
“Oh yes, I’m serious. Read it, sign it, and return it by lunch time.”
"Don't worry about witch, because I quit."
Norman Pyle prepared a heaping bowl of red beans and rice and a large glass of iced tea and just sat down to eat supper when the door bell rang. He dribbled some ice tea on his t-shirt as he got up from the table to answer the door.
“Who is it?” he asked from half-way down the hallway. “If you’re selling something, I’m not buying.” He opened the door.
“We’re not selling anything,” Detective Weston said, flashing her badge. “My name is Detective Weston and this is my partner Detective Deeson.”
“What do you want with me? I don’t understand.”
“We need to talk,” Weston explained. “We’re investigating a disappearance.”
“Disappearance, what’s that got to do with me? I’m just in the middle of eating supper,” Norman said.
“Oh well then don’t mind us, we’ll wait.”
“I don’t know how I can help you, but come on in then,” Norman said, motioning them toward the living room.
Weston took a seat in the loveseat positioned near the fireplace and Deeson took a position in the recliner.
“Where were you last Tuesday night?” Deeson asked, getting straight to the point.
“Last Tuesday? Err…I guess I was here at home,” Norman replied.
“Can anyone confirm that?” Deeson said.
“Forgive me detectives, but I forgot to offer you anything to drink. Perhaps you would like a Coke or perhaps some ice tea?” Norman said, attempting to change the subject.
Weston replied, “We’re fine, thank you though.”
“Then you won’t mind if I grab my iced tea?” Norman asked, walking toward the kitchen and just out of sight.
Weston strained her neck to see in the kitchen, but her position in the living room prevented it.
“Mr. Pyle, is everything going o.k. in there?” Deeson asked.
“Yes, Norman responded. I’ll be right back. Just….”
And with that they heard the SLAM of the kitchen door, as Norman Pyle escaped.
“Damn,” Weston muttered, looking at Deeson. “Now why did he have to go and do that?”
Unholstering her Glock, Weston yelled at Deeson, “Get the car.”
Weston pursued Norman Pyle through the neighbor’s backyard, and across a side street. He hopped the fence and ran down the hill toward the interstate. After crossing the four lanes of traffic he disappeared from view into a wooded area.
Weston turned toward Deeson and accelerating Crown Victoria as it screeched to a halt just a few feet away.
Deeson flung the passenger door open. “Get in. Let’s get this bastard.”
Pamela Appleton returned home from work at 9:30 p.m. after a 12 hours shift at Fairmont General, the only hospital in town.
She unlocked the door and walked inside, but before she could turn on the living room lights, she heard a male’s voice.
“Don’t you dare turn on that light,” the voice said.
The glow of the street lights provided just enough light for Pamela to see the dark shadowy outline of a figure sitting in the recliner positioned along the rooms far wall. Before she could speak, the male voice continued to speak, in a soft and calm tone.
“Now lock the door and put your car keys on the table.”
She did as instructed and after locking the door placed her purse on the table.
“Take off your coat and remove your shoes.”
Moving deliberately now, she removed her shoes and placed the coat on the nearby couch.
“Now, take off your shirt and pants.”
As commanded she removed the surgical uniform, shuddering as she did so.
“I’ve been waiting for you to get home,” the voice continued. “You're looking so good tonight.”
After a short pause, the voice continued, “Now take off the rest please.”
Standing naked in the dark living room, Pamela felt a warming sensation moving slowly up the back of her legs and into her arms and neck.
“You’re getting so good at this Norman, and I’ve had such a hard day.” Pausing, she bent down and kissed him hard on the lips.
“I’ve been waiting all day for this. Now, take me to bed.”
Let the games begin.
Nancy Beale lived with her two year old son, Michael, and husband Jason, in a two-story white Victorian home on Maple Lane. The twenty-four rooms were more than the family of three could ever use, but the home conveyed a particular status in the community.
As daughter of Burton Beale, founder of Fairmont Bank and Trust, Nancy enjoyed the finer things in life coupled with plenty of fringe benefits. Burton Beale showered his only-child daughter with gifts of exotic vacations, expensive cars, and when she dropped out of college in favor of marriage to her high school sweetheart, daddy Beale provided her a job at the bank.
Nancy spent Tuesday evenings alone in the house with Michael while Jason played basketball at the community center. This Tuesday was no different.
“Here you go Michael,” Nancy said, as she placed him down on the floor amongst a pile of toys scattered on the carpeted floor.
“Mommy’s going to take a quick bubble bath. You sit here and play with your toy’s like a good boy and I’ll be back soon. When I get back we’ll get you a bath and we’ll both be all clean for daddy when he gets home.”
When she returned Michael was gone.