Excerpt From: Cowtown

From: Chapter Eleven

     

     "What do you mean, she’s missing?” Michael exclaimed. “How the hell could she be missing?”

     “She just is,” Karlee said, trying not to cry again. “Her bed hasn’t been slept in, she hasn’t been to work, and no one has seen her for two days. And, her car is in her parking lot.”

     Mike was silent, taking in what Karlee was telling him. His baby sister had disappeared. “Have you called the police?” he asked.

     “They’re on their way over now. I want you here when they get here, Mike. Can you come over right now?”

     “Of course. I’m on my way. I’m sure everything is okay, Karlee. You know Rebecca. It would be just like her to take off for a couple of days and forget to tell anyone that she was leaving.”

     “I pray to God you’re right, Mike. But, I have a bad feeling about this. It has Firecracker written all over it. We’ve been on needles and pins ever since he started stalking Emmy Lou. Who knows what he’s capable of doing. I’m scared, Mike.”

     “I’ll be there in a couple of minutes. Hang in there, kiddo.”

     Karlee put her phone on the table and sat back, wondering what had happened to Rebecca. She should have known something was wrong when Rebecca hadn’t returned her last two calls. She should have called the police earlier.

 

     “You can’t keep me here forever, you know,” Rebecca told the man. “The police are probably looking for me right now.”

     The man smiled at her. “Sure I can. I can keep you here as long as I want. I can do anything I want to you and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

     “I’ll scream,” she said.

     The man laughed. “Please do. There’s nothing I like better than a screaming woman. It turns me on.”

     “You’re a sick prick, you know that?” Rebecca shouted.

     “Oh, my. You hurt my feelings,” the man replied, sarcastically. He stood and started walking towards the door.

     “Where are you going?” she asked him.

     “Why look at you. Missing me already.”

     “I’m hungry. Get me something to eat.”

     The man laughed aloud. “You’re giving me orders? You’ll eat when I tell you.”

     “I want something from Culvers. Get me a butter burger and a chocolate shake. No fries. And, definitely no onions. And, I have to pee.”

     “Again? For crying out loud, you just went.”

     “It’s the coffee. It goes right through me.”

     The man sighed and reached into his pants pocket. He took out a key, bent down, and unlocked the manacle that was around her ankle.

     “I don’t know why it’s necessary to keep me chained. You lock me in when you leave. There are no windows for me to climb out of. How do you think I’m going to escape?”

     “I don’t trust you,” the man told her.

     “I’ll make you a deal,” Rebecca said. “You don’t chain me up and I promise not to try to escape.”

     The man looked at her and grinned. “You really think I’m that stupid?”

     Rebecca smiled back at him. “I promise. Seriously, I won’t try anything. The bathroom is right there, so I could at least go when you’re not here. Please.”

     The man held her gaze for a couple of seconds and then shook his head back and forth. “I don’t think it’s a good idea. You’ll try something.”

     “I promise I won’t. Pleeeease,” she begged.

     “Go do your business. I’ll think about it for a minute.”

     Rebecca smiled at him and went into the adjoining bathroom. She closed the door and then stood there looking around the room. She waited a minute, flushed the toilet, and turned on the cold water faucet. A few seconds later, she walked back into the bedroom.

     “Well, whataya think?” she asked.

     “I don’t see any way you’re gonna get out of here without a key,” the man said. “Okay, no shackles. But, you damn well better not try anything. If you do, I’m gonna tie you by your hands and feet to the bed – naked. Got it?”

     “Got it,” Rebecca said. “I knew you weren’t all bad”

     “Ya, right,” the man grunted. “I’m leaving. Just behave yourself.”

     “Don’t forget my food,” Rebecca replied, smiling her best smile at him.

 

     Detective John Peppers closed his notebook and put it into his jacket pocket. He reached down and picked up a picture of Rebecca that was lying on the coffee table. “I’ll take this with me. If you think of anything else, give me a call,” he said, and handed Karlee his card.

     “What do you think, Detective? I mean, what are the chances of finding her?”

     “It’s been over 48 hours,” he replied. “You should have called us earlier.”

 

     “I thought it had to be at least 48 hours before you cops considered someone missing,” Karlee said.

“No. It used to be 24 hours, but there’s no time limit if there is a real concern that something might have