Hailey was being abducted; she felt the blood drain from her head to her feet.
“Who are you and what do you want?” She managed to whisper in a raspy voice.
“Just drive and shut up.”
She could make out a dark spiked hairline in the rearview mirror—a man somewhere between twenty and forty years of age, she guessed.
The threat of his gun pushing at her back drained her of every other thought. There was no option, but to comply.
She put the car in gear and drove ahead, following the curve of the driveway until it led back out onto the street.
“Drive west on Lakeshore until I tell you where to turn.”
She obeyed. Even through the cushioned backrest she could feel the muzzle poking and prodding her.
“You must have the wrong person.”
The harsh voice chuckled and the muzzle poked her again.
“I know who you are Ms. McAdam. Now if you know what’s good for you, you’ll shut up and drive.” Another sharp poke between her shoulder blades emphasized his intent.
As they drove west on Lakeshore, her mind raced. The voice was rough, but sounded young—that figured—a student, perhaps? Her glimpse of dark, spiked hair in the rear mirror added to her impression, confirming her kidnapper was probably in his early twenties.
They drove through Old Oakville as if following a pre-determined route. After about fifteen minutes, he directed her onto the QEW, then north on Highway 427 to the 401 where they again headed west on the freeway.
It was a beautiful fall day. Overhead, clouds were racing, pushed by a strong wind.
The route was vaguely familiar—it was the route she and Brad had followed to go to Rattlesnake Point.
Sure enough, the gruff voice barked out the same turn off and before long she was driving up the familiar winding, road that led to the conservation area.
She turned a bend and shifted into second gear and felt her ears pop. The SUV strained a little and then gathered speed.
She knew the entrance to the park wasn’t far and she was wondering how her kidnapper would deal with the parking attendant at the gate or the various people in the parking lot.
As if anticipating her question, he ordered her to pull off the road onto the shoulder and shut off the engine. Again, she complied.
They sat a moment in silence hearing the ticking of the hot motor and watching the dust the tires kicked up, slowly settling back down again.
He was sitting and waiting—for what, she had no idea.
Minutes passed as they sat idly watching sparrows flitting in and out of bushes and hearing the hum of lazy bumblebees hovering among some purple and white alfalfa.
“What’s the time?” the voice demanded.
She glanced at her wrist. “Just past noon.”
“Damn,” he hissed.
She remembered her cell phone in her jacket pocket, but immediately dismissed the idea.
There was no way she was taking any chance of inciting this crazy in the backseat—she did, however, note the option and mentally file it away for further reflection.
If they were going to stay here waiting, then she’d put the time to good use and try to formulate a plan of escape.
Her abductor was either fidgety or nervous—in the rearview mirror she could see the top of his head jerking from side to side as if constantly on the lookout for anyone approaching.
An uneventful hour passed with not a vehicle or person coming up or down the road.
The lull didn’t reassure him, however—he seemed more agitated the longer they waited. Finally, he sighed and shoved open his door. “Get out and don’t try anything. Just keep looking straight ahead.”
She opened the door and stepped out onto the hot asphalt. She kept her eyes straight ahead. The hard gun muzzle was now pushed into the small of her back.
“Okay, turn left and march straight ahead into that thicket of trees across the road.”
They walked across the road and started up a small grassy slope.
A low wire fence had fallen down and she awkwardly stepped over it.
His hand grabbed her right shoulder roughly and pushed her forward.
When they made it into the thicket of trees, she sensed him relax and drop back a step or two allowing her to slow down a bit and pick her way through the underbrush.
They walked for about ten minutes until they came to a sunny glade, surrounded by wild raspberry and chokeberry bushes.
He came up behind her and pointed over her shoulder to a small stand of willows.
“We’ll go over there and sit down,” he commanded.
When they got to the willows, he touched her right shoulder to stop.
He then turned her back around to face the in direction from which they had come.
He pushed downwards and made her sit on the grass while he again sat out of sight behind her.
A wall of foliage to their rear protected and concealed them. The waiting game resumed.
© 2017, John J Geddes. All rights reserved.