A Short Story
Jack Wilson rolled on the bed as usual, placed his hand next to him where his wife was supposed to be sleeping. But he didn’t feel her body on the bed. Suddenly, he opened his eyes and saw only wrinkles on the bed sheet.
Did she go to the bathroom ? He listened if any sound was coming from the bathroom. But he heard nothing. It was silent as if no one was inside.
Jack got out of his bed yawning.
Where did she go ?
Perhaps, she was watching television unable to catch sleep, he thought.
He walked towards the hall and it was dark.
Was she in the kitchen eating some snacks to kill her mid night hunger?
Even the kitchen was dark too.
Where did she go then?
Did she elope with his handsome neighbour Frank Willis?
He went back to the bedroom and checked their wardrobe. All her clothes were intact. It was more puzzling to him.
Where could have she gone?
Suddenly, a thought came to his mind.
Did someone kidnap her while he was sleeping? If so, he would receive a ransom note the following morning from her abductor. How much would he ask for ? Twenty million…Thirty million…Forty million….Fifty million…or even more.
He scratched his head thinking how would he arrange for the ransom amount.
He went and checked the main door and it was locked from inside. However, the back door was left open. He remembered that he had locked it before going to sleep.
The gentle breeze was blowing through the hall window, riffling the window curtains. He should have forgotten to bolt the window in the hall, before going to sleep. So the intruder should have sneaked in through the open window and took her out through the back door. Now, it all made some sense to him.
The back door leads to the car garage.
What if he was still in the garage with her?
He had to save her somehow. But how?
He saw his baseball bat, picked it up and held firmly in his hands while he stepped outside the house.
As he walked towards the garage he saw a faint light coming from the car garage.
Would he find the intruder or his next-door neighbour having a secret affair with his wife, Ammie Wilson?
Truth was just a few steps away from him. His heart started beating fast and he started sweating.
‘Be bold, Jack. Be bold!’ He told himself. He took few steps forward as silently as possible.
As he slowly walked towards the garage with the bat held firmly in his hands, the light in the garage went off and he saw a dark figure emerging from the garage.
That could be his neighbour Frank Willis, he thought. He hid behind the tree in the garden and waited for the shadow to come closer.
He held his bat firmly in his hands ready to strike at the intruder whoever he was at any moment. All he had to do was hit hard on his head so that he would collapse to the ground unconscious. Then he would drag him into the garage and tie him up, after which he would call the police.
The shadow came closer and closer. Jack would be a hero soon. Everyone wanted to be heroes in their individual lives and this was his moment. Nothing could go wrong here. Nothing!
He held his breath and started the count down in his mind.
And a sharp object touched the skin of his throat.
“Don’t move!” whispered the voice. “I won’t think twice to slit your throat with this sharp knife of mine.”
“What..?” Jack cried and his voice choked.
“Come with me inside!” The voice said.
And he obeyed. He was tied to a pillar and a cloth was gagged into his mouth. He heard someone start his car in the garage then it raced away.
Maybe his wife had eloped with his neighbour now, he thought. He cursed her.
“Now, I am going to switch on the light.” The voice said.
The light came and Jack started blinking. Jack was shocked to see his wife, Ammie standing with the sharp knife from the kitchen. The knife, which she used to cut the vegetables and fruits. He groaned.
“What the hell…..?” She cried, shocked to see him. “I thought you were someone else..? I thought you just went in the car to call the cops..” She said.
He groaned again and she pulled the cloth from his mouth.
“What the hell were you doing in the car garage with that god dame knife in your hand?” Jack shouted at her.
“I heard some sound coming from the garage. I thought some thief had broken in and I wanted to catch him.” She explained.
“And..?” Jack asked.
“And it turned out to be a rat.” She concluded.
“You mean to say that a rat just drove away in the car?” He asked. “Oh, come on, remove this rope.”
He dialled the cops and told them about his stolen car. Sometime later, he heard someone honking. He rushed outside to find his car. His neighbour, Frank was seated in the driver’s seat.
“Sorry, Jack, my mother-in-law had a stroke sometime back and my car was down. So I had to take your car without taking your permission. Actually, I didn’t have the time to wake you up and…Thanks anyway.” He said, getting down and handing him the car keys.
Sometime later, a stranger in dark pressed the button of his wristwatch and the screen illuminated and it showed 3.15 AM.
He stepped out of the wardrobe slowly without making any sound. He had a glance at the bed; both the husband and wife were sleeping peacefully.
He walked into the hall and picked whatever he wanted and placed them in his bag and reached the fridge. He opened the door and took an apple and had a bite, and closed it with his leg.
He walked to the window from where he had entered, having another bite of the apple. He opened, crept outside and walked away into the dark of the night.