The Others (Part Three)
Billy thumped against the back of the van and held his breath. He could hear his own heart hammering against his ribs.
He flinched in fear as the van’s engine clanked off with a shudder. He could feel the slick coldness of the garage floor. The lights were on, but it was dim. He looked up and could see that only one of the three fluorescent tubes was working. Otherwise, from what he could tell, it was just another urban garage, everything neat and orderly.
Dr. Fraccin opened the van door and Billy tried to keep quiet, huddling tightly against the back of the white van. He was afraid of being discovered and was relieved to hear Fraccin whistling “The Sound of Music” as he unloaded some boxes from the front seat and then quickly left the garage through a side door.
Billy thought about what he had just done. Why did he always have to be so impulsive, so damn reckless? He could have easily been injured or even killed. He berated himself but shook it off quickly.
Damn, he had left Allison outside in the car. She would be worried sick. She might even be calling the cops now, but something about her told him that she wasn’t the type to run away or turn him in. When she drove him to Fraccin’s, she had become his willing ally, or in this case, accomplice.
He had to figure out a way to get her inside the house, or somehow contact her. No way was he going to open the garage door. He knew that would make way too much racket. Doc Nut Job would be on him in a heartbeat.
No, he determined silently, I have to stick around, figure out where my brother is stowed. That’s the entire reason I’m here, right? He didn’t really have any kind of plan. Not much different than anything else I ever do, he mused. He would just have to wing it and that was something that he was definitely used to doing.
He stood up slowly, trying to work out the kinks. He felt a bruise on his hip and a slight cracking sound from his knee where he had banged into the van, but otherwise he was intact.
A light tapping noise startled him. He inched his way across and could see that someone was flipping open the mail slot on the garage door.
“Billy? Where are you?” Allison whispered fiercely.
“Shhh. I’m here.” He looked through the slot and could see her eyes on the other side. He noticed they were blue-green, almost aquamarine but slightly more yellow.
“Hello, are you alright?” she asked.
“Yeah, just, um, can’t see a damn thing in here. Allison?”
“I don’t think you should come in here,” he said in a low tone.
“Yeah, like you should be in there.”
“Yes, I know, I know, it was a little crazy…”
“A lot crazy, Billy, but right now why don’t you try lifting the garage door a little. I’ll crawl under. Hurry, we don’t have a lot of time.”
Billy reached down and found the frayed rope, tugging on it. The old garage door creaked up slowly about a foot. Allison wriggled under as soon as the space was just wide enough.
“Good job.” She said, then the rope snapped in Billy’s hand and the garage door came crashing down hard, making a ton of noise.
“Shit,” they both said at the same time.
They could hear footsteps coming fast down the stairs.
“Hurry, under here,” he grabbed her hand and they slid under the still dripping van, steam rising off the undercarriage.
The door flew open, casting a shifting beam of light. They could hear Fraccin breathing hard, wheezing. The doctor turned on the lights and walked by the garage door. He bent down and saw the water on the ground and the footprints.
Fraccin growled, snapping his head around, then grinned as he looked down and saw the wet marks disappearing under the van. He bent down and looked under the van.
“Gotcha!” he yelled, then realized there was no one there. Suddenly, the door to the house slammed and the lock was thrown on the other side. Fraccin ran and slammed himself against the door, trying to open it. He roared in anger and continued pounding.
On the other side, Billy and Allison ran up the stairs into the front hallway.
“Come on, we have to find something fast before he gets out and comes up the front way.”
“What exactly are you looking for?” she asked. She followed him into the kitchen and watched him as he ransacked the drawers.
“I don’t know. Something. A clue. Anything.” He said. “You stand near the front door and watch out for our friend the crazy doctor. I’ll check things out around here.
Allison went slowly towards the front room of the old Victorian. The room was pitch black and she parted the window a bit in order to see out.
The rain was still coming down hard outside and she had trouble seeing anything.
A lightning strike illuminated the window and in the reflection she saw the white robed figure standing behind her. She screamed but at that exact moment a peal of thunder shook the whole house.
In the other room, Billy paused as the thunder rolled like drums at the symphony. He shrugged and turned back to the task at hand.
He quickly scooted around the front rooms, glancing around, rummaging through drawers, trying to find something, anything. He went into the living room, which had an ancient television set from the 1960’s, one of those big giant furniture cabinet numbers with a tiny black and white set stuck in the middle.
He pulled open the cabinets and searched. Old notes and matchbooks, some tools, and there, at the very bottom, Sam’s old swiss army knife. He recognized it right away. It still had tape on it with the letters S.H. scribbled on it with a black sharpie.
He had given this to Sam on his twelfth birthday and after that Sam never went anywhere without it.
He took it out and held it in his hand.
“I’m coming to get you, Sam,” he whispered aloud.
“I don’t think so.” Growled a voice behind him.
He whirled around and saw Doc Fraccin. He had one arm around Allison’s neck and in the other hand he held a huge syringe.
“Don’t do anything idiotic. I should say, don’t do anything else idiotic. You seem to have reached your full quota of moronic ideas for the evening.”
“What have you done with my brother, you fucking maniac?”
“Now, now. That kind of language is not acceptable in this house. The late Mrs. Fraccin, my dear departed wife Penny, would not allowed it. No sirree Bob.”
“Let me go you pig!” Allison was squirming, trying to get loose, but Fraccin moved the needle next to her eye. She flinched backward, gasping, but he held her securely.
“This is some highly toxic stuff here. I wouldn’t move around too much if I were you. Might poke you accidentally.” He laughed and the wheezing sounded like broken bellows.
“Look, you sicko, I’m Sam’s brother.”
“I know exactly who you are. William Godfrey Hayes the Second. Son of the late, practically unknown William Godfrey Hayes Senior, an artist of very little talent and even less reknown.”
“Don’t talk about my father like that. He was a wonderful man.”
“Yes. I'm sure he was. Too bad he was so weak. I realized right away when I started digging into your brother’s past that the reason he was in art school was to be able to somehow make up for the failure of his father. A bit twisted, certainly.” Fraccin was enjoying this way too much. Billy had to keep him talking while his eyes scanned the room, trying to find a way to turn this around.
“Come on, Doc. You got us. Call the cops if you want. Breaking and Entering.”
“You must think that I am a fool, William Hayes. No, the police will not be summoned this evening.”
“Then you have to let her go. You have to let us go right now.” Billy was growing increasingly worried, more about Allison than himself. He felt bad that he had dragged her into his mess.
Quick as a fox, Fraccin pulled some handcuffs from his pocket and threw them at Billy, who caught them in midair. “Be a good lad and put those on for me.”
“Why the hell would I do that?”
“Because, you simpleton, if you don’t I will not only inject little miss art student here with this deadly concoction (which I myself invented, thank you very much), but then I will be forced to shoot you."
“He’s bluffing, Billy. I think.” She said, worried, eyes shifting nervously to the needle near her face.
Billy realized he had no choice so he slipped the handcuffs on.
“Tighter,” commanded Fraccin. Billy clicked them harder until the metal touched his bare flesh.
“Good boy. See, that wasn’t so hard. Now it’s your turn, my little lovely.” Fraccin quickly snapped another pair of cuffs on Allison.
He pushed her up against Billy and started walking them down the hall, using the syringe like a loaded gun.
“What are you going to do with us, you bastard?” demanded Billy.
“You wanted to see your brother, right? Well, now you’ll get your chance, though I must say, you will probably regret that decision.”
Fraccin opened another door at the end of the house. He flicked on a light switch and they saw a steep stairwell running down into the darkness.
“Come on. Let’s go down into the dungeon. Ha ha ha!” Fraccin laughed at his own joke.
Billy and Allison just looked at each other, afraid but with very little in the way of choice, they began walking down the stairs into the darkness.
to be continued
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