Reunited – Chapter Five

  She was unaware of the horrors that lie only feet away as she crossed the hallway passing the living room. As she climbed the stairs towards her bedroom she began to feel like an alien in her own home. She recalled the affect he had on her before and that same affect was beginning to take over once more with every sound startling her nervously. She placed her bag on the bed and started to get undressed. Silence ringing in her ears as she waited for him to make contact. Suddenly she was brought back down to earth with a bump of realisation. Her friend was missing and the only person she had heard from since last night was Ivan himself. She picked up her phone, blissfully ignoring the police officers request and dialled the number. A moment later she felt paralysed. Icy cold with fear as she listened to the ring below trying to make sense of what was happening.

“You have 4 seconds to get downstairs or she dies Laura”.

The fear vanished as Laura counted what seemed to be the longest 4 seconds of her life. She slipped on the final step twisting her ankle in the process. Turning from her crumpled heap on the floor to face the living room, she could just make out a dark shadow behind the panes of frosted glass. Managing to get to her feet, she ignored the pain and limped towards the doors. Pulling them apart, her nightmare became reality. There he stood. The same man, the same mask and the same chair beside him. Except this time it wasn’t Laura who occupied the chair, it was Chloe. With tears rolling down her cheeks, she sat there almost defeated. He had taped her mouth and tied her hands behind her back.

“Your cutting it a bit fine Laura” he said. “This is a lot longer than 4 seconds”. Something about his voice bothered her. She had spoken with Ivan only hours earlier and his Spanish accent was strong. Whoever hid behind this mask was not Spanish. She was sure of it.

“What do you want from us?” she said. A car screeched to a halt outside instantly turning his calmness on its head.

“Who knows I’m here? Who have you told? Sit down!” he shouted. Laura walked over to the sofa and sat down as instructed.

“I’ve no idea. Are you ok?” She looked at Chloe who managed half a nod.

The officers sat in the car waiting for the calvery to arrive. 
“Sir we need to do something” said Sam.

“We’re not moving until back up arrives. We haven’t got a clue what’s going down in there Sam. He’s obviously a very dangerous man.”

Minutes later with their sirens whaling, 2 police vans and an unmarked vehicle pulled up beside them. One of the officers immediately jumped out of the marked car.
“We’ve got a problem” he said. “Listen to this”. He passed them his phone which they put on loudspeaker in the car.

“Start the voicemail” he said.

“Hi. This is a message for officer Stephenson. It is Ivan here. I have been asked to call you. I am at the restaurant now if you need to talk. Please call me back. I don’t understand why you need me. Thanks”. 

“We’ve got the wrong man. That message was left 5 minutes ago as we were driving here”.

“Shit!” shouted the officer as he hit his steering wheel in frustration.”If that’s not Ivan in there, who the hell is it?”.

Reunited – Chapter four

 
Laura stood next to her car frozen to the ground with fear. Her nightmare had come alive again but this time it was not her that was the subject of his evil. It was Chloe.

Almost seven years ago Laura had been celebrating her 23rd birthday when she was abducted and held captive for 24 hours. It was a nightmare that she thought would never come back to haunt her. She never saw his face as the mask he so proudly wore overshadowed the troubled soul inside. One thing that Laura did know was that Chloe was out with her that fateful night. She had to return to the bar to speak to the policeman for that may be Chloe’s only hope of survival.

As she approached the bar, she tried to piece together her painful memories. Making a mental list of anything the police may need to know. One piece of evidence that she did have was that she had now seen his face. She had even spoke with him. She briefly gave her story to the policeman who was still standing outside the bar. “You had better come inside Laura” he said.
She sat down on the same stool as she had done only hours before, with Chloe next to her. The smell of stale alcohol filled the room making her feel queasy. “I know this is going to be hard for you Laura but we need as much information from you as you can possibly remember” he said. “Let’s start with a description of this man who we now believe to be called Ivan”. 
Laura described him as best she could before stopping in her tracks. “Hang on. Why can’t we just call him or text him back on this number?” she said. “I’m afraid it’s not as simple as that” replied the officer. “My colleague has tried calling the number back but there was no answer. We are in the process of tracing the location of the phone but this may take a while. Are there any similarities at all with this case and yours that you believe may be relevant? Anything.” “Well it might just be coincidence but it also happened to me on my birthday and Chloe was also with me that night. Whether or not it’s relevant I don’t know” said Laura. “I mean this was 7 years ago. Why would he remember me?”. “I have no idea but we will find Chloe don’t worry. The best thing you can do is to go home and see if you can contact any of the other friends that you were out with last night that may also have information for us. And if he texts again, please do not be tempted to reply. Call me.” The officer handed Laura his card and they said their goodbyes.

As she opened her front door and entered the house, it felt decidedly colder than usual. Even though she lived on her own and was accustomed to quiet, sometimes lonely surroundings, today felt like she had no one. She didn’t know where to turn, who to call or what to think. 
Back at the bar, a young officer who’s duty it was to liaise with the station to gain further information on Ivan’s possible whereabouts, stepped out of the bar. “Sir. We’ve got a location on the phone” he said urgently. “Good work Sam. Where are we heading” he said as they climbed into one of the vehicles that sat outside. “11 Sandell Close Sir” he replied. “Say that again”. “11 Sandell Close?” he replied. “That’s Laura’s address! Go!”.

Update…

 Good afternoon to all my followers. I thought I would give you a midweek treat with a bit of an update on the novel in progress.

As always, thank you to all those who have recently joined this journey. Your support means a great deal.
Firstly I hope you are all enjoying ‘Reunited’. Chapter 4 will be published this Sunday as Laura and Chloe’s nightmare intensifies. I have had some great feedback on the story so far so please do get in touch with any comments good or not so good. It’s always great to hear from you.
So onto the slightly bigger project in hand. I am now onto chapter 12 of my novel so I would like to say I’m pretty much half way through. The story so far has gone to plan with a few changes made here and there along the way. The word count is pretty much where I believe it should be so fingers crossed the second half proves as much of a success.
I’ll be back on Sunday with the next instalment of ‘Reunited’. Until then…
Mark

Reunited – Chapter Three

 
As the light filtered into the room through a small gap in the curtains, she stirred. With her head beating like a drum Laura made her way into the kitchen. Filling a glass to the top with water she turned to look at the clock on the wall noticing that it was nowhere near the time she thought it might be. With two paracetamol in hand she headed upstairs to bed.
As she walked into her room, she picked up her phone from the bed side table. “Damn it” she said to herself noticing the battery had died. She plugged it in to charge and climbed into bed. Just as she was drifting off to sleep, her phone vibrated awakening her with a startle.

She rolled over and reached out for it almost knocking her glass of water over in the process. Slowly opening one eye, she noticed the text and a missed call. The call having been made at 01:46am and the text followed shortly after. She was sure as she waited for the voicemail to begin, that it would be one of her friends leaving her a drunken goodnight. What came next made her sit bolt upright with fear. As she listened, a shiver went down her spine and a feeling of panic set in. She played the message again.

‘Laura! Laura! Hello? Please pick up. Please pick up. Oh my god. Laura its Chloe plea…’. The message cut off again. She recognised Hannah’s voice but only just. The panic and fear distorting her normally calm and collected manner.

Laura did not know what to do first. She called Hannah but there was no answer. She tried Chloe crossing every bone in her body. The call went straight to voicemail. “Chloe its Laura. Please call me back to let me know you’re ok”.

Now wide awake, she jumped out of bed and got dressed. As she paced around her room, it came to her. There was only one thing for it. She had to go back to the bar even if it was only 7.30 in the morning.
As she drove towards the town, she had no idea what she may find or even if the bar would be open. The fear in Hannah’s voice had left her with no choice but to at least try. The twelve minute drive was full of personal torment. Every minute a valid reason would float into Laura’s head as to why Hannah had left the voicemail. However, as she turned the corner coming face to face with the bar, her fears were confirmed. 
The bar was surrounded by blue and white tape and 2 police vehicles sat outside. As she parked up and stepped out of her car, she found herself praying for what would now be a miracle. And she knew it. She approached the tape as a policeman came from inside the bar to greet her. “I am sorry but I will have to move you on from this area Madame” he said formally. “Can I just ask what has happened” she asked. Now crossing her fingers that his response would be one she wanted to hear. “I’m afraid a girl was abducted in the early hours of this morning” he replied. Laura’s stomach turned upside down. She felt physically sick. She turned and ran towards her car. “Excuse me” called the policeman but it was too late. Laura had gone. She pulled out her phone to try Hannah again. As she did so she noticed the text message that she had forgotten all about. It had disappeared into her minefield of saved messages that she had stored on her phone. Rather reluctantly she opened the message from the unknown sender. To her horror it simply read ‘Do you remember me now?’.

Reunited – Chapter Two

  

“Do I know you?” she said. Her friends now waiting in anticipation for his response. 

“Oh. Errrr not exactly no” he replied. “You don’t remember me do you?”

“I’m really sorry but no” Laura replied. She was now feeling slightly unnerved by the whole situation.

“How about some drinks instead?” suggested Hannah rather impatiently.

“Oh. I’m sorry”. He took the rest of the orders before disappearing.

A few moments later, the waiter that had shown them to their table reappeared with a tray of drinks.
“Where’s the other guy gone?” asked Chloe.

“Who Ivan?” he replied. 

“I don’t know. The fit one” she said.

“He has had to go home. He not feeling very well. You know bad stomach.”

“You have got to be kidding me” said Chloe. “Come on then. Where do you know him from? You kept that one a secret didn’t you?”

“I have absolutely no idea. He must have mistaken me for someone else” Laura replied. ‘Ivan’ she thought to herself. The name just wasn’t familiar to her. No, he must have got it wrong.

The meal was a success and Chloe, although slightly worse for wear at this point, suggested that they go onto a bar. All of them in agreement, they asked for the bill. Laura reached into her handbag to check her phone. Her mother had not been well recently and she had given her an open invitation to text or call whenever she needed too.
‘Oh no!’ she said.

‘What’s up babe?’ asked Hannah.

‘I’ve left my phone at home. I need it in case my mum calls’.

‘You can text her from my phone if you want’ suggested Hannah. Laura knew the number like the back of her hand she had used it so many times. Having to focus more than usual due to the alcohol taking effect, she text her mum as they left the restaurant. 

Finding it highly amusing that they had somehow managed to get the same driver as before, the girls picked up where they left off. Windows down, intoxicated and high on excitement, they headed to their favourite bar.
As they danced like it was going out of fashion, the painful memories that had stolen Laura’s soul for so long now felt like a distant memory. At 1 o’clock however she was ready to go home. She called herself a taxi home before stumbling through the door. She had enjoyed a great night with her friends but was glad to be home. After making herself a slice of toast which she seemed to chew on for at least half an hour, she sat down on the sofa. Within five minutes she was asleep.
Laura had forgotten all about her mother and was unsure whether or not her text had reached her earlier in the evening. However, as she slept, she was blissfully unaware that her phone lay upstairs on her bedside table, vibrating at short intervals.The text message was not from her mother and the wait until sunrise may prove too late to respond to the sender.