A few nights later Willow sat at Tara's laptop surfing the Internet, as her own computer had been impounded by the police and taken away as evidence against Warren Meers. This time what she was doing was totally legal, as Detective Andrew had warned her in no uncertain terms that if he caught her hacking again the deal with the district attorney was off and she was defiantly going to prison. Tara was away working a late night in the emergency ward, which she did five nights a week.
Tara was right to be angry at me, if I had not discovered that money trail that is linked to so many powerful people, then I would be sitting in a police cell right now facing multiple charges and the prospect of ending up as someone's prison bitch. Not to mention what could happen to Tara and my friends. What if that Warren comes after me for giving evidence, or sends somebody to get rid of me? He has a great deal to lose, after all. Maybe I should apply for a gun license, ask the police for protection, or just hide out in a hotel for a few days whilst I work out if I really am in danger.
There was a knock on the door.
"It's the police. We've come to interview you about the case, and to warn you of the danger that you may be in from the friends of Mr Meers."
Normally the police are never around when you need them, but it looks like I'm in luck tonight.
She put her hand on the door handle to let them in and then looked at the though the window.
Plainclothes detectives, I assume. Where is their car? I don't see any blue lights flashing. Willow, you're being paranoid. Ask them to show their badges, and then you'll know that they're genuine. "Before I let you in, I'd like you to show me your badges."
They nodded, reached into their trench coats, and their hands came out not holding police ID, but pistols.
If I don't let them in right now, they'll shoot through the door and kill me on the spot. Whoever they are, they are not the police.
With trembling hands Willow unlocked the door. "If you scream, we will kill you here and now," warned one of the men, whilst another produced a roll of duct tape and wrapped it ten times around and around Willow's mouth, and then taped her at the wrists, arms and ankles. They lifted her up and dumped her into the boot of her car, then shut the door and set off north. One of them phoned their immediate boss using a pay as you go phone. "We've picked her up. Where shall we take her to?"
"Take her to Sunnydale Cemetery, a key has been left in the lock, and there is an open grave awaiting tomorrow's burial of an eighty year old woman who died of a totally natural heart attack. Use your knives to kill her by cutting her throat over the grave, them throw her into it, and use the shovels that you'll find there to put just enough earth over her body to hide it from view. The next morning the gravediggers will do the rest after the old woman's funeral. What better place to hide a body then in a legal grave?"
"It'll be a while before they find out she's missing, and if we're lucky they'll think she fled the state to avoid testifying, but even if they do think she was kidnapped and murdered, they'll never find her body. Without her evidence, the case will fall apart and my boss will go free."
Inside the boot of the car, Willow forced herself not to panic.
They didn't search me properly; I still have my utility belt on under my clothes. Without it there is no way I would have a chance of getting free. In the darkness she managed to reach her belt with her bound hands. Thank the goddesses that they did not tape my fingers together.
She pulled out a penknife, got the blade open and started sawing at her bonds. It took a while but she cut through her wrist bonds and then cutting her arm bonds and ankle bonds was easily done. She decided to leave her gag alone for now, as she knew it would sting when she got the tape from her lips.
She took out a torch from her belt and flashed it around.
If this car is a modern one, there should be a safety catch inside the boot, in case someone gets trapped inside either accidentally or by criminals. Ah, there it is. If the car is going too fast I could be badly hurt jumping from it, but I think they are professional killers and they'll be driving at the speed limit to avoid possible police attention. It would not do for them to get caught for speeding with me in the boot. You have to do this, Willow, or you're going to end up dead.
She waited until the car slowed slightly to turn a bend, turned off her torch and jumped out of the car boot, then fled into some nearby trees as the car stopped and reversed back. She crept away in the shadows as quietly as she dared as her kidnappers took out torches and their guns and leapt from the car.
"Damm it! How the hell did that happen?"
She grinned, only to step on a dry stick that cracked underfoot.
As they entered the forest looking for her she pulled out a small ball that glowed in the dark, one of the sillier things that she had with her, and hurled it as far as she good in the opposite direction, distracting them whilst she ran away. She heard the crack of a pistol and a bullet flew past her head and embedded itself in a tree.
Two can play that game. I don't have a gun with me, but I think I can fool them into thinking I have one.
Pulling out a couple of balls with a thin layer of gunpowder on, she slammed them together hard. There was a spark and a loud crack that sounded like a gunshot and her kidnappers threw themselves to the ground.
"She's got a gun! Turn off your torch or you'll be a sitting duck."
"I think we should give up the chase. I don't fancy a gunfight in pitch darkness."
"But if we let her get away, our boss will be furious with us. At the least we won't get paid for our trouble, at worst it could be us that end up getting whacked instead of our target. You're only as good as your last hit in this line of work."
Whilst they argued Willow crept away from them and came out of the trees and down a small hill to where she could see a railway line and the lights of a small town.
If I can get across that line without being electrocuted, then I should be able to get my gag off, hide in the streets and alleys and either contact the local law enforcement or phone Tara. But what if those guys were cops? Don't be stupid, if they were policemen then they would have shown you their badges and then at the right time, you would get a bullet in the head or a knife in the throat and you would never have seen it coming. They can't be cops. It's possible that they might have a loose link with the cops, but not with small town ones.
A train started coming, and behind her she saw the beams of the torches held by her kidnappers.
Damm it. I can wait for them, no way. They'll either kill me on the spot or drag me somewhere to kill me in private or make me wish I were dead.
She raced in front of the train and heard the loud honk of the horn, wanting to clap her hands over her ears.
I'm going to be squashed, I'm going to be squashed, I'm... I'm safe. Eat hot train, you arseholes back there.
Pulling off her sticky tape gag despite the pain, she breathed in deeply and was soon deep within the town. She got out her phone.
"Tara...I have had a horrible experience...two men kidnapped me. They bound and gagged me, stuffed me in the back of their car, and were most likely going to kill me. I escaped from the two idiots but was nearly run over in the process. I'm in the nearby town of Reedville, so could you please come and get me, call the police, or both?"