Well, we have been back home for a whole week, resting from our vacation. The peace and quiet…I walk past the cat’s play rooms as they squeal with delight over their latest addition to their play structure. Okay, it is mostly peace and quiet, but I am glad they are enjoying themselves after that vacation that was not. I go into the library after breakfast to relax for a bit and do some reading. Or so I had planned.
“You have a personal email on our PI email,” said Annelie. “What does it say?”, I ask her. “Um, you might want to read it yourself,” she answered, “it is from a woman named Susan.” I stare at Annelie and check the email. “Muffin, come here,” I said in my normal voice. “Do you expect Muffin will hear…”, Baldwin started to say as Muffin bounced up onto my lap. Meow,meow?=What up that you want me? Kat came in at that moment too. “Yes, I would like to know also,” she said.
“Here Muffin, read it since it is for you too,” I said, “I will explain in a moment Kat.” She frowned a bit, then Muffin screamed, EEEEEEEK! That brought MC and Storm sliding into the library amazingly fast. Meow?=What wrong, you scream so loud? Meow,meow!!=We must help, we must help!! “Yes Muffin, we will,” I said, “okay everyone, here is what is happening.” Everyone was here now having heard Muffin scream so loud.
“Susan Chambers was a neighbor of ours about 7 years ago,” I began, “she has a daughter who would be 11 now. Susan is a widow, her husband was killed in an accident just shortly after their daughter was born. She actually encouraged Muffin and I to start our PI business. There is another woman, her name is Avina, we were in high school together. She told me that one day she would be a powerful woman in this world. She is a terrible woman, and one not to be taken lightly.
She has kidnapped Susan’s little girl, Krissy, and holding her hostage until I agree to do something for her, then she will let Krissy go. I do not know what Avina wants me to do, but she also wants Muffin to come with me to meet with her and Susan, to talk about this.” “Steve, you cannot go by yourself,” said Kat, “this is obviously a trap to get you and Muffin. We will all go with you.” They all said the same thing. “Sorry,” I said, “but it will be Muffin and I, alone, or Avina will kill Krissy right away.”
“We can stay far back so she will not even know we are there,” said Jennifer. “Yeah,” echoed Rock, “you need some backup Steve, it is just too dangerous.” “Well Muffin,” I asked her, “what do you think?” Meow,meow.=It better we go alone, we know what to do, we help save little Krissy girl for Susan. “That settles it,” I said, “and that means no following us, Avena is smart, she will be watching, one slip and that little girl is dead.”
“Okay Steve,” said Baldwin, “I will make sure they do not get in the way. Do we get to know where you are going?” “Yes, London,” I said, “so I will need a jet available right away.” “You have it,” he said. I then asked Annelie to contact Jake and see if he knew anything at all about Avina, then forward the information to me. I also asked her to get in touch with John for me. The whole team, almost, came to see us off at the airport. “You make it look like this is our final good bye,” I said to Kat.
“Well, it just might be,” she said, “and I still do not like it!” “It will be okay,” I said, “we will not be taking chances.” “You already are taking chances,” she reminded me. Sigh. I should have known that Baldwin would get the last word in. The pilot and copilot were Rock and Benson and there were 2 flight attendants, Jennifer and Sigurbjorn. But they did have strict orders to stay with the jet unless I called for help.
We met Susan and went with her to a public park to meet with Avina at 3pm. She was quite punctual, in that she has not changed. “Nice to see you again Steve,” she said with a smile. “Skip the nice talk please and get to the point,” I said, “oh, and if you harm Krissy in any way, I will hunt you down, and you know I can do it.” “Yes,” she said, still smiling, “I believe that, which is why I want you to work for me. But I knew you would not do that without some, um, persuasion.”
“That is a good way to put it,” I said. I held Susan’s hand and squeezed it periodically to remind her not to say anything. “So what would you like me to do?”, I asked her. “Here is a list of 9 people I want you to bring to me,” she said as she handed me a piece of paper, “and you have exactly 3 weeks to do it, please remember that Steve, exactly 3 weeks from today, not a day later.” “I do not recognize anyone on this list,” I said, “I take it, however, that they would not come voluntarily or you would not want me to bring them to you.”
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.