Sunday, August 7, 2011

Indivisible Chapter 23

Chapter 23

Mae made herself as small and quiet as she could in the back corner of a closet, using the hanging clothes as extra cover. The dogs were barking outside. She couldn’t understand why they weren’t charging back into the house. She wanted to rip her hair out because of it. Why weren’t Daisy and Stasi tearing apart the intruder that had taken Bob down into the basement at gun point?

Bob kept a revolver in his nightstand which Mae knew of but she had no idea how to use it. She had never fired a gun before. There were hammers and safeties and totally unfamiliar, potentially dangerous processes to worry about. Even if she did know how to wield it, she lacked the requisite fortitude to act decisively upon engaging the stealthy intruder who might see her first and blow her away before she could overcome her hesitancy. She was already terrified of the vaporous spectre in the darkness. He was undoubtedly an expert in that he had so quickly, silently and effortlessly subdued Bob who was himself a professional law enforcer. She remained hunkered down in the corner of the closet trying not to breathe too loud, screaming silent screams of terror.

Footsteps! Just down the hall...

Oh Jesus, she screamed in her mind. Please don’t come in here. She silently prayed.

The soft footsteps stopped at the bedroom door.

Oh God. Please no, don’t come in here...

The door handle turned and the door swept open across the carpet into the dark bedroom. She heard Bob’s screams, seemingly far away, deep down in the basement.


A sliver of light appeared under the closet door where Mae was hiding. She noticed the calf of her naked leg was exposed, sticking out from behind the hanging blind of clothes. She drew it back into her body slowly...back into her shadowy corner of the closet.

Please don’t...please don’t look in here. Oh god, she pleaded silently.


The sliver of light vanished. The footsteps made their way back down the hall and into the bathroom where Mae heard the tub faucet turned on.

She sighed.

There must have been at least two intruders as she could hear Bob’s screams and pleas directed at one whilst another worked the faucet of the nearby tub. The knobs squeaked again and the water stopped flowing. The footsteps left the bathroom and made their way back down to the basement.

She waited quietly in the darkness, petrified that there might be a third intruder waiting silently in the room, waiting patiently for her to peek her timid face out of the closet and then snatch her by the hair and drag her into the dungeon where some unknown, hellish fate awaited. She waited in the dark silence.

She heard Bob’s coughing and the muffled voices of the invaders. Who were they? Bandits? Gangbangers? Kidnappings were chronic and common in these difficult times. Maybe they were parolees using the general anarchy as cover for taking revenge on a sheriff who might have put them away at some point in the past.

After a few moments it finally seemed safe to Mae for her to peek out. She slowly, quietly opened the closet door and poked her head out into the pitch black room. She opened it further, carefully, just wide enough to crawl out. To her relief, no invader was there waiting to grab her by the scalp but her heart was racing nonetheless. She crawled over to the nightstand and got Bob’s revolver. The weight and unwieldiness of it surprised her. She had never handled a gun before. She sat Indian style on the floor next to the nightstand holding the gun, back against the bed, wearing nothing but a t-shirt and panties.

She tried to muster her courage. If she dialed the cops it would take them at least twenty minutes to get to Bob’s secluded house. And that’s if they answered at all. 9-1-1 was only sporadically available, anymore. And if she called, the intruders might hear her. She couldn’t find the phone in the darkness, anyway, and dared not turn on the light so she took a long deep breath and pulled herself up onto her bare feet.

She clasped the revolver with both hands as she quietly stepped out of the bedroom and proceeded down the stairs, down into the basement then around a corner to the door leading into the garage. She could hear the intruder’s voices clearly, now. She heard water and coughing. It was Bob’s coughing.

What are they doing to him? She asked herself.

They were just behind the door, just a few feet away. Splashing. Coughing. Threatening commands. If she could just open the door and point the gun at them then Bob would know what to do from there. But they have guns, too, she considered. They’ll shoot me dead. No, I can’t do it. I can’t.

The terror coursed through her arteries, freezing her in fear with both hands clumsily clutching the gun with its heavy barrel hanging droopily towards the door leading to the garage. She thought for a second about just pulling the trigger and hoping the explosion might be enough to scare them off. No, that was too risky. She didn’t even have the nerve to put her fingers on the trigger. She remained frozen in terror.

One of the invaders spoke, “Bob, this is your last chance...I’m sure my friend here can’t wait to turn that hammer loose...”

“She’s...” Garrity stuttered, “she’s at a campground. She’s at a campground.”

Mae could not understand. What did that mean? Who was at a campground? She could hardly believe her ears when she heard the rest of the interrogation. She wanted to throw the gun down and run out into the snow. But then, for a moment, she rationalized it. There was no way that Bob could do such a thing, she assured herself. But then she quickly overcame this thought as well. She knew it was true. She knew Bob’s truth-telling when he told it. Her terror morphed into confusion.

Who is this Jessica Clayton woman? She asked herself. What did Bob do to her? Why did he do this? Why? The money? Was it for traveling money to get them to Costa Rica. Bingo. “That son of a bitch”, she muttered.

Suddenly, her instinct for self-preservation manifested itself. She knew that she would most certainly be implicated in Bob’s scheme and, in the least, her career would be totally ruined by such a scandal. She could not allow that to happen! She was protected in the government with a lucrative career as an un-terminable tax-feeder. She hobnobbed with the Treasury Secretary’s family and the President’s Cabinet and all those billionaire bankers and their botoxed, Long Island wives and their cocktail parties where the patrician, New Yorkers bitched about their detached and sadistic kids. She couldn’t just surrender such a life of privilege! She would be destroyed by this scandal, at best relegated to some mahogany corporate hall, wasting her days and remaining sensuality cooking up financial lies and P&L propaganda for some Eu Claire cheddar cheese conglomerate. She’d almost rather blow her fucking brains out right then and there. She looked down at the gun hanging flaccid in her hand.

Stop thinking like a loser, she cajoled herself. You cannot accept this. You cannot allow yourself to be tied to this scandal. This is Bob’s mess, let him deal with it. You have to go! Go now! Run! Run!

She couldn’t. She heard the invaders footsteps. She held the gun with two manicured index fingers on the trigger. Now she was ready to shoot. She would shoot them and make Bob clean it all up and then she would leave him for good this time. She never should have come back, anyway. He’s a loser, she thought, a hick loser in a hick county in a fly-over state.

A set of footsteps went out the side door. Then the interior garage door opened and a figure appeared before her. It wasn’t Bob. It was an intruder. He stood there in the frame of the door like a ghost…a devil, a shadow, backlit by the dangling lightbulb behind him. The spectre raised his 9mm to her forehead, deliberately, mechanically. She feebly, shakily drew Bob’s revolver up as well. Their eyes met…but Mae could not squeeze the trigger. A flash, a final instant of existence and she would be no more. She lowered the pistol and dropped her eyes downward and shook her head. Jimmy Marzan left her there and slipped into the backyard.

She waited for a moment listening to Bob sobbing in the adjacent garage. She stepped through the door. Bob was there, tied up, covered with coats, blindfolded and gagged and soaking wet and shivering. She approached him, gun in hand. He didn’t hear her. He was just trying to breathe through the gag and stave off hypothermia.

“How could you do this?” she yelled at him.

Bob mumbled through the tennis ball. Instinctively, she pulled the hammer back on the pistol.

“How could you do this to me!” she screamed.

Bob mumbled and strained under his gag and twine restraints. His coats fell off. He gripped the mallet tied to the trigger of the shotgun tightly in his numbing hand. Mae ripped his blindfold off. Bob screamed muffled screams trying to get Mae to remove the gag but she just stood there with the gun, hammer cocked, standing directly between Bob’s knotted, shivering body and the shotgun affixed to the vice that was aimed at his chest. The dogs barked viciously outside. Bob shook his head vehemently from side to side.

“No! Be careful. Don’t touch that string! Take this gag off me. Look! Look behind you!” But his muffled pleas were unintelligible through the gag.

“You son of a bitch!” She exclaimed, raising the droopy barrel to his face.

“No, Mae! No! I did it for us! I did it for you! I love you!”

But she understood none of it. Her shoulder pressed on the string tied to the trigger. The line drew taut. Bob tried to raise the mallet up in his hand to put more slack in the line but his wrist knots had no give left in them. He held his breath. The dogs snarled and growled away in the yard. He looked into her eyes. He saw only Mae’s icy stare.

He prayed. He prayed that the all-consuming obsession he had for Maiden Lane, far more for her than for any other woman or girl in all his life would mean something, now. That this angelic, powerful woman; this woman of crystalline intellect and shrewdness and class; this woman with sharpened edges and metallic armor; this woman so desirable, so perfectly feminine and taunting and beautiful...that she must indeed finally know him, now! She must by now fully understand him. She must now finally comprehend his ruthless nature. She must finally know that he was just like her, that they were the same, that they were made for each other! She had to know this now. She had to love him, now. They were of one mind and one spirit. He had finally proved his worthiness. He had finally proved his love and devotion by the lengths he was willing to go for her.

He looked into her eyes. They will soften at any instant, now, he thought. She would throw down the gun and embrace him and press her breast against him and become one with him. He had finally succeeded in conquering the elusive Maiden Lane. He had finally made her love him.

But no.

No. No. No. She did not love him. Her cold, cat’s eye stare had proved it. He could see nothing in her glassy eyes but contempt. No. No. No! He cried inside. He had failed. He had failed again.

He was going to drop the mallet, drop the mallet and kill her with a shotgun blast that would rip through her heart and she would drop into his arms and he would be, if not immersed in an embrace of her love, at least awash in her blood. No, there was indeed no love in her eyes for him and it was finally, after so many years of chasing her and trying to prove it to her and to win her and to win her was finally time to drop the hammer.

Drop it!

But he couldn’t do it. He held on. He was pathetic.

Bob heard two silencer bursts. His beloved shepherds ceased their barking. He loved those dogs and now they were dead and gone. Soon Mae would be gone, too and he would be alone, again. And if he survived the cold he would be arrested or perhaps worse.

Mae stepped back and the slack in the string returned.

“Don’t go!” He mumbled through the gag in futility.

But Mae backed away from him, leaving him knotted up in the frozen garage.

“No! Don’t go, Mae! Mae! I love you!”

But Mae left him. She turned on the lights in the house and got herself dressed. She scoured the place for all of her belongings— jewelry, gadgets, gloves, perfume, sunglasses, clothes...nothing could be left behind. She stuffed her things into a trash bag, carried them downstairs and threw them into Bob’s truck. She checked the house once more, praying that she had gotten everything. She could not risk being tied to him. Not in any way.

Should she kill him, too? She pondered.

Garrity heard Mae going through the house. He held out hope that she would come to her senses and at least untie him. He begged to just be near her one last time but he knew deep down that she would not be coming back. And she didn’t come back, for him anyway. Mae never changed her mind. She was just using him. He heard her pass behind him and start his truck up and idle for a few moments. The garage door opened and she drove off into the cold night. She definitely would not be coming back.

An hour and a half later she passed into the federal complex at DIA. She told them in confidence what had happened. ‘T’ had Bob’s truck hauled away to be destroyed. Two military personnel escorted Mae down into the catacombs. The red door appeared once again before her. She turned the handle and passed through it.

Bob surmised that he would eventually be discovered frozen to death. Everything was lost for him. Even if his police brotherhood covered for him, which they probably wouldn’t in such an extreme case, they would not be able to restore his life from the ruined state it was in. He knew he would never love again. He couldn’t breathe. It was as if one of the intruders had taken the mallet and hammered him forty times in the diaphragm. He struggled against the knots but it was hopeless.

His dogs...his beloved dogs. Poor Daisy and Stasi. They had come to him like angels, holding him together when Mae left the first time. His glorious companions...his loyal shepherds were dead, lying on their sides in the snow, tongues hanging out, black, sticky eyes stuck wide open.

What was his life worth, anymore? What was he worth as a man? He could not even flee. He was penniless. He was trapped. He was alone. He was a failure. He was naked, tied to a folding chair with a shotgun pointed at his heart and a trigger tied to a hammer held in his icy, numbing hand. How would he be found? If he was found alive, what would he say? The intruders had filmed his confession so it was all pointless. He was finished any way he looked at it.

He was shivering uncontrollably. Soon, the hypothermia would put him to sleep. His numb hand would relax. The hammer would fall. The shotgun would fire. He would be dead. The pain would be over.

Bob Garrity looked into the barrel of the shotgun. He gazed down at the hammer in his hand. He prayed it would be instantaneous. The timer ran out and the garage light switched off.

Chapter 22     Last 2 chapters will be available NEXT WEEKEND!