A wealthy obese businesswoman is held for ransom with health issues is held for ransom.
Wednesday July 24th 2019 Elmwood Business Park New Jersey. Time 21:30
Prudence Sternwood yawned as she took a look at herself on a wall mirror by her walnut office door. Another fourteen hour working day completed She can't remember a day she didn't work. She buttons up her white tailored Jake Mueser suit jacket, concealing her corpulent frame. Her seventeen year old daughter Arabelle compared her to a fat swan in it. She was now to fatigued to care. Her tired dark eyes sunk behind her thick gold rimmed glasses. Deep stress furrows dug into her brow. Stress also evident in her flush chubby cheeks and taut lips. With her right hand she rubs her double chin. She imagines it's increased in volume but at aged fifty three an expanding double chin was the least of her worries.
Her latest worry is the painful twinges she can barely endure from pressure on her knee joints. Her doctor warned it could be an onslaught of arthritis or gout. She is unsure which is the lesser of all evils.
Prudence is not a tall woman, She is five foot three. For that height she should weigh no more than one hundred and forty one pounds however; she tipped the scales at three hundred pounds.
On her feet expensive orthopaedic shoes, an necessity to relieve some of the pain caused by fallen arches in her feet spurred on by the payload they carry. She lumbers out of the office, sighing in exhaustion as she locks the door behind her. The automatic lighting slowly kick into action and light up the open plan office floor; void of any human life. Slowly she waddles through the office. The elevator a mere one hundred and twenty metres across the floor. Her pace dictated by the physical exertion required to move her short corpulent frame.
She exits the office into the lobby area, gasping deeply she opens her bottle of water and takes a few gulps. Pain shoots from her ankles and spreads like wildfire through her knees, hips and back. She re-commits to exercising next working quarter. She presses P1.
The elevator doors open and she enters it lethargically. She leans her back against the left side of the elevator. which shuts and slowly begins to trundle. From her hand bag she extracts some tissue and wipes her sweaty brow.
The elevator doors open, The short trip not giving her the time she needs to recharge. Her white beast of a Lexus LX570 a mere fifteen metres away. She exits the elevator. The heat and poor ventilation in the underground carpark intensifies her breathing difficulties. She sweats profusely. Each inhale gets harder and harder almost like she is breathing through a straw. She recommits to exercising.
Reaching her SUV brings relief. She unlocks it and clambers in using the drivers door as support. Immediately, ignites the engine .She smacks the back of her head against her seat head rest. The only sound is her deep gasps that only gather shallow breaths. Her heart pounds like she is after running a marathon. She ignites the engine and the air con kicks into action immediately. This provides a welcoming cooling relief to her body.
Thirty five minutes later she arrived at her gated mansion. The electronic gates open and she drives in. In the drive way is her husband Donalds sporty new black Mercedees Benz GT and Arabelle's silver Toyota Prius.
She lumbers out of her SUV using the door as leverage to assist her short legs in safely touching the ground. She groans as she clambers up the two steps to the opulent oak door. The door is opened by her five foot nine sixty two year old husband Donald who was wearing a black adidas tracksuit.
He bends down and gives her a peck on her left cheek. Her taut lips let a momentary half smile "Well for some getting out while I am slaving in the office. What did Valeria make for dinner?"
Her five foot six daughter Arabelle appears wearing grey tracksuit trousers and pink sports top. Her Cell phone strapped to her left bicep still from a workout. "We've been burgled".
Prudence gasps in horror. "Did the alarm not go off, did ye not set it before leaving"
Arabelle tuts in disgust "Of course we set it, we're not stupid".
Prudence didn't have the energy for argument.
Donnie extends his hands outwards "whoever it was disconnected the alarm!"
"Prudence fans her face with her plump right hand "Have ye called the police and the alarm company"
Arabelle tuts and flicks her head skywards "No we just ordered a pizza"
"Arabelle" shouts Prudence "I don't have the energy for an argument right now so please show respect and cut out the sarcasm".
Donald nods his head sideways. The last thing he wanted is to be peacemaker between mother and daughter.
"You never have energy Mum" retorts Arabelle.
"Will you two stop it" grunts Donald "We have called the police and the security company. I have viewed the cameras. Whoever it is, is well masked up."
Prudence squints behind her glasses scanning the hallway "Well nothing looks touched in here."
'Well that's it Pru, the kitchen and pantry are a mess, the bedrooms were searched but looks like nothing was taken"
The three of them enter the kitchen. Cutlery spewed all over the floor with broken crockery. on a kitchen island a canister of coffee was knocked on its side and spread across the counter top.
The half broken ash medicine door catches her attention "Oh my God" pants Prudence "My prescription" Prudence is stopped by Donald from viewing it.
"Pru, you'll get some broken glass in your foot. That's just it. The bastard emptied the medicine cabinet!"
Prudence rubbed her burning cheeks with the palms of her hands. "That prescription was only dropped into the office yesterday".
The colour now drained from Donalds face "Pru are you okay for medicine for the moment".
Prudence mind wondered as to why someone would want her medicine, Donalds question only registered when he repeated it "I'll have to get another one. I've only enough blood pressure tablets for another two or three days. I'm down to my last inhaler. I have some painkillers in my office desk but not many".
Arabelle stands behind her mother, towering over her and places her arms around her resting them on her chest "Maybe he's a drug addict"
Prudence adjusts the glasses on her nose and rests her right hand on top of Arabelles. "I don't think so, surely he would rob a store or something for his fix".
Donald smiles on the bonding between mother and daughter. How he wished it would happen more. "Maybe he was looking for money, we came back and just took the medicine then"
Prudence wheezes in thought "Unless he has a close one with similar health issues as me"
"Unless someone hates you mum"
Prudence rolls her head upwards as far as she can, an attempt to make eye contact with her daughter
"Don't say that Arabelle".
"I will say it. Have a look upstairs and see do you think anything is gone" Arabelle removes her hug around her mother and grabs her by her beefy right arm
Prudence sighs. She liked to keep her walk upstairs to only once in the evening and that for going to bed or to her office and then on to bed.
"MUM. You have to check, don't be so lazy. The Police will ask you to when they arrive"
"Arabelle is right, I haven't a clue what's in our bedroom belonging to you been honest. The office looks untouched, they didn't find the safe"
Prudence slowly turns and begins to walk towards the stairs "Unless that was what he was looking for, couldn't find it and just took the medicine."
She stops and stars at the stairway "We're going to have to beef up security, this could be a test".
Prudence huffs and puffs as she slowly descends the stairs. Her joints ached with each step "Oh God, the police can question me in the office"
"Fuck sake Mum, Tabetha's nan can walk stairs and she's eighty". Prudence attempts a deep breath as she reaches the top of the stairs "So you keep reminding me!"
Her bedroom door is half open , Donald reaches over her and opens it fully. Prudence enters adjusting her glasses on her nose. Her tired eyes struggled to gather information from scanning the bedroom but then she whines in horror and cups her hands over her mouth.
"He's taken my respirator!".
Donald brushes past her her and looks around "Fuck, are you sure".
Prudence heart beats faster "Yes it's always there as she points to the side of the bed".
Donald opens a half open wardrobe door with his foot. Spare supplies for the respirator also taken. Arabelle now brushes past Prudence and looks towards her mother in a panic.
Prudence could feel her heart beating faster. Sleep apnea was bad enough but not having a respirator she would be too afraid to sleep.
"Mum will you be okay without it?"
"Prudence rubs her burning cheeks again, her mind a mishmash of thoughts "I don't know, I'll have to try get Dr Kelly or the medical centre. Why would someone steal that?"
"Fuck them" roars Donald "money, jewellery I can understand but someone's medicine and medical equipment this is just too fucking low"
"I need to sit down". Gingerly Arabelle and Donald assist Prudence to the end of her king size bed and assist her on sitting down.
"Your not having an asthma attach Pru are you" enquires Donald now concerned for his wifes welfare. Last time she had one ended up in a three day hospital stay.
"I'll get you some water" Arabelle at sped leaves the room.
"Just a little dizziness Donnie." She opens up her handbag shakes her strongest inhaler and takes a few quick blasts. Arabelle returns with a glass of water.
"I'm calling Dr Kelly now Pru, I'm not having you get sick over this". Donald leaves and heads into the office to make a call.
Arabelle places the palm of her hand on her mothers warm forehead. "Have you taken your blood pressure tables"
Prudence wheezes "Yes".
Let me take your blood pressure Arabelle lets out a 'FUCK' and slams a bedside drawer unit shut. "He has taken your blood pressure kit too".
"Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. They have taken her blood pressure kit too. Get Doctor Kelly over quick. This could be blood pressure either".
Prudence groans "I'm fine. why would someone do this?"
"I don't know mum it's either someone very desperate or someone that really hates you".
ID #1003014 entered on January 27, 2021 at 6:04pm
#1. Chapter 1- Scouting
ID #1002840 entered on January 27, 2021 at 5:37pm