by New Writer
this is about how a boy named Tom Skewer who was abducted and had to find his was back
|Tom Skewer sat down at a desk with his calculator, pencil, and ruler. Most people would look at Tom Skewer and group him as a "nerd", even "King of the Nerds" someone had once called him; but what they don't know is what goes on when he's out of school. In school he was that kid who sits in the front row, knew the answers to all of the questions, wore the coke-bottle glasses, was always the teachers pet, and never got into trouble. Well that all changed for Tom one summer, and in a big way. Some asked him to write what had happened to him then; he did - only he didn't write what really happened. But I know what really happened - the truth...and that's what you're going to find out.
The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, a cool breeze swayed the tall grass at the edges of the playground back and forth, children were playing. A swing with a squeaky chain was swinging back and forth after a child had jumped off. And among this group was Tom Skewer. Though he wasn't one of the Elementary School children playing in the sandbox during their break - no, he was never into such 'childish' games - instead he was writing down what he saw, documenting everything as if it were an experiment, and in a way it was. Recording everything that children do during their breaks was why he was excused from classes for a week. Watching, taking notes, and never taking your eye off the prize was what he was doing.
Most would think that one day was like any other, with not a cloud in the sky. But not Tom, he knew something was going to happen when a black car drove up. Since he had been too busy studying for upcoming tests and exams he did not know much about safety like most kids his age would nor did he know of the more popular topics such as hockey, cars, and baseball. For those reasons Tom was secluded, and left to fight for himself. But he did however recognize that it was out of place. When the car stopped in front of the playground for a couple minutes then took off Tom thought "well this is good - don't need to worry about that." But the next day the car came back again. It did that for two more days before Tom finally went up to the car when it came back for its ritual check up.
As Tom approached the car he noticed that the car had tinted windows - "so others wouldn't be able to see in?" Tom couldn't help but wonder. But as he grew closer to the exotic car he could feel the beat of the bass vibrating through the cement. Tom paused for a moment took a deep breath, stood up tall and continued on. After the first time the car was there he went home and researched it; turns out it was a black 2006 BMW M6. He realized too late that he shouldn't have approached the car without telling someone, but he was so used to being ignored that he wouldn't have thought to have done so before. Even his own parents ignored him - treated him like some sort of trophy kid. When he was right up to the car he tapped on the window - no answer. Again he tried "maybe I knocked to lightly the first time" Tom thought, so this time he knocked a little harder - no answer. He figured that there wasn't a passenger but wouldn't the driver have rolled down the window? He went to the other side of the car and knocked on the window. No one opened the window, Tom figured that this was because they didn't want to be bothered by and annoying "pest". As he turned to walk away he felt something grab him from behind him yanking him back towards the car, almost making Tom fall in the process. As Tom stumbled to regain balance he could feel his shirt getting yanked again and someone talking to him. "Get into the car, don't say anything, and don't cause a scene. Or else…" While the person who had grabbed him didn’t finish the threat Tom was gladly relieved, he didn’t want to know what would have happened other wise.
Tom was shoved into the back seat of the car and as soon as he was partially in the car they burnt rubber to get out of there. Usually it was a quiet town - but did have occasional street racers, which was what these people had been impersonating. There had been another BMW M6 racing along side of them. "Where had that car come from?" Tom couldn't help but wonder. The car that Tom was in had three of them inside of it - two in the front and one in the back with him - all had on black ski masks, with expensive business suits on. They didn't really go with each other, but when you had three mean looking men who didn't look as if they were worried about your safety, you aren't going to critic them on how they dress. Tom opened his mouth to ask a question but as soon as he drew in a breath the man sitting next to him said "don't even think about it kid, or you know what I'll do." Smartly Tom closed his mouth and slowly released his breath. When Tom saw that they were approaching a border or something like it Tom decided that's when he was going to make his move - but his captors had another idea. There was a look out point just ahead of the "border" so when they got to that area they pulled over and appeared as if they were taking in the view one last time - only they weren't. Tom looked at the guy sitting next to him with wide eyes but didn't say anything; however, the person seemed to understand the unspoken question "Nighty night little boy" The windows all started rolling down simultaneously having the breeze run through the car while the person sitting beside poured something into a handkerchief. The man sitting beside him reached over and covered Tom’s face with it, and as Tom felt his eyes getting heavy he realized that he was going to black out.
The captors must have told the border patrol officer that Tom was sleeping, and they must have taken off their masks. When Tom finally came to he was tied to a rock in a little country cottage. The men who took him were nowhere in sight so little by little Tom worked at the knots that were tied around his wrists and ankles being careful to be as quiet as he possibly could to not draw any attention to him. Luckily hit captors didn't know how to tie proper knots that would last. It took Tom only a matter of minutes before he was free. As soon as Tom thought he could stand up he tried, only for it to have felt like his legs were made of jelly. Tom stood up tall, still shaky however and tried to find his balance. Slowly Tom made his way to the door only to find it locked. Tom tried jiggling the door knob, but nothing happened. On the opposite side of the small room was a window - there was no light coming in so he assumed that it was the nights darkness that shadowed the forest. Hopefully his captors would be asleep or not even there at all.
The window was a small one, a normal boy his age would not make it through there - no chance at all, no questions asked. But he wasn't normal boy, Tom was a small boy with a tiny frame, and he could make it through with a little squeeze. Only how to get out without his captors noticing? The rock that Tom had been attached to was a large one but if he could get a piece off of it he would be able to break the window - but first Tom would have to somehow move it so the rock was under the window so he would be able to escape through the window. With all the noise that he caused by the end of moving the rock, Tom was sure that no one else was there. Or if anyone was in that cottage where he was stored, Tom was pretty sure that they weren't breathing. When Tom finally reached the window it turned out that he didn't need to break out, but to simply lift it up to jump out. Only that was easier said then done. Tom swallowed hard, took a deep breath then jumped. Tom landed in the corner of a patch of prickles, but rolled off of them. Once his feet hit the ground he took off running, one way then the other. Taking a care to avoid the tall grass because it would be easy to trace him there. Instead he stuck to the forest and made sure not to go in any wet mud, but considering how dry it had been over the past couple of weeks he had no trouble there.
Once Tom was a safe distance away he took a moment to check his injuries from landing in the prickle bush. A scratch here and there. A couple bruises already forming - from his attempt of a landing from the window - on his legs and back. Tom was panting for breath, resting his hands on his knees and sent a quick glance over his shoulder back towards the direction of the cottage. Tom’s glasses slide down his nose, so he slipped them back up his nose with his fore finger.
Tom had taken not three steps from where he had stopped to catch his breath when he first heard it. Sirens! Automatically Tom started toward them when he stopped; some instinct that came to life inside of him was telling him it was not safe. Then he heard the voice. "TOM!" Someone called out, the voice echoing off of the trees. Tom instantly froze then glanced around the base of the tree he was leaning against to see one of the men, he recognized the expensive suits they wore. But that was not the shocking part, there was a forest ranger standing beside him talking "...don't worry, we'll find your son Mr..." Tom zoned in and out of the conversation to fast to hear anything really, but "his son"!? Tom realized that those men who had captured him were trying to say that Tom was their son! Or at least this man was...
Tom was shocked, frozen in place. He took an involuntary step backwards stepping on a twig causing it to break. The two men talking turned and spotted Tom right away. Tom turned his back on them and fled back the way he came taking larger steps then normal hoping to cover more ground. As Tom neared the cottage he picked up his pace, only to trip over one of the looming trees roots knocking his glasses clear off of his face. Tom scrambled up to his knees planning to take off but a hand on his shoulder prevented that. Tom didn't realize that they had closed the gap between him and the two men.
As the person helped Tom to his feet he tried to glance down to see his glasses but all he could see was blurs, and the shapes of the objects. The brown dirt, the green moss growing on the tree trunks. "Are you OK son?" the voice asked, and even though some part of Tom's mind knew that this was not his captor at the word "son" Tom flipped out. "No! No! You can't do this to me! I want to go home! I want my mom! I want my dad!" Tom was aware that the person was picking him up, only to find that he had no strength left. Tom shook his head back and forth repeating "no" over and over again till it became a faint whisper as the forest ranger took Tom back to his jeep.
* * *
As I drove up to the school after visiting the grounds for a couple days already, I noticed the same kid. Standing there, taking notes on the children, and every time that we drove up he would always glance at us. "There's something going on with that kid" my buddy sitting next to me would say. "He knows! He's onto us!" I glanced Franks way, "he doesn't know, he's just like any other kid here on the playground, no one knows." I said in a calm voice. Then I paused. "Unless...is there any reason why someone would know?" I stared at Frank with a raised eyebrow as I waited for the answer. Frank looked right back at me and didn't say anything for a moment then it dawned on him what I was asking. “You’re asking if I told anybody? Are you crazy! You know what the boss would do if she found out that somebody else found out...” Then Frank turned and mumbled now facing toward the window. I was staring at Frank trying to decipher what he was mumbling when Ian, my other buddy in the back seat spoke up for the first time. "Hey Paul, the kid’s coming this way, what do you want us to do?" At that Frank stopped mumbling and turned to watch the approach of the kid.
At first the kid went to Frank’s side, and I swear Frank stopped breathing. Then the kid started tapping on the window, but Frank turned to us and said only two words and then all of a sudden Ian and I became alert. "That's him" was all Frank had to mummer. Right away we started getting ready, while the kid started tapping on the window a second time we were putting on our ski masks, and all within the car was quiet. Then the kid, Tom I believe we were told was his name, came around to my side and knocked on my window. I looked back at Ian and he knew what to do. When the kid started leaving Ian hopped out of the back seat and grabbed a handful of Tom’s shirt and yanked him back towards the car and ushered him in. While they were outside Frank was radioing up the other car to get them coming. I started up the car and once Tom and Ian were inside I pushed the pedal to the metal and we took off, think I even burnt a little rubber there too. The second car caught up to us no problem since we weren’t going too fast, but once we were out of the school zone we both picked up pace.
As soon as we hit the city limits the other car pulled out, and turned around heading back in as we had discussed earlier. We also agreed there was to be no talking so if this Tom kid did manage to find a way to get free he would have no way to identify us. I heard Tom take a breath, and Ian's quick reply to him to stop him from talking. Ian was sacrificing himself and we all knew that, if Tom got away he would be able to point out Ian, so for this reason alone we had to keep Tom, no matter what.
We were nearing the border and the look out point. I pulled over and parked the car, signaling Ian to knock out the kid. I rolled down the windows since we all knew what was coming. As Ian poured the chloroform onto the handkerchief Frank and I looked out our windows breathing in the fresh air while Ian covered Toms face with it. Ian hopped out and threw away the handkerchief in a near by trash can. Ian took off his ski mask first before he hopped out of the car then Frank and I took ours off. We made sure we combed our hair so it would look as if we the respectable business men that we were impersonating. And even though we were ready in no time, we had to stay parked to make it look like we were taking in the view. Frank glanced back at Ian and was talking to him for a bit, I was paying attention to the conversation, just not taking any part in it. “Ian that stuff absolutely reeks! Where’d you get it?” While Ian replied to Frank telling him where he bought it Frank nodded then turned back to the front and reached over to turn on some music. Ian instantly became alert and hissed from the backseat leaning up between our two seats "that will wake him up, and what if he wakes up when we're crossing!" Frank looked back at him and flashed one of his smiles "You worry too much Ian. With the amount of that stuff you smothered him with I'd be surprised if he woke up before tomorrow!" Ian gave me a look then leaned back in his seat. Ian buckled up Tom and leaned him away, as if he were sleeping. Frank turned up the volume and started to air guitar along with it. I looked at Frank, but he was so absorbed in the music that he didn't notice. "Frank" I said in a low menacing voice that caught his attention right away. While the music blasted on Frank seemed to understand, turning down the volume and composing himself while Ian snickered in the backseat.
I drove up to the border not causing a scene while Ian and Frank behaved themselves. The border patrol officer had on dark reflective sunglasses and was chewing on his gum, while he hitched up his belt he pointed in the back seat towards Tom. “What’s up with the kid?” He was addressing Ian, but instead I spoke up. “We’ve had a long day, and we picked him up straight from school, he’s tired and needed a rest and we would prefer not to wake him.” This brought attention back to me. The officer came to my window and looked down at me, probably trying to be intimidating “and who exactly are you?” I had already handed him my fake passport, but I guess he wanted to make things more difficult for me, but instead I side stepped the question since I could not remember what my name was. “I’m the kids’ uncle.” The officer glared at me, glanced back at Tom then once again glared at me. “And where exactly are you folks going?” This time the officer was asking Frank, but once again I spoke up. “We’re just visiting a cabin of ours that we haven’t been to in awhile.” The officer glared at me one more time before turning and heading back into his both with a mumbled “enjoy you stay” thrown over his back as he waved the next car on. I stayed at a respectable speed till we were out of site then I pushed my foot down and the car accelerated.
It took only a handful of hours to get to the cabin in the middle of the forest, with Frank and Ian bantering the whole way. By the time we reached it, night was slowly approaching and all of the night creatures coming out. “This place gives me the creeps” Frank declared as soon as we stepped out of the car. Ian heartily agreed with him, there was a pause then Ian spoke up “What are we gonna do with the kid?” I glanced in the back seat of the car to see Tom still knocked out. I gave a little sign and the replied “We might as well bring him in and phone the boss to come and get rid of him.” Frank and Ian looked at each other then at me trying to figure out who has to bring him in. This time Frank spoke up, “who has to carry him in?” I sized up Tom and then glanced back from Ian and Frank. Ian had lean muscles though they were there none the less, then I glanced at Frank, who with his imposing shoulders, thick neck, and bulging arm muscles I decided who had to carry him in. “Frank, you carry him in.” That was all I said. Ian started quietly laughing at Frank but I continued on. “Ian, you can get the doors for Frank.” With that I turned on my heal and started unlocking the cabin and getting the fire set up and in the back ground I heard Frank burst into laughter. “Ian you can get the doors” Frank scoffed, “suits your skill level” Frank said as he leaned into the car to gather Tom up. “Shut up Frank, at least I don’t have to carry the dead weight.” Ian replied. Frank just burst out laughing again and started walking towards the cabin, “hey doorman you coming?” he called over his shoulder. Ian started walking after Frank calling out “Paul! We’re going to have to talk about this one!” As I sat for a moment before I started to get the fire going, I chuckled under my breath at Ian’s tone.
Frank stormed into the room carrying Tom “So where do you want him?” I nodded towards the back bedroom, there was only a small window, he shouldn’t be able to fit through, I paused for a moment thinking, then I shook my head with a little “naw” underneath my breath “he wouldn’t be able to fit.”
When Frank and Ian joined me again, the fire was roaring and crackling casting a soft glow around the room. I sat down on the one arm chair leaving Frank and Ian to the love seat. They both sat down on opposite edges getting as far away from each other as possible, and I couldn’t help myself. “Look at the two lovebirds sitting on their love seat, in the fire light, awww.” Frank whipped his head and glared at me, which just sent me laughing. While Ian muttered something that I couldn’t understand, and I just let loose with laughter. Frank and Ian looked at each other for a moment or two, glared at me then their lips started twitching as they found the humor in it all.
As the laughter died down we brought up the business matter of Tom. “So when are we supposed to phone the boss?” Ian was the first to bring it up. But before I could answer Frank cut in “and why doesn’t she let us know who she is? I mean she’s paying some major bucks, but I still want to know who I’m working for!” Though I could not voice my agreement like Ian had, I silently agreed with Frank.
“OK, OK, we need to phone the boss, but how? She told us to drive Tom out here and phone her, but I’ve checked the cabin and there’s no phone, and no cell phone signal.” I stopped talking and Frank spoke up. “Do we even know her number to phone her?” Ian hopped into the conversation now also “Yeah! SHE always phoned US! How will we know her number?” Right then we all froze as we heard a ringing. We all froze in our seats glancing at one and other, Frank was the first to speak up “Well it’s not my phone, my ring tune is way better then the classic ‘ring ring’.” With that Ian went on “Yeah! So is mine! I have music when someone phones me.” Then both Frank and Ian looked my way and I said “don’t look at me. I always keep mine on vibrate!” With that I stood up and started looking around for the ringing phone when Ian realized what I was doing he left Frank sitting there and started looking for the phone. It didn’t dawn on Frank what we were doing till he asked “What are you two doing?” Ian responded for me “We’re looking for the phone genius” As Franks mouth formed an ‘O’ he stood up to help look for the phone but it stopped ringing then.
“Why did it have to stop ringing? You guys know with our luck that was probably the boss lady!” Ian muttered in frustration running his hands through his hair. Ian walked over to the couch and flopped down, and let out a long sigh, dropped his head fall back and closed his eyes. “Did you guys know…” Then the phone started ringing and Ian jumped off of the couch and started searching like a mad man while Frank and I just watched in amusement. Ian whipped his head around and glowered at us “what are you guys waiting for?” Then the phone let out a shrilling ring that got Frank and I looking. I was the one to find the phone hidden under a stack of papers I answered the phone “Hello?” and then there was the voice. Frank and Ian came over to where I was, and as I was about to put the phone on speaker the voice started talking “Paul, this is for you and just you, don’t tell them what I say, and don’t put this on speaker.” There was a pause then she continued. “I want you to take the other two out of the house, anywhere I don’t care but get them in the car and then I want you to ‘forget’ something and wake up Tom. Make sure he can get free, and then I want you to phone the forest rangers, I have one of them working for me. I want you to find Troy – and if he’s not working go on to Luigi and tell him you need Troy, got that, you NEED him!” She paused to take a breath then continued ranting on. “Take notes don’t just stand there like you’re a statue!” I glanced around, she must be watching but she continued “No, I’m not there but I know you, don’t forget who I am…” She trailed off then started up again while my pen flew across the paper taking notes on what she had said. “OK so where was I? Oh yes, so you get Troy and make sure HE finds Tom, I know that kid, he won’t go very far, I have faith that you’ll be able to catch him. I want you to then hand Tom over to Troy and leave you got that? No looking back just leave! Your cheques will be waiting for you each at your homes. Now GO! I want this to be over with.” Then she hung up and there was only a dial tone buzzing in my ear.
I glanced at Ian and Frank as if I were in a daze. They glanced down at my notes trying to decipher what I had written. It took me a moment before I finally snapped into action. “All right boys lets get a move on! Just got instructions from the boss lady,” as I said that part I looked at Ian then Frank with a twinkle in my eye and raised eyebrows. They both stared at me in wonder as I went on. “We were told to go up to the main road right away, and that something or someone will be waiting for us there.” Frank and Ian looked at each other then nodded and headed out, I was right behind them till I paused mid stride, calling out “You guys go ahead I need to make sure everything is where we left it!” and with that I turned and jogged back to the cabin. I snuck into Tom’s room and untied the knots redoing them so he should be able to untie them, then figured that we would be able to make it out the window, and unlocked that. But on my way out I locked the main door so if Tom was still knocked out when we came back Frank and Ian would be none the wiser. I shuffled the paper on the table where we found the phone and then I poked around a bit in the fire then I locked up and sprinted out to the car. Night had fallen by now and the car headlights were bouncing off of the trees as I wove my way out of the drive way. Looking back I noticed something falling out of the window, I hoped that it was Tom who had gotten free as I continued driving not letting on that I noticed anything.
When we got to the main road, as I knew there was nothing there. Frank and Ian looked around then came back to the car. “Why would she send us out here, when she knew that we would find nothing?” Frank asked in frustration. Ian wisely kept his mouth shut, as he realized that I knew more than what I was saying, I made a mental note to thank him for that later.
As I drove back to the house, I knew Tom had more than enough time to escape but yet Frank knew something was going on right away. Why did he have to clue in now? I couldn’t help but wonder. “I’m checking on the kid, something doesn’t feel right.” And with that Frank stormed through the house to the back bedroom. All was quiet and still for a moment while Ian gazed at me knowing what Frank would find. We both stood still waiting for the eruption.
“HE ESCAPED!” Frank came barreling back into the main room where Ian and I stood. “He got loose and escaped!” Frank started pacing around the room scratching his head then he stopped in the middle of the room, and whipped around to face me again. “You!” Then Frank started coming towards me as I stood my ground. Ian got between Frank and me then Frank growled “Get out of the way, he let the kid loose! He made us loose our paychecks!”
Ian still held a hand against Frank’s chest to keep him from attacking me, though I was not worried about Frank. Ian now spoke for the first time since we got back. “Paul knows what he is doing.” Was all Ian said, but that paused Frank. He looked at me yet again then towards the table where I had found the phone. The unspoken question hung in the air. Since I was not allowed to “tell” Frank or Ian anything, all I could do was nod my head.
“She doesn’t want me and Ian in on this all the way?” Frank asked with hurt under lining his words. He shook his head, turned his back on us a minute then turned and faced Ian and I again. “All right, what do we do now that he’s loose then?” I couldn’t remember if she said if I was allowed to tell them this part or not, but how would she find out? I pondered the question a minute then decided it was safe to tell them. “We’re supposed to find a forest ranger named Troy. We’re supposed to hand the kid off to him then just forget any of this ever happened.”
At that Ian shook his head. “I don’t like this, what if something bad happens to that kid? It’s one thing to take him from his family, another thing totally to injure him.” Frank and I both nodded our head and made some agreeing noises. “I think we should still keep an eye on him…” Ian trailed off, surprised at himself for saying that. Frank however was not as encouraged as Ian. “What if we don’t get our paychecks? If we don’t do as she says, we won’t get paid, that was her rules.” Ian and I looked at each other. “I’m willing to risk it if you are.” Was all he had to say. And I had to admit, that kid didn’t deserve to be hurt. “Let’s get Troy first then make our decision.” While Ian and I turned to get to work on contacting Troy Frank spoke up. “Well if you two go deciding to risk your paychecks count me out. This is as far as I go.” Ian glanced at me and I just gave a slight shake of my head. Frank had made this threat before, but he has always stood by us. “Well let’s get started”
I handed Ian the phone to get Troy, while I took Frank aside and talked with him. We headed outside and could hear Ian’s voice drift by and heard him talking. Frank looked at me then demanded “What are you doing out here talking to me about?” I just stood there, waiting, this isn’t the first time that I’ve had to deal with Frank. I just stood there waiting for Frank to talk, I knew there was pent up frustration just waiting to get out, which is what he needed to do. “I need to know who I’m working for!” Is how Frank started then it just came pouring out. Ian wisely chose to stay inside till Frank and I returned. When we did get back in he said, “They’re out looking we need to get out now!” I shook my head “no just you go, size up Troy then radio me with his radio, I’ll be in the car, we have reception for the radio there, go to the second frequency.” Ian nodded and then grabbed his jacket then ran out into the forest to head off the forest rangers.
Frank and I stood around the house till finally I decided that I was going to head out to the car, and Frank decided to make the fire. I sat in the car idling and wasting time while on the radio there was endless chatter between two friends. Then I heard Ian’s voice come on. “Paul you there?” Right away I took microphone and spoke into it. “Ian! I’m right here, what’s the news?” Ian spoke hurriedly and rushed. “He doesn’t look to threatening, but I don’t have a good feeling about him. He has the kid right now, and there’s something about how he looks at him, doesn’t sit right with me.” I knew what Ian was getting at but I had to ask to make sure. “Do you want us to stick with the kid?” Ian was shocked at my question. “You’re asking me?” I nodded then realized that he couldn’t see, “You’re the one who met this ‘Troy’ person, what do you think?” Ian was silent for a minute and I could tell he was thinking. “I think we should stick with the kid.” I gave an agreeing noise then said, “I’ll tell Frank. Stay with them both! If they separate you tell them you’re the boys father and STAY WITH HIM.” I ran into the house told Frank then we left. With the fire still burning away we hopped in the car and drove to the rangers station.