Jamie interacts with Major and is occasioned with an unexpected opportunity.
|RECAP: 12 year old Jamie Radcliffe is being held against his will by Pedro and Delilah in a house in an undisclosed location. During an unsuccessful bid to escape he is forced to abandon his backpack and teddy bear (Oscar) down a bank. He is taken back to the house and locked in a room in the basement, which is collegially known as the Badroom.
The next day he is released and as a direct consequence of his escape, his all clothing except pyjamas socks and underwear are confiscated to discourage him from fleeing again. After a series of domestic misadventures he falls asleep and dreams of his life back with his estranged stepfamily. He is abruptly woken by Delilah and sees out of the corner of his eye that Pedro has changed channels from the rugby game he was watching to a CTV monitor, which shows two people outside the house. He is taken back to the basement and locked once again in the Badroom.
After a flashback to a picnic shortly before his nightmare began the story returns to his confinement where he discover that Pedro’s three year-old Bull Mastiff has wandered in unnoticed and he is trapped in there with it. He manages to befriend Major and is even more shocked to note that the dog has retrieved one of his hoodies and taken it into the Badroom; hinting the rest of his confiscated clothing might be somewhere close by. His best guess is that it is somewhere in the basement. He decides to check this out late at night while Delilah and Pedro are asleep.
Jamie got to search the basement and though he did not find his missing apparel he located a camera that he thinks might be of some benefit to him.
Part 8 described more of Jamie’s day to day living in Pedro’s house. We learned that during his free time he has an outside compound area with a swimming pool, obstacle course and a shed where a jigsaw has been set up for his amusement.
After tidying his room Pedro paid him a visit and returned his backpack to him, which he had found where Jamie left it behind. It was empty. Unfortunately Pedro could not locate Oscar.
Part Nine (A, B and C) Detailed the events leading up to Jamie’s abduction.
We now return to Pedro’s house…
During the first week of his abduction, Jamie had remained optimistic that the ordeal would be short lived. He was confident his stepparents, despite the argument, would willingly pay whatever ransom these two strangers asked, but by the end of the second week it became obvious they had no intention of returning him.
Pedro and Delilah had assumed the role of surrogate guardians. He had free run of the house; that is to say he was not confined to a single room. However there were certain rooms that remained off limit. They fed him three times a day and took it upon themselves to ensure his academic aptitude was of an acceptable standard.
Jamie’s bond with Major had been slowly strengthening ever since their first encounter in the Badroom, whilst Pedro’s regard for the dog seemed to be waning. Once again he had been entrusted with dog-care responsibilities. Unlike Koromaru, his new found canine companion was less trusting and a little stand-offish at times.
“Go fetch!” urged Jamie, throwing a tennis ball toward the western sector of the fenced compound.
“It’s far too hot to run around right now…besides aren’t you meant to be raking up the leaves?”
“I’m taking a break. The Wicked Witch of the Dell’s off on some errand and won’t be back until late this afternoon, and Pedro’s like too wrapped up in the NRL to waste time keep an eye on me.”
“Be that as it may, I don’t have the energy to play chasing games…why don’t we go for a splash about in the pool instead?”
“I’m not allowed in the pool without their permission and Pedro seems in too much of a shitty mood to grant it.”
“I don’t like the way Pedro and Delilah treat you.”
“I don’t like how they treat you either, but there’s not much we can do about it.”
“Yeah; sucks to be us.”
Jamie petted the Bullmastiff for a short time, and then picked up the plastic grass rake and started back on the brittle leaves. He gasped as Major suddenly leaped forward and snatched the rake from out of his hands.
“Hey, give it back!” he demanded, but the dog bounded about. “Come on Major, I’ve got to get this section cleaned up before the witch returns.”
“If you want it, come and take it off me…if you can.”
“I thought you said it was too hot to play chase games.”
“It is too hot for me, but not for you.”
“Give it back…please,”
“Na-na-na said the little fox, Na-na-na said the little fox, Na- na-na said the little fox, na-na you can’t catch me.”
“Come on Major, I need it!”
He tried his best to get the rake back off Major’s but the dog was far too nimble. It ran around in ever increasing circles and then headed for the Western Sector of the compound. Up the metal stairs it scampered and then leaped into the swimming pool. Water sprayed in all directions.
“Major!” sounded an all too familiar voice.
Jamie looked back to the house and saw Pedro running out of the sliding door. His frustration toward Major dwindled and he found himself fretting over the consequences that might befall his canine companion.
“He did not mean to sir, it was…” he started but his sentence was cut short as Pedro snatched his left earlobe and ushered him to the swimming tool. “Ow, you’re hurting me!”
Pedro released Jamie’s lobe and palm swatted the back of his head. He then grabbed him under his armpits and threw him into the pool.
“Get the rake back off that stupid mongrel, Boy!” he demanded. “Go on, hurry up or I’ll whip your arse with my belt!”
Jamie thrashed his arms and legs, but was unable to gain buoyancy. He began sinking below the surface. Seconds later a large mouth gripped his lower arm and pulled him back up. He spluttered and gasped for air; coughing up pool water as Major started towing him back to the edge of the pool.
Something brushed against his right hand; the rake. He grabbed hold of it, just before Pedro hauled him out and discarded him onto the lawn. He laid face-down feeling shaken and exhausted for a short time until attention was drawn by the sound of a shrill yelp.
Abandoning his own grief he looked up and seethed with rage at the sight of Pedro hollering and kicking Major; who was now out also of the pool. Despite the Mastiff’s size and power it seemed to be cringing fearfully from its furious master. He scrambled to his feet and ran the best he could between Pedro and the dog; acting as a human barricade.
“Leave him alone sir!” beseeched Jamie pressing his back hard against Major’s massive bulk. “It wasn’t his fault.”
“Stay out of this boy; it’s between me and that wilful mutt.”
“I don’t care...you can’t treat him like that. It’s cruel.”
“I can and will, now move aside or I’ll give you something to cry about.”
“Please don’t hurt him, sir.”
“I won’t ask you again, boy.”
A low guttural growl sounded from behind. Jamie peered back and saw that Major was now baring his teeth and snarling in a threatening manner. It was similar to the protective mode he had seen Koromaru assume toward Sebastian and his cohorts, only considerably more intense.
“It wouldn’t be wise to do anything to him right now…he looks as though he wants to tear you apart.”
“Go wait for me in the living room. I’ll deal with you when I’m done with Major.”
“I really don’t think…”
“Fine, but don’t say I didn’t try to warn you.”
Jamie hastened back inside and secured the sliding door behind him, muffling Pedro and Major’s chaotic din. He continued out the spare-room, the passage way, through the kitchen and down the main hallway. This was the chance he had been waiting for.
Time was very much of the essence and changing out of his saturated clothing would only waste precious moments. His Camouflage pants were waterproof, and Hoodie would eventually dry off in the sun. As for his footwear; well, squelching footfalls seemed a small price to pay for freedom.
Nerves vexed him as he opened the front door and ventured out onto the veranda. He veered left and ran along the pavement, tripping the alarm and in doing so drew attention to his escape. It was too late to turn back now. If he was caught the consequences would be severe.
That he was sure of.
-To be continued-