43 Chapter Forty Three / The Kidnappers Home

Jay Branch made his way through the odd bushes, dirt and sand covered bumps that were the entirety of the environment that the little blue dot on his map application was winding him through on course to the junkyard. He couldn’t actually see the junk yard from where he was walking but he could see a ridge up ahead that might be guarding it from sight. When he made it to the ridge, he got even more than he had planned for. There looked to be more than 40 old cars littered all over the property in various states of rust and decay, stacks of tires in various locations and what he guessed were old metal shipping containers like the ones all the green eco hippies were turning into houses these days, which bothered him even more because even though the asshole had said he had Grace in a basement he could have her in one of these containers and with the insane heat she could have fucking died already. The panic of the situation struck cold fear in every ounce of blood that circulated through Jay’s veins. If this maniac was either pure evil or just a fucking idiot and had done that, Grace may already be dead.
Between the hundred degree plus heat, the obvious bad choice of dark liquor and the horrifying thought of his daughter dying of heat exhaustion in a metal storage container Jay began to feel the sick rising from the bottom of his stomach and then traveling through every inch of his body headed for exit. He quickly put his hands in the dirt and scooped a small ditch out and then placed his face in it to quiet the sounds as he wretched forth. He stood up, stared into the blistering sun and tried to get his bearings for a full minute. He had finally lost all concept of reasonable thought and he began to walk towards the shady looking little house in the middle of the island of decrepit shit when suddenly from a weird metal door that looked like it had been shoved into a space made for a crawl space a door started to open. Jay made one side step and was instantly hidden behind an old pickup truck in the middle of the yard that he could see straight through the passenger compartment of. He stood silently staring through the years of filth that was accumulated on the old glass. He pulled the binoculars from his front cargo pocket and rested them against the window hoping that the tan baseball hat would help him to blend into the tan covered windows and he could make out the man pretty clear from where he was. He was now very glad he spent the extra fifty bucks for the slightly better version of binoculars. The man looked like the old friends of Jay’s that spent too much time working on their tan or just too much time working as landscapers. His skin was leather and he was covered in the same weird dirt film that Jay and every other thing around here was covered in. He was a tall man from what Jay could tell but there was something very strange about his walk, almost like the way he would see kids wandering off of school buses or heading into the mall, like he was care free and had no direction. Jay noticed the McDonald’s bag only because he dropped it right before he opened the door on the screened in porch that lead into the front of the house. It hit the front step and then the contents of the bag spilled out and Jay could see what it was as the man put the items back into the bag before tossing the bag into an old oil drum out front that was being used for a trash can. Two plastic sundae cups that were empty and each still had its own spoon inside. This was the place! His heart began immediately slamming against his chest and his mind raced at 200 miles an hour. He had no idea what to do. Should he just rush to the metal door and bust her out? Did the psycho lock it when he left? Jay tried to think if he saw anything that looked like him stopping and messing with the door when he walked out but he had ducked behind the truck so fast he had missed the seconds after the door had started to open. He put the binoculars back up this time just a little over the bed of the truck and surveyed the house thoroughly from one end to the other, taking it by slow sections, searching every inch for details that would be a factor in the situation. He didn’t know what would matter when things started but he was definitely trying to know as much about the little house as he could for when it did. He needed a better look at the house and maybe even a little more confirmation that Grace was behind the out of place metal door than the fact that the child like monster had come out of the basement with two empty sundae cups. He scanned the yard and could see a path behind miscellaneous junked cars and random piles of salvage that he could follow to get to the back of the house with the least chance of being spotted. The summer sun was unrelenting and he was already covered in a layer of dirt that was rapidly turning into a tough outer shell over his entire body but to get to the first school bus to hide behind in his route he would have to get down on his belly and inch his was toward it so he would be covered by a random stack of what looked like tractor tires. Even the dirt was hot out in the yard and as he inched his way towards the bus, all he could think about was the Wal-Mart cashier’s comments about rattlesnakes as he slowly made it to the vehicle. Then he realized that snakes were not his only reason to worry out here.

 

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