The Case of Double
FreedomFinally, Jack’s patience paid off.
Latch had just hung up the phone from speaking to someone of apparent importance.
“The Eagle?” Mitch said eagerly.
“Yeah, finally,” Latch spat, standing up. “Majorboy and I are going to meet up with him. You stay here and watch Mason.”
“Fine,” replied Mitch. “When'll you be back?”
Latch left with the major, and Jack heard a car drive off.
He knew this was the time: he’d received his signal; so now for his method of escape. This Mitch fellow who had stayed behind to watch him, had been yawning as the others left; so perhaps, Jack thought, that would be his chance. But for the moment, Mitch was awake.
“Sooo…” Jack said.
Mitch looked at him and grunted, then slid out on his chair and sat back, closing his eyes.
Jack let him sink into deeper sleep before attempting to get up. He was sitting in his corner, hands bound behind him. He knew he had a bit of a task before him; even when he wasn’t trying to be quiet, it was pretty difficult to get up with his hands behind his back. But, after taking a moment to consider the best way to do this, he finally gathered his courage.
He slid his foot underneath him. Then, securing that Mitch was still soundly asleep, he slowly unfolded his leg, sliding up the wall on his back. Again he paused. But now, on his feet, he very carefully maneuvered across the room to the other corner. He had to step around the various pieces of trash. The only things that weren’t covered in a layer of dust were some empty chip bags, and small boxes that had previously held food; these Jack’s captors had recently discarded on the floor. The other things included old broken chairs and a table on its side, with an old table cloth lying about it; there were other things as well, but for the most part they were unidentifiable, broken in pieces and covered in the dust.
Well, Jack’s next move might actually have been the most difficult. He had seen a knife sheath on Mitch’s belt; no other sharp objects were visible that could be used to cut Jack’s bonds. So, it appeared as though the only option would be for Jack to attempt to retrieve the knife from Mitch’s belt, with his hands tied behind his back.
Well, Jack turned around and backed up slowly. Straining to see his hands, he painstakingly bent down and moved slightly closer to the knife handle. Beads of sweat burst out on his forehead as his heart raced. He barely breathed.
Finally he felt the handle, and tried to get hold of it. Ahk! This process took forever! He had to go slow, so as to not bump Mitch. A couple times he had to just pause in position to breathe for a moment.
Ok, he had the knife half way out the sheath. But- Oh no- he almost had it out and he started leaning forward, and he wasn’t able to catch himself. The last bit of the knife was jerked out of the sheath as Jack tumbled forward on his face and hit the floor with a grunt.
Behind him he heard a shout and he spun around onto his back and simultaneously swung his leg toward where he knew or hoped Mitch’s leg would be. He felt contact, so continued in the motion. Mitch tumbled back onto the chair and to the floor; Jack spotted a pistol in his hand.
Hurriedly Jack focused on cutting his ropes with the knife he now held. Thankfully, Mitch was taking extra-long at recovering himself and getting up, having fell in an awkward position. But, he didn’t take long enough.
Jack had to stumble to his feet before he had completed his task; and just as Mitch had regained his own footing, Jack dove his foot into the man’s gut. With the margin of time he had, Jack vigorously cut at the ropes behind him. Mitch was falling down in front of him from the blow. Jack kicked the pistol from his hand, then kicked him across the face and moved away to finish cutting the ropes.
Jack felt a hard shoulder in his gut and the two fell back to the floor, and struggled to gain their footing once more. But during that time, Jack finally regained full use of his arms, and wielded this ability with vigor.
At length, Jack managed to get to his feet, and dove for the man’s gun on the floor behind them. As he was grabbing it up, he heard behind him Mitch getting up; so he spun around with the pistol held out, and Mitch stopped a short distance away.
They both froze in their positions; the only sound that could be heard now was their heavy breathing. Finally Jack said,
“Turn around.” When Mitch didn’t adhere to his command, Jack held the pistol higher, to the man’s face; hesitantly, he turned around. After a moment Jack stepped closer behind him and clonked him on the back of the head with the barrel of the pistol.
So, Jack escaped; Mitch was bound, unconscious, in the corner Jack had previously inhabited.
Now came the task of finding out where he was, and getting back to the city. He looked around, walking a little ways. He was indeed in an old abandoned neighborhood, evidently isolated from other houses, within the forest.
At first he didn’t recognize anything. Apparently he was far enough from the city that the tall clock tower was hidden from view. But, as he continued to look around, he did spot a curious outcropping of rock that jutted out above the trees. That looked a little familiar… yes! There were exactly three trees on it, two beeches and a holly. He knew he’d noticed that on the road to the estate so many days earlier.
So, he began cutting through the forest toward it. Once there, he considered climbing to the top and seeing what he could see; it was at an angle, and he might be able to make it up the slope. But, he wasn’t feeling too good about it, so decided to try to find the road instead. As he remembered, the outcropping had loomed fairly close to the road. So, it must be close…
He remembered the rock outcropping had been leaning parallel to the road. So, he cut straight through the forest from the outcropping, and did indeed succeed at finding the road. Now… when I was driving, the outcropping had leaned… toward the estate; it pointed the same direction I was going. So, he went that way along the road: the direction the outcropping pointed.
Well, it took about half an hour of walking to get to the estate. The sun had peaked the sky a good while before he had reached the road, and it was now in descent, bringing on the evening.
Nearing the place where the forest gave way to the extensive estate lawns, Jack slowed. He wanted to be wary; if the major and his son had been trying to help capture Jack, it might not be wise showing his face there again, until the perpetrators were secured. So, he stayed a short distance inside forest and crept around to the other side, where his car was still parked. He would have to cross some uncovered ground to reach it though, so paused to scan the area before showing himself.
No one was visible on the grounds, and, peering into the windows of the house, Jack couldn’t see anyone. So, he gathered his courage, and made a run for it to the near side of his car. He crouched there a short while, listening for the sounds of anyone that had spotted him.
But, before proceeding, he put some thought into it. He wasn’t so sure this was the safest way to go.
How else would he get back to the city? He couldn’t just catch a taxi, or take somebody else’s car, which- if he had the keys- might be justifiable. But he had to decide… So, he decided to proceed, but very carefully.
When he’d been captured his pockets had been emptied, so he didn’t have his keys or his phone. But he always kept a spare key stuck on the bottom of his car; so, using that he got in from the back seat, and climbed up to the front. He glanced around before he put the key in the ignition; still, he didn’t see anyone.
Well, here it came; he’d have to start the car. He did this very carefully; and slowly. You see, he figured that his captors might have- just might have- been smart enough to think of the possibility of his escaping. As he turned the key, he listened for that sound: the sound of a car bomb being detonated. His mind instantly shot to the time 3 years before, when Inspector Burrow had shown him what that sound was like. It had been a sunny summer day, fairly warm, but with a pleasant breeze. He remembered that, because Burrow and him had shared a Coke.
But now for the task at hand. He had to do it. He turned the key twice, and on the third time the car came to life. Nothing. He hadn’t heard it. And even several moments afterward, he didn’t hear anything, and nothing happened that wasn’t supposed to.
Oh what relief swept over him! and he was able to relax, and rest his head back. But he quickly after put his car in reverse and got outta there, before somebody did see him.