For My Brother
his back, slipped the tie over them, and pulled it tight.
    The reporter gave a slight moan. There was blood oozing from the back of the reporter’s head, but Donnie was relieved to find out he hadn’t killed the man. As James started to come around, Donnie grabbed his tied hands and forced him to his feet.
    “Where…where are you taking me?”
    “Just move.”
    Donnie steered the reporter into the garage and to the back wall, forced him to sit down, and pulled out another zip tie. He wrapped it around James’s legs and cinched it tight. Satisfied the reporter wasn’t going anywhere, Donnie turned to leave.
    “Why are you doing this?”
    Donnie turned and studied Devin James. He found himself longing to tell someone. To talk to someone about the plan beside his brother, but he didn’t think there was anyone he could trust. The reporter already knew who Donnie was and might try to understand.
    “Because I have to.”
    “Why? Does it have to do with Billy?”
    The mention of his brother’s name made him pause. James may have figured things out, and maybe Donnie could share with him. The moment passed, and he realized this was wasting valuable time.
    Donnie walked over to a shelf, picked up a roll of duct tape, and wrapped a strip completely around the reporter’s head, covering his mouth.
    “You ask too many questions for your own good.”
    Donnie left the garage, closing the door behind him, and went to the front porch. Sitting in the same chair where he’d found Momma dead less than a week ago, he weighed his options. He had a decision to make.
    I don’t know who the reporter might have told about me. For all I know, the cops are on their way. There’s two choices. Abandon the plan and get as far away from here as I can. Or go through with it and risk being caught.
    He sat looking out over the farm for a long time, but he knew he had to get moving, and he knew he only had one choice.
    He got up and went into the house.
    Jason had just got to his desk when the phone rang. He hadn’t even sat down yet. “Strong.”
    “Jason, this is Marie. I found your file.”
    “Fantastic. Be right down.”
    Nina watched him turn and head back toward the door.
    “Where are you going?”
    “Back to Records, Marie found my file.”
    “What file?”
    “Back in a minute.”
    With that, he was gone.
    Donnie cleared off the kitchen table and pulled back the chairs. He had planned to pull the drapes and shut the front door to keep his captives from knowing where they were. With the reporter showing up, there wasn’t any point in trying to hide the location. He still didn’t know if they had figured out who he was, so that would remain secret. Opening the basement door, he headed down the stairs.
    It was time to set things up.
    Jason returned to the office with a file in his hand and walked around to Nina’s side of the desk. Laying it out in front of her, he pointed at what he’d found.
    “Ed Garland, Suzanne Cooper, Chelsea Burt, and Dexter Hughes.”
    “All four?” She flipped the file closed to look at the name on the front. “What is this?”
    “It’s the report on a suicide from ten years ago involving a kid named Billy Jarvis.”
    “Okay, what’s the connection to our missing persons?”
    “They were all there. They were witnesses. Apparently, they took part in a game of Russian roulette with Jarvis. Jarvis shot himself while these four watched.”
    “How did you find this?”
    “You know the message Dave Connor waved at me when we came in?”
    “It was from Devin James. He told me to look up this file.”
    “But how did he know?”
    “If I had to guess, I’d say he did the story.”
    “So what now?”
    Jason took the file back, sat at his desk, and opened it to a different page.
    “The only names listed in the file besides the four witnesses are the mother, Betty Jarvis, and the younger brother, Donnie. Let’s start there.

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