The Fort

The Fort by Aric Davis

Book: The Fort by Aric Davis Read Free Book Online
Authors: Aric Davis
Tags: Suspense
this, Hooper could hear sirens. I never unloaded the car. If they look in it I’m fucked.
    He pushed the bad thought aside. One thing after the other, that was how it had to be. He kicked at the ball gag. “Put it on now.” She did, but too slowly, and Hooper punched the gun into her stomach, hard. She doubled up and then stood, the ball in place, her eyes watering.
    “Sit against that pole,” said Hooper, pointing at the pole where he had first secured her with rope. She did, and Hooper kicked the handcuffs behind her. He set the 1911 down and fastened the handcuffs on her wrists one after the other, behind the pole and as tight as they could go. Finally, with her somewhat secure, Hooper tucked the gun into his waistband.
    He bound her legs together with the longer, chained cuffs meant for ankles, and placed the collar around her neck. “They might come to the door, and you can try and yell and make all the noise you want. If you do, however, I’m going to shoot the cop, come down here and fuck you, slit your throat, and then kill myself. Do you understand?”
    She nodded, eyes wide. She’ll be docile as a lamb once the last little bit of fight is out of her , Hooper thought as he shut off the light and went up the stairs.
    The first thing to do was get rid of the restraints she’d broken free from, and it took Hooper all of about five seconds to see howshe’d gotten out. He knew the kitchen chairs were old, but it looked like all she’d had to do was tip over, and the thing had come apart into five or six pieces. It had to have happened right before he’d walked in, thank God. She’d only had time to put on the clothes he’d left in the hamper from the day before, and then walk to the slider to escape. Hooper guessed she’d been free for maybe sixty seconds, maximum, when he’d walked into the house. It didn’t get much closer than that. Hooper filled his arms with chair, straps, and rope and walked to the attached garage.
    The garage door was still open, the garage lights blazing. The surprise of the light shocked Hooper. He felt like an idiot. Of course it was open—he had walked in through the front of the house. He dropped the mess of wood and bindings by the trash, then walked to the door and closed it quickly, so that it bounced once on the pavement before settling. With a look over his shoulder at the boards in the car, Hooper left to get the rest of the ruined chair.
    Once it was all in the garage—the noise of sirens getting louder and more constant—Hooper walked to the bedroom and finally stripped off the wet clothes. He was considering the bathroom when a knock at the door made his blood run cold. He jumped into a pair of jeans, attempted to quickly dry his still-wet hair with a towel, and walked to the door clad in only blue jeans, the 1911 stuck in the back of his pants.
    He answered the door casually, trying to look a little shocked when he saw the cop. “What’s going on, Officer?” Hooper asked the guy in the uniform, a man about his own age, wearing sunglasses despite the dark clouds, as well as a thick mustache.
    “We’re looking for this girl,” said the cop, who held out a school picture of Amy for him. “She went missing a couple of days ago from the drive-in, and we just got a report that someone saw her in the woods behind your house with a white male.”
    The drive-in. Her friends are still telling the lie , Hooper thought with suppressed joy. If she hadn’t tried to escape, he’d be in theclear. “I haven’t seen her, Officer,” said Hooper, hoping he hadn’t botched things with his delayed response.
    “I’m not surprised to hear that, Mr.—”
    “Hooper. Matt Hooper. And I’m glad you’re not surprised, but can I ask why? I’m a white male. I live alone here. I’m sure you fellas want to find that girl in your picture.”
    The cop pointed to Hooper’s chest, to the tattoo he’d gotten in Saigon of a bulldog’s head with a banner, holding the number 1969.

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