She found herself looking out a window in the middle of the night. This was not where she would normally be at such a late hour. She is a respectable shop owner, and in truth, a pillar of the community. On any other day she would have been abed hours ago. Her days at Flowrys started early to exceptionally early if she were picking up the daily order for her thriving floral boutique.
The evening had started with her abduction. There had been no violence involved; so that was fortunate. In truth, her kidnapper was quite handsome, and near urbane.
But the implied violence was almost palpable; and had left her weary with its’ influence.
She had been driven here in the fanciest motor coach she had ever seen. It truly was a thing of beauty.
Her abductor had left her in this room with an efficient radiator; and left her a blanket to keep the chill off as well. In fact, she would have been quite comfortable and almost charmed at her treatment, if she didn’t know that the man was: for lack of a better word, a monster.
She knew that she was on the beach in the south side of the city. Having lived here most of her life, she was very familiar with the west side where she lived, and the south side as well. Based on what she knew of her sons’ employer; she knew that she was just beyond the normal reach of the mans’ enterprise in the south west part of her city.
She had been brought up several flights of stairs and left in this large room. There was only one door, which had been locked when her kidnapper took his leave, and one large picture window. The space was mostly empty, and roughly ten by fifteen meters in measure.
She spent some time wandering about the space with the blanket around her shoulders to keep off the chill. The door was heavy, with a sturdy lock. She knew that even if she could somehow open the door, she would be unable to leave the building because there were half a dozen rough men in the room at the other end of the hall. The only way off of this floor was past that room: so she was here for the foreseeable future.
Her exploration of the room took her by the large picture window. The glass in the window was thick and weathered; and she could find no way to open it. Even had she the means to do so; there was a sheer drop of several stories to the century old wooden dock that butted up against the building.
The large chamber was dusty from lack of use and the only furniture in it was a small table with two chairs and a camp cot pulled close to the efficient radiator. Since it was late and there was no way out, she made herself as comfortable as she could on the camp cot. It actually was not that bad. The cot was sturdy; made of wood and heavy canvas. All she needed was her pillow and perhaps a nice cup of tea.
For all outward appearances she was very composed and seemingly unconcerned about her situation; but of course, she was worried about what the morning would bring. She knew the nature of her kidnapper and his reputation.
It had been somewhat chilling when he had produced that ivory handled razor earlier in her shoppe. It was a lovely thing in truth; but she found it disturbing, the way he had fondled It while ostensibly offering It for her to examine.
She shivered briefly when she recalled his last words to her before he left and locked the door behind him. He had told her; “it’s not personal you see, but I need a way to control that son of yours.” She had nodded slightly at this statement and he said, “if it needs to be done, I’ll make it quick and painless.”
She had no illusions about what the man meant. Earlier in the shoppe, she had told her kidnapper that she had lived a full life and made peace with the Lord; and that was all true. But she certainly did not want to die.
It was late, and she had been through a bit this evening, so despite the unusual circumstances, she found herself drifting off to sleep.
Some of her last conscious thoughts were of her son. She had called her son Teague since he was in primary school. It was after he had been called to the headmasters’ office for severely beating a larger boy who was several years his senior.
There had been extenuating circumstances; and it took some effort to get to the bottom of the fracas. In her frustration with the headmaster, she had referred to her son by their surname. After that, she even used that manner of address when speaking to him directly.
She found herself looking out a window in the light of a new day. From her position on her cot; she could see a clear blue sky. She rose from her sleeping place and stretched. She could tell that it was a little later than her normal waking hour, but still early for most.
She was surprised to find that her rest on the camp cot had been quite lovely. At her age, she usually rose with a few aches and pains that one would normally expect in a woman of her years; but this morning there were none.
Just as she was wondering where she was going to be able to do her morning “business”, the door opened and a dark haired man poked his head inside.
It was not her kidnapper, but rather a plain looking man of Mediterranean descent.
“Good morning Signora,” he said to her. “Did you wish to use the loo?”
Without thought she replied, “that would be lovely.”
The man opened the door and gestured for her to join him. She exited the large chamber and the man walked her down the hall to the other room where she had seen half a dozen rough sorts the previous evening.
This room was larger than the one she had spent her evening in; and there were three other men inhabiting it currently. Two men were at a large table and one was on the far side of the room apparently cooking something on a cast iron stove. It smelled delicious.
The plain gentleman must have noticed her appreciating the aroma because he said, “after your done with your morning ablutions, I will get you a plate of breakfast.”
She smiled a bit: partly because she was famished, not having had anything to eat since lunch yesterday, and partly because the food did smell delicious. “That would be lovely young man,” she told her guide. He smiled in return and she continued; “I must say, this has been the nicest kidnapping.”
The man nodded slightly and said, “Vittorio told us that you were to be treated with respect.”
His tone was light; but she noticed that when he mentioned her kidnapper by name, his face notably tensed up.
He escorted her across the room to another doorway and told her; “I’ll wait for you here Signora.”
She made her way through the door to a small spartan washroom. It took her roughly ten minutes to go through her morning business, as well she could, given the situation and bare functionality of the washroom.
As she went about her routine, she looked for a way out; there was none. One window high on the wall provided light and there was only the one door.
The man was waiting for her as promised, and he escorted her back to the chamber where she had spent the previous night. As he left her in the room he told her, “I will bring you a plate of breakfast Signora.”
She granted him a smile and said, “thank you kindly young man.” As he was closing the door she added, “perhaps you’ll even join me.”
She took a few minutes after he left and looked out the large window to see what she could.
Beyond the thick, weathered glass, she could see the ocean, the wooden dock attached to the building, and if she stood toward the end of the window, she could see the beach and a seemingly tranquil hill in the distance.
As she was looking at that lone hill, she saw a brief wink of light. It was quick and only happened once. It brought to mind how the sunlight would reflect off of a mirror; though the little hill was relatively remote so she didn’t know why there would be something like that out there. She spent another minute watching the lonely hill to see if the phenomena would repeat itself and was brought out of her reverie by the door being unlocked and opened.
She was a little surprised to see that the man had brought two plates of food, and a cloth bag. Her impromptu invitation to join her had been more of a polite reflex, not a thought out request.
She took a seat at the little table and watched as the man placed the two plates along with half a loaf of bread, and a small pot of what smelled like coffee. He pulled two porcelain mugs from the bag, as well as a pair of place settings for their breakfast.
She leaned over her plate, inhaled the delicious aroma and said, “it certainly smells lovely.”
He told her, “Vincenzo cooked it; he cooks everything.” The plate held generous portions, of eggs, potatoes, and a slightly spicy sausage.
After a few bites, she stopped and said, “be sure to give my compliments; this is delicious.” She took a bite of the bread, which was fresh and opined, “a pity there is no tea.” “So sorry Signora,” he told her, “we only have coffee to offer.”
After a few more bites, she asked; “might I ask your name?” “Si Signora,” he told her. “I am Enzo.”
“Well thank you Enzo for this delicious repast.” She continued; “when my son comes, and he will come: I will let him know how kindly you treated me.”
He nodded with a slight smile and said, “I know your son by reputation.” The man took a sip of coffee and added; “honestly I think I would prefer to be a friend to him, rather than an adversary.”
She leaned forward; “maybe you and I can do something about that Enzo.” He looked intrigued and she asked, “is there any way you could let me go?”
He looked conflicted for a few moments. He took a bite of eggs and sausage. She waited while he chewed; thoughtfully? After his last bite he said, “I wish that I could Signora.” He took a sip of coffee and continued, “I don’t like that Vittorio has brought family into this thing.”
“Would it be so difficult to look the other way?” she asked Enzo.
“Because of what he is,” the man offered, “it would make no difference.”
The shoppe keeper looked confused and asked; “what is he?” Enzo looked her in the eye and softly said “Il Mostro.”
“No Signora,” he said. “Vittorio would find you, then he would take me for my part in it.” Enzo leaned closer and softly said, “and it wouldn’t stop there. He would take my family as well: in a terrible fashion.” The man slowly shook his head in the negative and said, “I’m sorry Signora.”
It had been a small chance; and once that was dashed, they ate the rest of their breakfast in strained silence. Enzo cleared up their breakfast settings once they had both finished; then he took his leave. She thought he looked a little sad as he left the room; locking the door as he exited.
She was left alone with her thoughts for several hours before anything of note occurred.
She found herself looking out a window in the late morning when she heard a familiar sound. It was faint; but she recognized the smooth purr of the fancy motor car that her abductor had used to transport her to this place. She expected the killer to make an appearance; but he did not. She was left to her own devices.
She paced about the room multiple times. She spent some time looking through the thick weathered glass, at that lonely hill in the distance to see if she could catch that wink of light again; but was ultimately disappointed on that front.
She passed several hours in her room; later she could not recall exactly how she spent those hours, just that they had passed.
She found herself looking out a window in the early afternoon and she noticed that where there had been clear blue sky from dawn till just now: the sky was becoming increasingly foggy. When she thought on it later; she recalled thinking that the speed with which the sky became so foggy as to make the room dim, seemed somehow unnatural.
Shortly after the room became dim with the intensity of the unusual fog; she heard a commotion in the building. She knew she was on the third floor, and felt that the noise was coming from the second floor or maybe the first. The door opened abruptly and she was surprised to see the big bruiser who used to collect the “weekly”, back before her son Teague started working for Penrose. Gerald was his name; and he didn’t come around the shoppe anymore because once her son started working for the enterprise, she no longer was compelled to pay the “weekly”.
In fact the only people she saw from the enterprise after that were her own son Teague, and that big fellow Fitz. She suspected that the large man with hair black as pitch, and a calm serious face fancied her niece Nellie.
“There you are Mrs.!” Gerald blurted out. “Teague has me to get you out of here.” She rushed to join the big bruiser at the door. “Where’s my son Gerald?” she asked. The bruiser opened the door wide and ushered her out into the hallway.
He led the way down the hall and explained as they went;”Teague and Fitz are downstairs to the other side of the building holding off some of that Italian devils’ men.”
“There are men in that room,” she told Gerald as they neared the room where her breakfast had been prepared.
“They must have joined the ones downstairs,” he told her as they made their way to the stairwell.
She followed the big man down several flights of stairs and exited on the beach side of the building. She could see that the afternoon had grown unseasonably foggy here at the dockside of recent place of captivity.
Gerald led her to the middle of the dock where a fifteen foot motor launch was moored.
He gestured her to the boat and told her, ”Teague wants me to get you to safety Mrs.”
She entered the launch deftly and told Gerald; “go help my son!” The big man looked confused for a moment and said; “but Teague wants me to get you to safety.”
“Gerald,” she told the bruiser, “my grand dad was a fisherman, I can handle a skiff.” She pointed back toward the building and commanded, “go help my son!”
He loosed the mooring line and watched her as she confidently made the small boat ready.
“Alright Mrs.” he told her and pointed down the beach towards the west side and safety. “It’s that way!”
The big bruiser gave the skiff a mighty shove and she was on her way.
She looked back at the building and was gratified to see the big guy enter where they had just left.
The building was lost in the fog in less than a minute.