Jonathan felt for the man’s pulse, “No. We have to find out what’s going on.”
“Do you think he’ll tell us?”
“I don’t know. We’ll just have to see when we’ve revived him.”
They got him into a chair and securely tied him with duct tape. Then Jonathan began to slap his face and shake him, “Blake! Wake up!”
Blake groaned, and looked up, but his eyes rolled back into his head again.
“You must have hit him harder than you thought.”
“No, hold on a minute,” Jonathan shook him again, “Blake, wake up!”
Finally Black began to regain consciousness. He strained at his bonds, opened his eyes, and tried to focus on Jonathan, but was having difficulty.
“I whacked you on the head. How do you feel?”
“Like someone whacked me on the head.”
Jonathan glanced at Brandy, “Get him some water.” She left, coming back quickly with the water. Jonathan held it up to Blake’s lips, he drank.
“Why were you sent to pick up the prisoner?”
“I don’t know. They just ordered me to after I turned in my report.”
“Did it make sense to you?”
“No, not really.”
“Blake, listen to me carefully. I want you to think about your life. Have you always been here?”
“Yes…. You mean in Marshall?
“Yes, for starters. Think hard.”
“What’s going on?”
“Just think about your childhood. Did you grow up in Marshall?”
“No…I can’t…. no. It seems like I grew up in Indiana. I’ve never been to Indiana.”
“Listen, I think you’re trapped inside a book, forced to play a character role.”
“What are you talking about? You’re nuts, and you’re going to be in big trouble if you don’t let me go.”
Brandy and Jonathan looked at each other, and then both walked into the other room. “What do you think?” she asked.
“I think we need to leave him here.”
“All tied up?”
“Yes, I think so. When he doesn’t report in they will come looking for him and we’ll be long gone.”
“Are you going to hit him again?”
“No, but we have to do something to keep him from yelling.”
“What do you propose?”
“There’s always duct tape.”
“I don’t see any way around it.”
The two duct taped the man’s mouth closed, quickly took his keys, radio and cell phone and then disabled the land line and locked the door behind them. Blake mumbled a few expletives behind the duct tape and shot them an angry look as they left.
“You drive my car,” Jonathan said, handing her his keys “I’ll drive Blake’s. We’re going to leave town, and go to Tulsa to try and find out some answers. This town is too small and we need to get lost. Follow me and as soon as I find an isolated spot we’ll ditch Blake’s car.”
Brandy nodded, got into Jonathan’s car and pulled out of the drive and behind Jonathan as he drove down the street.
They were able to leave town safely, and soon Jonathan turned off the highway onto a dirt road. When he found a suitable clump of trees beside a small pond, he syphoned the gas from Blake’s car, and filled his own tank with it. Then they pushed the car off a small cliff, in the water. It quickly sank.
They got back into Jonathan’s car and drove back to the highway.
“I hope he’ll be okay.” Brandy said thoughtfully.
“I’m sure he will be. It might be different if we left him outside, but he’s safe enough in the house.”
As they drove into the Tulsa city limits near downtown, Jonathan suddenly looked down, “Did you turn on the radio?”
“No. I didn’t,”
“…such hard livin’ in this cold, cold world, people it’s time to believe…”