A Preview of Fugue

Chad unlocked the front door to his darkened ranch house, and reached for the light switch. When he flipped it to the on position, nothing happened, much to his dismay. Great, now I have to find a light bulb.

Chad set his keys on the small stand next to the door, and searched blindly through the dark for the switch to the kitchen. Stumbling over his sneakers which he had left in the hall earlier, Chad let out a curse word and continued onward. He placed his hand on the wall just below shoulder height and reached for the light switch. It’s gotta be around here somewhere…

Eureka! Finally, the switch touched his fingertips and he flipped it into the on position. Expecting this light to turn on, he found himself disappointed yet again. What’s going on here? It can’t be a power outage because the street lights were on and so were my neighbor’s lights. Had a fuse blown out all the lights in the house?

Chad didn’t have much time to think before a bolt of electricity pulsed through him, leaving him writhing on the ground in pain. At first, he thought some electrical surge in the house had administered this cruel torture, but within moments he knew that this was no accident.

Chad’s muscles twitched uncontrollably as someone dragged his body across the hallway floor and into the kitchen. Next he heard the scraping of the legs of a chair across the tile floor until it stopped right next to his left ear. Chad would have grated his teeth at hearing the sound if he had not already been grating his teeth due to the shock treatment he had just received.

“Go get the lights.” growled the man hovering over him as he hoisted Chad up onto one of his own dining room chairs and then propped him up.

The lights came on a few seconds later as a man behind him forcefully bent his convulsing arms behind him and fastened them to the chair with handcuffs. Next, the figure took another two pairs of cuffs and locked each ankle to the chair as well. It appeared as though Chad wasn’t going anywhere for awhile.

“How long is this going to last?” asked the man who re-entered the room.

“What? The effects of the taser? It depends on the person. It could last up to fifteen minutes on some people, but for most it’s only a handful. Why? Are you in a hurry or something?”

“I’d just like to get this going and find out what this bastard knows, that’s all.”

Chad could not see the man behind him as he began to regain some control over his bodily functions, but he knew the voice; it was Hargrove from the incident at work.

The man standing in front of Chad looked like the man from the hotel he had seen earlier. The short but brawny gentleman had a face that looked like he had been hit with a frying pan. His nose was short and stubby and seemed almost flat against his face. He was cross-eyed as well, a feature that enhanced the compressed nose.

The stubby-nosed man appeared very anxious about the events that were unfolding, but at the same time, Chad could sense that the nervousness wasn’t due to apprehensiveness in being a part of the situation, but rather due to wanting to get things going. Hargrove definitely seemed to be the one in charge, but this man was certainly a willing participant.

“Make him tell me where she is!” shouted the stub-nosed assailant.

“Patience. Let me set things up first.”

“I’m all out of patience with this monster!” he responded as he leaped towards Chad and tackled him, knocking the chair backwards and onto the tile floor.

Chad’s head hit the ground with a thud causing him to yelp in pain. The man then put both hands on Chad’s neck and began to cut off his ability to breathe. Shackled, Chad was unable to fend him off as his life was suddenly quite literally in this stranger’s hands.

“Hey! Have some composure Gary!” yelled Hargrove.

Hargrove stopped what he was doing at the kitchen table and dragged Gary off of Chad. Gary was still fuming, but reluctantly backed off, at least for the moment.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing? Cooler heads prevail here, Gary.”

“Tell me where Brenda is you son of a bitch!” Gary directed at Chad, “Make him tell me where she is!” he then yelled at Hargrove.

“Hey, listen to me!” Hargrove slapped Gary across the face to gather his attention, which he now had, “A guy can’t talk with someone choking him. We’ve got a plan here, now let’s stick with it. He is going to tell us where she is, I promise you. OK? Can you settle down and let me handle this?”

Gary looked at Hargrove and then at Chad. He was still on edge, but at least for now, he was willing to give Hargrove control of the situation. Gary had a plan of his own though. After Charley told him where his daughter was, he was a dead man.

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