Single White Psycopath Seeks Same (9 page)

BOOK: Single White Psycopath Seeks Same
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The way he looked at me, I knew flying home was not an option, even if I’d been willing to leave Roger and the others behind. I put my hand to my shoulder. “I’m sorry. I really am. I’m not thinking right. I’m tired and my shoulder hurts like hell. I just thought it would’ve been more fun to kill him when he was awake to see what was happening, like you said at dinner tonight, but you’re right. I should’ve killed him.”

“Yes, you should have.”

“I could run back there and finish him off, if you want.”

Daniel appeared to relax. “Nah. We’ll get him later. This was nothing, anyway, just a prelude. You’ll have plenty of time to redeem yourself tomorrow.”

Chapter 11

I SAT ON the edge of the bed (having moved those phony severed heads to the closet, facing the wall) trying to look at something besides the corpse pictures. God, I missed Helen. And Theresa and Kyle. If I managed to get out of this, I was never going to leave my house again, so I couldn’t get into trouble. Well, that wasn’t true—I got into all kinds of trouble without leaving the house, or even my bed, but at least not potentially fatal trouble.

Guilt or no guilt, I needed to soak in the Jacuzzi. No matter how dangerous it was, I was going to have to make my move tomorrow, so I had to be in the best shape possible. I turned on the hot water as there was a knock at the door.

I almost told Foster to get lost, but I did need the bandages. Of course, if he decided to make good on his kneecap threat....

The door opened. It was Josie, holding a first-aid kit. “Hiya,” she said. “I come bearing gifts.”

“Hey, it’s just what I’ve always wanted,” I said, crossing the room.

“Foster said that for all he cared you could bleed to death, so I volunteered.”

“You’re very generous.”  I reached for the first aid kit, but she held it behind her back.

“Don’t you want me to patch you up?”

“Nah, I’ve got it covered.”

“Oh, don’t be silly. I know what sissies you men are. I’ll do it.”  She closed the door behind her. “Nice wallpaper, huh?”

“Yeah. I’ll have to buy some for the kids’ romper room at home.”

“Danny just likes to mess with his friends. You’ll get used to it. Not for a few years, but you’ll get used to it. Oooh, the Jacuzzi sounds like a good idea. Mind if I join you after we finish?”

“Danny might not approve.”

She opened the first-aid kit. “Danny might not find out.”

“And then Danny might not remove my heart with a can opener. I think I’ll pass.”

“Your loss. I’m scrumptious in the nude.”

Now
this
was disconcerting. I wasn’t sure if she was serious, kidding around, or if Daniel was waiting right outside the door to find out what I’d do.

“I’m sure you are,” I said.

“C’mon, you’re getting even with Roger, don’t you want to get even with your wife, too?”

“I don’t consider being slaughtered by your husband getting even.”

“What if I told you Danny was okay with it?”

“I probably wouldn’t believe you.”

“You’re not very trusting.”

“If you provided me with a signed, notarized statement that he was okay with it, then I’d be perfectly happy to have you be nice and naked in my hot tub. As it is, the fact that I get locked in here when nobody’s around indicates that we haven’t crossed all the trust barriers yet.”

“All righty, then.” She patted the bed next to her. “Let’s get that shoulder bandaged up.”

“Really, you can just leave the kit.”

“Andy, sweetie, you don’t have to worry. I may bite, but I’m not venomous. The big, strong serial killer isn’t afraid of a waif like me, is he?”

She wasn’t exactly a waif, but pointing that out seemed like a
really
good way to get hurt. I sat down on the bed next to her, and she removed a bottle of rubbing alcohol and some cotton swabs from the kit.

And then I realized that while I was standing there being extremely uncomfortable with her in the room, I was overlooking a perfect opportunity to strike. Daniel might be a horrible, vicious murderer...but he also might be willing to release the prisoners to save his wife. It was a risk, sure, but there clearly wasn’t going to be an easy solution to my problems.

Josie pressed the alcohol-soaked cotton swab against my cut. I forced myself not to wince. Instead, I put my hand gently on her leg.

She continued cleaning the cut, but there was a definite hint of a smile.

I slid my hand upward just a bit as she set aside the cotton and alcohol and took out a bandage. I peeked into the kit. No scissors. No sharp objects. The rubbing alcohol wasn’t even in a glass bottle.

I’d just have to do this without a weapon.

Now that the excess blood had been wiped away, my cut didn’t look all that bad. It was barely even bleeding anymore. I wondered if Josie thought I was a complete wimp.

She tore open the bandage wrapper.

I slid my hand down her leg, and then up again, beginning to knead the flesh.

She gently put the bandage on my shoulder.

I pounced.

I slammed my hand over her mouth and wrestled her down onto the bed. I grabbed the first aid kit to bash against her head, but she got a handful of my hair and tugged hard.

Damn! Why hadn’t I thought to turn on the whirlpool first, to cover the noise?

She bit down on my hand, but I pulled it away before she could draw blood. “
Danny
!” she screamed.

I got ready to slam my fist into her face, but the door burst open. Daniel and Foster entered; Foster with his gun.

I raised my hands in the air. “Don’t shoot!”

Foster pointed the gun at my face, ready to do just that.

“No!” said Daniel. “Josie, come here.”

Josie got off the bed and rushed over to Daniel, throwing her arms around him. Foster looked like he wanted to shoot me so badly that he could barely keep from wetting himself, but he didn’t pull the trigger.

“What’s the story, Mayhem?” Daniel asked.

“We weren’t doing anything,” I insisted.

“Oh, really? And what were
you
doing?”

“Look, I’m sorry, okay?” I said, getting to my feet. “She came in here saying all this stuff.”

“What stuff?”

“That she looked good naked, and did I want her to join me in the hot tub? She said you didn’t mind!”

“And you believed her?”

“No! Well, yeah. I mean, c’mon, Daniel. You built a freakin’ gladiator stadium in your backyard so you could watch people kill each other. I figure somebody that depraved isn’t going to get all bent out of shape over a little wife-swapping.”

“I’m missing where the ‘swapping’ portion comes into play.”

“You know what I mean.”

“I’m not sure I do.”

“Come
on
, Daniel!” said Foster. “Why are we listening to him? Let me blow his face off.”

“In a second.”

At that moment, water began to spill over the top of the Jacuzzi. “Aw, for crying out loud,” muttered Daniel, walking over to turn off the faucet. “Now look what you’ve done.”

“Can I shoot him for
that
, at least?” asked Foster.

“No, you may not. Give me the gun. You’re getting all worked up; you’re gonna hurt somebody.”  Daniel walked back to the doorway and grabbed the gun out of Foster’s hand. I lowered my arms.

“But he tried to kill Josie!”

“He didn’t try to kill Josie, you jackass! He tried to get off! Get out of here for a minute, all right?”

Foster punched the wall, then stepped out into the hallway. Daniel closed the door, and pointed the gun at me.

“All right, look. I knew she was gonna come on to you, and I’m cool with it. Share the wealth, know what I mean? Maybe I don’t provide her with a signed, notarized statement, like you said, but I’m happy to let her do her own thing. My only question for you is, why was my wife screaming my name?”

“Isn’t that what you’d want?” I asked, trying to smile.

“This is not the time for jokes,” said Daniel, keeping the gun pointed at me. “This is the time to think very carefully about one’s own mortality, especially when one could very well end up with the other prisoners.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Really, I am. I thought she liked it a bit rough.”

“Mmm-hmm. And did you ask her?”

“It’s not something I’m used to asking.”

“Well maybe you should consider it in the future. If you have one.”

I leaned forward and cracked my knuckles. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure.”

“You invited a man who has killed fourteen people into your home. You did it for the express purpose of letting him help kill even more people. And now you’re telling me you were expecting a well-behaved houseguest? Are you some kind of idiot?”

“Watch yourself,” said Daniel.

“No, you watch yourself. You invite me here into this hedonistic sociopath paradise where we can do whatever we want, so hell yeah I’m gonna dive at your wife when she tries to seduce me. Now, I apologize for getting rough. I didn’t hit her or anything; I just put my hand over her mouth. I won’t do it again. But come on, Daniel, I turned my former best friend over to you for who-knows-what kind of torture...did you think you were inviting Mr. Rogers?”

Daniel pulled the trigger.

I flinched at the sound of the gunshot. I turned and saw that a bit of smoke billowed from a bullet hole about six inches from my head, in a color photograph of a skinned body.

“You’ve got a point,” he said.

Josie started to protest, but he waved her silent. “I guess we need to go over some house rules. Do whatever you want to the prisoners. Respect the guests. Understand?”

“I understand.”

“I’m sorry to say that you’ve cost yourself an incredible couple of hours. Believe me, I know what you’re missing. But tomorrow we’ll start fresh. How does that sound?”

“That sounds fine,” I said. “Josie, I’m sorry. I got carried away. You should be a little less irresistible.”

“Jerk,” she muttered, opening the door and leaving.

“You’re not making friends here,” Daniel informed me. “I suggest you soak for a long time, then take a cold shower, get a lot of sleep, and hope things go better.”

“They will,” I promised.

“I’m counting on that. Sleep tight.” He left. I heard the door lock, and then promptly rushed into the bathroom and vomited.

After I’d recovered, I reached into the hot tub and turned the knob to drain some of the water. The bathroom had plenty of towels, so I used those to soak up the spilled water.

Now they were going to be watching me even more closely than before. I’d screwed up my chance. Possibly my only chance. And I hadn’t even gotten any use out of the fingernail clippers. Things had seemed pretty much hopeless before, but now....

I looked over at the bed.

No. No way.

I hurried over to it.              

Yes!

A yellow card key. Josie must have lost it during our struggle, along with a stick of chewing gum.

Would she notice? If she stuck with Daniel, she might not need to use it. It had been a few minutes already. She could be in their bedroom. Or she could be on her way back.

Should I sneak out now, just in case, or wait for a better opportunity during the night, when everyone was asleep?

If they heard me leave, and there was an extremely strong likelihood of that happening if I went now, I’d be screwed. If she came back for the key, I’d be no worse off than I was before discovering it (which was pretty darn bad, admittedly, but I was trying to think positively). But if she didn’t come back, I might be able to find the prisoners. Find Roger.

I decided to wait.

I SPENT almost an hour in the Jacuzzi, doing my best to relax. Nobody had returned for the key.

I got out and got dressed in the old clothes. Looking at my watch, I saw that it was about five o’clock Alaska time. If they got a full night’s sleep, the mansion residents would probably be waking up to start their new day just after midnight. Appropriate.

An hour didn’t seem long enough to wait, but I was scared to doze off for fear that I wouldn’t wake up until they came to get me. An alarm clock would’ve been nice. Instead, I quietly paced around the room, breathing deeply, trying to get myself in a jolly state of mind.

The next hour passed very slowly, and I spent most of it checking my watch to see how quickly the hour was passing. Finally, I decided it was time to go. If the card worked.

I held the card up to the reader. There was a beep, followed by a click. I pulled the door open, carefully peered down both ends of the hallway, and stepped outside my room.

Chapter 12

I HAD A cover story ready—Josie had dropped her card during our scuffle, and I got bored and decided to take a stroll—but if they caught me I probably wouldn’t have a chance to use it. The usual variety of Andrew Mayhem screw-ups was no longer permissible. Bumbling incompetence would be fatal.

I shut the door behind me. I didn’t know exactly where the prisoners were being held, but it was certainly in the metal structure and not the main house. The mansion was practically a maze, but I could probably find my way back the way we’d come earlier.

And, hopefully, locate a telephone along the way.

In fact, looking for a phone was probably the best place to start. My room hadn’t been equipped with one, but the other bedrooms might. Probably any room that wasn’t specifically intended to store homicidal maniacs who hadn’t completely earned Daniel’s trust would have a way to contact the outside world, right?

If I accidentally opened a door where one of the others was staying, I was dead, but that wasn’t likely to happen. Not with this many rooms. Though that didn’t mean somebody in a nearby room wouldn’t hear me.

I decided to tiptoe to the end of the hallway before checking any rooms. I turned the corner and pressed my ear against the first door on the right. No noise from inside, so I waved my pass card in front of the reader.

The door unlocked. I took a deep breath, and then opened it. I stepped inside and shut the door behind me before turning on the light.


Surprise!

The colorful banner with that word hung across the bedposts. The floor was covered with balloons, though most of them were only half-inflated anymore. Wrapping paper littered the bed.

So not all celebrations in this house were completely demented. And they really needed a housekeeping staff.

I searched the room quickly, kicking balloons out of my way, but there was no phone. Nor any useful weapons, unless I wanted to use the balloons to smother somebody.

I shut off the light and exited.

I unlocked the bedroom next to it. It was similarly furnished, though without the surprise party decorations. No phone. Nothing helpful.

As I returned to the hallway, I heard a door open.

I ducked back into the room, closing the door quickly but softly. I considered hiding in the bathroom, but decided to stand by the doorway, ready to strike if somebody came in to investigate.

I stood in the dark for a minute.

Then five.

Then ten.

It didn’t appear that they’d heard me...unless they were waiting outside the door for me to come out.

But I couldn’t just stay in here all night. I had to get moving before somebody decided to check out my room.

I slipped back into the hallway. It was empty.

I didn’t like the idea of wandering around the mansion when there was a good chance that somebody else was roaming the halls, but I couldn’t give up. There had to be a phone somewhere. Or a way to free the prisoners.

I continued down the hallway. I turned another corner, and saw a door much larger than the others, made out of different wood. I unlocked it and went inside.

It was a huge office. A black desk took up almost a quarter of the office by itself, and the walls were covered with maps of various cities. As I walked over to the desk I glanced at the bookshelf, which was filled with encyclopedias, almanacs, and numerous other reference works. I wondered what kind of work was done here.

The desk drawers were locked, so I couldn’t get into them, but the top of the desk had all the usual office accessories:  pens, pencil sharpener, tape, calculator, hole puncher, stapler...everything but a phone.

It did, however, have a fax machine.

I flipped on the power switch. It began to hum, a little too loudly for my comfort, and a digital message read, “WARMING UP...PLEASE WAIT.”

This was perfect. I could write down all the necessary information and fax it right to the cops. I might not know exactly where I was, but this place was pretty big, and if they sent out some helicopters in a thirty-mile radius of Fairbanks they were bound to find it, sooner or later.

It would’ve been a foolproof plan if I knew their fax machine number.

Or
any
fax machine number.

I’d sent a few faxes during my temp jobs, but that was it. There was not a single fax number I knew off the top of my head. I couldn’t even guess at them. The machine was useless.

But then I remembered something. One time at the corporate slave temp job I’d answered the phone and been greeted with an annoying high-pitched beep. The nose-picking guy in the cubicle next to mine explained that somebody was mistakenly trying to send the fax to my phone number, and that I should just forward the call to the fax machine.

Who could I send it to who would know to forward it?

It had to be a business. But I didn’t have any business numbers memorized.           

Except one.

Pudgy Pierre’s Pizza, back in Chamber. They would fax their menu to you if you requested it. I’d gotten in trouble for having them send one to work.

Could I count on Pudgy Pierre?

No, no, no! I smacked myself in the forehead. I was making things too complicated. Just send it to 911! If you dialed 911 and didn’t say anything, they’d still send somebody out to investigate, so the same might be true if I sent a fax.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Andrew Mayhem has a plan!

The display read “ENTER USER CODE.”

There went the plan.

I tugged on the drawers again, in case they’d decided to unlock themselves. They hadn’t. There was a small notebook on the corner of the desk. I picked it up, and saw that the pages were filled with various doodles, including smiley faces and naked cartoon characters. A handwritten note in the inside cover read:  “
Fax:  1113
.”

Finally, I was getting a break. I entered it.

“INCORRECT USER ID. PLEASE RE-ENTER.”

Crap!

But maybe he changed it regularly and just didn’t write it in the notebook. I typed in “1114.”

“INCORRECT USER ID. PLEASE RE-ENTER.”

1115.

“ENTER NUMBER.”

Yes! Fantastic! I tore out a sheet of the notebook paper, grabbed a pen, and quickly scribbled:  “
Trapped 30 miles out of Fairbanks. Many people have been kidnapped. Kidnappers are armed and extremely dangerous. Please send help to a huge brown mansion, surrounded by fence, with a large metal building behind it. Owned by Daniel Rankin. This is not a joke!!! Andrew Mayhem.

I put the paper into the fax machine, punched in 911, and pressed the “send” button. The paper went through the feeder without crumpling up, like so many faxes had at my temp job.

The machine beeped to show that it was ready to send the fax. Then another message showed on the display. “NO DIAL TONE.”

I hit “cancel,” then tried again.

“NO DIAL TONE.”

I tried Pudgy Pierre.

“NO DIAL TONE.”

I picked up the paper, crumpled it up, and shoved it into my pocket. The fax machine was officially useless.

I RETURNED everything to the way it had been before I’d entered the office, and snuck back into the hallway. It was possible that
some
part of the mansion had phone service connected, but I needed to put that idea behind me and see if I could find the prisoners.

I quietly made my way through the corridors, finally reaching the staircase leading down to the main foyer. I felt extremely vulnerable walking down these stairs into such a wide-open area, but I didn’t have a choice.

As I walked down, I couldn’t help but glance at the front door. My pass card probably worked on it. I could get out of this place, go for help, and bring back the cavalry to rescue everyone.

It sounded nice and simple. If I had the keys to either of the vans. If I could get the electrified gates open. If I had any clue where to drive. If there wasn’t a good chance of a mass prisoner extermination after I was discovered missing.

Without the van, I could possibly find a way to get through the gates. Maybe the part that opened and closed wasn’t electrified, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know much about electric fences. But running around in sub-zero temperatures in the dark this far away from civilization in the least-densely populated state in the union (I don’t know where I remembered that factoid from) didn’t seem likely to get me anywhere. And how hard would it be for them to follow my tracks in the snow?

Nope, exiting through the front door was a lost cause.

This line of thinking did make me wonder what exactly I planned to do with the prisoners if I was able to free them...but I’d worry about that later.

I crossed the foyer and walked down a short hallway, stopping at the sound of music. Country music that might have been halfway decent on its own, but was currently being sabotaged by the non-melodic voice of Mortimer.

It was coming from the dining room.

Though it was impossible to be certain, the way this place was set up, I was pretty sure I had to pass the dining room to get to the other building. Even if I didn’t, I was getting really nervous about the amount of time I’d spent away from my room already. I had to get moving.

Very, very slowly I tiptoed over to the dining room entrance. Mortimer’s singing got louder and worse.


Oooooh, why you done left me, I just don’t know, but when y’all come back, your head off I’ll blow
...”

Being as careful as humanly possible (for a loser like me), I peeked into the dining room. Mortimer sat at the table, back to me. In one hand he held an enormous turkey leg, in the other a Fudgsicle. Even from behind, it was not a pretty sight. I quickly darted past the doorway and continued on.

I followed some more winding corridors, not completely sure if I was going the right way but at least not feeling hopelessly lost. And then I reached the doorway to the other building.

I felt an incredible sense of relief, while at the same time my sense of terror cranked up a few notches. I waved the pass card, opened the door, and stepped out into the cold.

It was absolutely freezing, as well as snowing heavily. Though the short path to the other building had been recently shoveled, I had to keep swiping my foot back and forth behind me to remove my tracks. I waved the pass card in front of the reader, shivering.

Nothing happened.

I waved it again.

Still nothing.

Wonderful. My whole expedition had been a waste.

I tested the door handle, but unfortunately nobody had been brain-dead enough to leave it unlocked. Perhaps extra keys were stored someplace, but the mansion was just too big to search for them. I felt sick to my stomach as I turned around and returned to the other door.

My pass card didn’t work on this one, either.

I tried it again with the same result.

Now
this
was really, really bad.

I folded my arms and blew out a cloudy breath. With all the potential for dying inside, I was going to end up freezing to death out here. Maybe I could find a window to break or something. Of course, even if nobody heard that, they’d see my tracks and know something was up.

Perhaps I should just walk around to the front and ring the doorbell. Maybe they’d be nice and shoot me instead of putting me through whatever else they had planned.

My best course of action would be to stand by the door and wait to ambush somebody as they came out. Except that I didn’t think anybody was planning to come out for a few hours, and I wouldn’t be able to move my hands in a few minutes. The best fight I’d be able to put up would be to topple over and let my frozen body shatter on them.

I tried the card once more. No good.

I wanted to just sit down and cry.

BOOK: Single White Psycopath Seeks Same
6.74Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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