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Authors: Sam Hawksmoor

The Repossession (26 page)

BOOK: The Repossession
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The whimpering got louder. He went deeper into the long grass, working back towards the ground opposite his house. He stopped and listened again.


A pizza delivery car went by, its headlights sweeping across the grass revealing the emptiness and the abandoned truck he used to play in when he was a child.

He thought he saw something, but couldn’t be sure.

‘Genie? Mouch?’

The whimpering got louder. He wished he had a flashlight. ‘Mouch? Where are you?’ He moved further into the grass towards the mound where he’d once pretended to be King Kong. Moucher made a noise and he turned to his right.

Moucher was lying prostrate in the grass, clearly in pain and injured. He was all sticky from bleeding and couldn’t seem to move at all. Of Genie there was no sign at all, but one thing was certain, she hadn’t run away.

Someone had taken her.

Rian gathered the shaking dog in his arms. There

was something in his mouth. Rian was wary of harming him further; a dog’s liable to bite if you hurt it, friend or not.

‘What happened to you, Mouch? Where’s my Genie?’

Rian carried him over towards his house. It was the only choice he had. The porch light was on and he could see movement inside.

His heart was beating fast with rising anger. Genie and Mouch must have been waiting for him across the road from his house. What if she too was lying somewhere unconscious, injured or worse? He didn’t want to think about worse.

The front door opened. His mother was there, saying goodbye to Mr Yates.

Rian stepped into the light and his mother screamed.


Rian staggered by her, the dog beginning to slip from his arms.

‘Genie’s gone. Moucher’s been attacked. Genie’s been taken, Ma. She’s been taken.’

Mr Yates and his mother stared at him. He was covered in blood from the dog and the animal looked in terrible shape. It was a shock. Mrs Tulane closed her eyes a moment trying to regain her composure. This was no time for petty arguments, rights and wrongs.

‘Get the dog on to the kitchen table. Rian, the flashlight by the fridge. You’d better be sure your girl isn’t out there before you assume anything.’

Rian ran with the dog to the kitchen. He could see now in the light that Mouch had a huge gash in his head that had to be really painful. No wonder he’d bled so much.

His fur was soaked in blood.

His mother rolled in behind him. ‘This your dog?’

‘Genie’s. The farmer gave it to Genie.’

‘Someone beat that dog with a stick,’ his mother was saying. ‘Get my sewing kit, rubbing alcohol and a sleeping pill, all in my office. You know where.’

‘Not going to call a vet?’ Mr Yates asked.

‘This dog will die if we don’t stitch him now. He’ll bleed out. Rian, get back out there. Make sure your girl isn’t lying out there too. Jim, turn me around.’

The dog needed help now. She approached the table and saw that it was shaking with fear and pain. She knew all too well that she had to save the dog if she was ever to get her son back on her side.

Rian was frantic. He should be out there looking for Genie, but in his heart he knew she had gone. Some evil person had taken her. Moucher was lucky; he was in good hands. His ma used to breed terriers before the accident, she knew all about dogs and how to fix them.

He returned with the stuff and placed it beside the dog. ‘I’m going out to find her.’ Mrs Tulane grabbed his arm.

‘Be careful, Rian. Remember this: what you feel about this girl right now, I feel about you.’

Rian blinked, momentarily confused. He broke free and ran for the back door. All he could think about was Genie and didn’t need any weird stuff from his mother.

He was in the long grass, sweeping it with the flashlight.

He’d played a hundred games in this place when he was a kid, knew every square metre of it. If they’d hidden Genie anywhere, he could find her.

‘Genie?’ he called, not expecting an answer.

He ran to the drainage channel, then the mound. From here he could shine the flashlight pretty much everywhere.

Genie was nowhere to be seen. He was wasting his time.

He should be out on the road looking for her. Where, he didn’t know, but he knew he was losing precious time here. She was long gone. He just hoped that Moucher had given whoever it was a lot of trouble.

He checked the area by the fence where he’d nearly broken his arm once, checked too the clearing which was often used for burning stuff when no one was

looking. Nothing. This was useless. She could be miles away by now.

He ran back to the house, sick with worry.


Moucher was splayed out on the kitchen table, his legs twitching as Mr Yates held him down whilst his mother finished off the stitching. The dog was flinching, making growling noises, but under sedation allowing it to happen.

She had shaved the area where she was sewing and it was one hell of a gash.

His mother acknowledged his arrival and pointed to a bloodied gold Celtic cross with a broken chain. ‘It was in his mouth.’

Rian picked it up and realized instantly whose it was.

The initials on the back confirmed it. Reverend Schneider.

‘Schneider. Reverend Schneider took her.’

Mr Yates looked at Rian, taking an interest for the first time.

‘That’s quite an accusation, Rian.’

‘I know him. He’s the one who locked up Genie in her house. He’s the vilest man on the planet, Ma. He took Genie. He’s involved in all this, the Fortress, everything.’

Mr Yates wasn’t impressed. ‘Why would he do that?

Why is he interested in your girlfriend? Doesn’t make

sense to me. It could be anyone’s cross. Anyone’s.’

Rian just looked at Mr Yates and then at his mother.

‘And you wonder why I left.’

Rian put out a hand to Moucher and touched his paw. The dog barely responded under the effect of her sleeping pill.

‘I’m going to find her, Mouch. I’ll get her back for you.’

Rian turned to leave but Mr Yates blocked his way.

‘I don’t care for your manners, Rian Tulane. I don’t care for the way you have abused your mother and disrespected her. I understand this girl may mean something to you, but you are not going out covered in blood. Just how far do you think you’ll get?’

Rian looked down at his shirt and hands and realized that Mr Yates was right. He looked back at his mother who was cutting the fine thread she’d sewn up the dog with.

‘I’m sorry, Ma. I’m sorry.’

His mother looked across at him and nodded. ‘The dog will be sore and we’re going to have to stop him scratching it open again, but he’ll live. I’m going to give him the other half of the sedative. OK?’

‘I didn’t mean for everything to turn out like this,’ Rian told her, ‘but you have no idea what is going on out there

and what Reverend Schneider is doing. I didn’t mean to disrespect you. I can’t think about anything except Genie right now. I have to find her. I
to try to save her.’

Mrs Tulane turned around in her chair and fixed her eyes on him.

‘You’ll be saving that girl all your life, Rian. There’s something about a Munby girl that brings out chaos and pain in the world and I am desperately sorry you have fallen for her. I really am, but you have and you have to do what you have to do. Whatever comes, if you find her, keep her safe’ – she bit her lip as she said this – ‘bring her here so you both have a chance at a better life. Understand?

I am not rejecting you. Find her and then come home.’

She looked back at the dog twitching on the table.

‘Your dog will be waiting for you.’

Rian made towards her, as if he was going to hug her, but she backed up in her wheelchair, putting up her hands. Rian suddenly remembered he was covered in blood. ‘I’m sorry, Ma. I wasn’t thinking.’

‘Shower and change. Mr Yates is right. If anyone sees you like this they’ll think the worst. Get going.’

Rian turned and fled. His head filled with emotions.

His mother had forgiven him. He didn’t know why, but she had. He raced upstairs to his bedroom. She was probably right; he had to get cleaned up. If he got stopped

for any reason and they saw the blood, the cops would have him cuffed in seconds, never mind that the truck had no plates and he didn’t even have a driver’s licence.

The Good Man of Spurlake

‘It’s a shame your dog is dead, Genie. Could have used it at the Fortress, we have been making some useful experiments with dogs.’ He checked her reaction in the rear-view mirror. ‘But then you know that. You seem to know a lot of things about us. Never heard that curiosity killed the cat? Of course, if you’d stayed in your room, you’d be a lot better off than you are now.’

Genie was quietly seething with anger. She was glad Moucher was dead; at least Reverend Schneider couldn’t do anything worse to him now. She was sat in the back of Schneider’s Mercedes, feet and wrists bound tight. She hadn’t seen him coming. One moment she’d been waiting for Rian to come out of his mother’s house, next moment a sack had been pulled over her head and he’d kicked her legs away from her and she’d fallen hard on the ground.

She’d heard Reverend Schneider swear when Mouch took a bite out of him, then the dog’s final howl as he struck back.

‘Doesn’t bother me you don’t talk, Genie. I know what

you are going to say anyway. But you know what? No one is going to listen to you. Especially a girl who everyone knows is possessed by evil. Your bad luck, I guess, to run into Mrs Garvey. You think she wouldn’t call me?’ He chuckled, slowing down for a T-junction. He turned off the highway and Genie briefly saw a road sign announcing Klaklacum First Nation Reserve. They were definitely headed for the Fortress.

‘I did a bit of research on the Munby family,’ Reverend Schneider said suddenly. ‘Hundred years ago the Munbys owned this valley. Actually, Alfred Munby discovered the gold back in 1888. He had a lot of run-ins with the First Nation natives who naturally considered this their territory. They say your great grandmother was Stó:lo-, one of the Siska Native band, a real beauty. It caused quite a scandal. Some claim the town was cursed because of old man Munby. He owned the mill, the general store, the dairy, the gold mine, everything.

Lived until he was ninety. Left everything to his daughter, your grandmother.

‘But she was crazy. She gave all the money away and built herself a shack by the railroad. She hated her father.

No one knew why. She built your high school. You didn’t know that, did you? Naturally, they changed its name when she killed your father. Of course you don’t know

about that either. Happened when you were less than a year old. They called it an accident, gun went off by mistake, but I tend to think there’s no accidents with a Munby. Your mother’s sister, your Aunt May, met with an unfortunate end when she was fifteen, just like you will.

Odd coincidence, don’t you think?’

Genie blinked. Her mother had a sister? Her father had been shot by her grandmother? She knew none of this.

Her mother had never once mentioned anything, ever.

How could you never mention you had a sister? She suddenly thought of Renée, half-sister to Rian. No one had mentioned her either. What was going on in Spurlake?

Why did this town have to have so many secrets?

Genie’s eyes began to flutter. She began to feel dizzy, her head was swimming and she could feel she was going under, couldn’t stop it, she was floating away . . .

She was flying. She was a bird on the wing, proud of her fine brown feathers. There were two men standing on top of a building, talking. She circled around trying to get her bearing. It was a tall building in the middle of nowhere. She looked at the forest beyond and understood that this was the Synchro building and there was a helicopter parked on the roof in a large painted circle.

Reverend Schneider was listening to a small man with

white hair in a shiny suit. She couldn’t understand what they were saying, but whatever was discussed was sealed by a handshake. They both looked up at her as she flew close and she quickly dived away to avoid their gaze. She wasn’t certain, but it was as if they knew she was there.

She hadn’t liked the expression on their faces.

She flew on, swooping down past all those glass windows and as she turned again she saw young faces pressed against the glass. Renée was staring at her, Denis stood beside her and Cary Harrison too. They were pointing at something on the ground. She turned again to look behind her. Reverend Schneider was opening the trunk of his Mercedes.

She was trying to comprehend how he could be on the roof and simultaneously on the ground, when the banging on the glass got her attention again. Genie didn’t understand what it was they wanted. They kept pointing.

She looked back at Reverend Schneider again and suddenly understood. He had a rifle in his hands, trying to find the range. She tried to fly away, flapped her wings, beat as hard as she could, but as she heard the blast of the gunshot, she knew he’d found her heart.

She plummeted to earth. Landed hard, felt the air knocked out of her lungs. Three rats were running crazily in a circle in the dust beside her. So this is how it ends,

she was thinking, as Reverend Schneider’s black shiny shoes appeared by her head. This is how I die.

‘You’re back?’ Reverend Schneider remarked as he saw her eyes flicker in his mirror. ‘I hope you enjoyed your sleep, Genie. We need you alert. Lots to do once we get there.’

Genie’s throat was dry, she could barely speak, she was in pain. She couldn’t bring herself to look at those hooded eyes staring at her. She could still feel herself twitching in her death throes on the ground. She’d been a bird, he’d shot and killed her. How weird was that?

‘You’re next, Genie. One more volunteer for science.

You should be proud. You’re a pioneer. One of the few who will make it possible for the many.’

You’re next
, Genie noted. Kind of heard that before.

Was this fate then? Is that what her dream was? The thing you couldn’t escape. No matter what, she was going to end up in the Fortress.

BOOK: The Repossession
8.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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