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Authors: Sam Hawksmoor

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BOOK: The Repossession
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Rian let Tunis rant. Some of what he said was sort of true though. He looked into the back of the truck. ‘You got the hook?’

‘Rope, hook, everything,’ Tunis responded. ‘You know where you’re going to go? I mean, you got no money now, right?’

Rian shrugged. He’d given Tunis every last dime he’d saved from his summer job. ‘We can work. Pick fruit.

They always need people to pick fruit.’

‘Well, I heard there’s someone paying $2,000 for scientific experiments,’ Tunis remarked.

‘Very funny.’

Tunis laughed and turned right on Fraser on to Maple Street. ‘Cops will go crazy when you two disappear as well.’

‘They don’t give a shit about us kids. If they could ship us all to the next county they would,’ Rian said.

‘My dad reckons it’s all mass hysteria,’ Tunis said.

‘Trying to arrange a meeting at the school for parents.’

Tunis was adopted; his father was deputy-principal at the middle school. Everyone believed Tunis was a big disappointment to him. But Rian knew this wasn’t true. His dad encouraged him all the time. Was proud he was working.

Rian grinned. ‘Mr Yates will probably throw a party when I go. He left me a recruitment brochure for the navy yesterday. Wants my mother all to himself and me out of that house sooo bad . . .’

‘I’m joining the cops. Decided. Mom’s against it, Dad is worried it’ll be dangerous, but soon as I’m nineteen, I’m going for it. You get a gun and there’s a terrific pension plan. And shit, I’d know exactly who to arrest in this town. I’d make detective grade pretty damn quick.’

Rian smiled. Tunis would probably make a great cop. He had a strong sense of what was right and just, something pretty rare in Rian’s experience of people so far.

Tunis slowed the truck to a stop across from Genie’s house. ‘We’re here. What now?’

‘We wait. Watch the front door. As soon as her mother leaves for church we go to work.’

Tunis grinned. ‘I changed my licence plates. Let’s hope Reverend Schneider doesn’t get stopped for any violations tonight.’

Rian laughed. ‘Rev Schneider? Genius, pure genius.’

Rian kept his head down below the dash as Tunis watched, picking at his teeth with a toothpick. Tunis suddenly remembered something and pulled out a picture from his inside jacket pocket. ‘Cute, huh?’

Rian studied the almost-naked blonde girl staring out of the picture. It was signed,
Your bunny girl
. Rian looked at Tunis with surprise. ‘You have a bunny girl?’

‘Met her on Facebook. Angie lives in Vancouver.’

‘And she’s your bunny girl?’

‘Will be. Going to drive down there on the weekend.

She’s hot, right?’

Rian was studying the picture more carefully. ‘No wonder you suddenly need money. You think she’s

real? I never saw anyone that perfect outside of a porn site.’

Tunis was offended and took the picture back. ‘She’s real. We spoke. She sends me pictures every day.’

Rian still doubted Tunis would get a girl that good-looking, even though he was pretty smooth. ‘Girl like that is going to be expensive, Tun. Sure she isn’t Russian or something? I heard there was a scam. You turn up there and they put a gun to your head and make them marry you for the visa.’

Tunis snorted. ‘As if. Nothing but the best for Tunis.

She’s real, believe me. Studying for her bar exam.’

‘That girl’s a lawyer?’ Rian protested.

‘No. She’s studying to tend bar. She could make a fortune in Hooters.’

‘You actually sent her your picture? Does she know you only turned eighteen last month? Did you tell her what you earn?’

‘She knows everything about me. My truck, everything.

Angie wants me, man. Badly.’

Rian smiled. Well Tunis was definitely going to get his heart broken but at least he had ambition. Vancouver girls were always so . . .

‘We’re in business,’ Tunis hissed, ducking down suddenly. A cab pulled up outside the Magee house. They

heard Genie’s mother slam her front door shut, then walk over to the cab and climb in. They waited, keeping low, giving time for the cab to pull away. Tunis looked at Rian and winked.

‘Devil’s work to do. You sure Mrs Mackie is out?’

‘Runs the pet shop. She’s there like twenty hours a day.’

Tunis grunted. He remembered Mrs Mackie and all the lectures he’d got about feeding his hamster right when he was a kid. The woman was obsessed. Never seemed to leave that store.

‘One weird woman. OK. Out, Ri. Let’s do this.’

Rian smiled. Yeah, time to do it. He opened the door and dropped down to the road.

Tunis fired up the engine. He was excited but controlled.

Rian ran across the road to the bushes at the edge of Genie’s property and waited for Tunis to get the truck in position in Mrs Mackie’s yard next door. Genie’s window was at the side of the house, which made it hard to get leverage.

Tunis drove over and backed up at a forty-five-degree angle on to the driveway next door. Rian ran over, grabbed the hook and rope from the back of the truck and draped it around his shoulders. The light was fading; it

wasn’t as dark as he would have liked. He hoped the neighbours across the street weren’t watching. Even if they were, by the time they could do anything about it, everything would be over.

He was up on the garbage bins, hauled himself up on to Mrs Mackie’s garage roof where he’d placed a long plank of wood the week before. He was relieved to see it was still there. Genie’s room with the barred windows was right opposite, about a head higher. The only detail he hadn’t been able to do anything about was to let Genie know he was coming.

Rian lifted and swung the plank across the void between the two houses. It was steeper than he expected and he nearly lost his balance as he ran up it, grabbing the bars to stabilize himself at the window.

Inside he could see Genie was asleep. She looked beautiful lying there in her briefs and torn T-shirt, curled up on top of the blankets. He tapped on the window but she didn’t stir. He had a horrible moment of doubt.

What if she didn’t want to come? He should have prepared her somehow.

‘Genie, wake up,’ he called, but still she didn’t stir. Was she drugged? He wouldn’t have put that past her mother.

He wrapped the hook around the bars and turned to signal to Tunis, who waved, gingerly moving the truck

forward to take up the slack.

As soon as the rope was taut Rian stepped back, ran back down the plank and pulled it away. Tunis was watching him in his rear-view mirror. He gunned the engine and went for it. At first nothing happened and Rian was afraid the rope would snap, but then suddenly the whole metal window frame came tearing out of the wall bringing some of the siding out with it. It shot forward, narrowly missing Rian and crashing loudly on to Mrs Mackie’s roof. The noise would be enough to wake the whole neighbourhood. Tunis was already out of the truck and untying the rope.

Rian got the plank up to Genie’s window again and ran up to the gap. She was sitting up in bed, totally spooked.

Rian smiled, then he saw the bruises on her face and arms and felt a surge of anger.

‘God, Genie, what the hell?’

Genie just stared open-mouthed.

‘Ri, you came.
You came
.’

Rian was in the room, grabbed her, and hugged her tightly. ‘Grab stuff, we have one minute, babe. Now!’

Genie was just dazed. Rian had really come to rescue her. Took the whole window out and everything.

Rian was throwing stuff at her. ‘Dress. Tunis won’t wait.’

Genie got the message. She pulled on a sweater, jammed her legs into her jeans.

‘Get your shoes on in the truck. We got to go!

No time.’

Genie grabbed a plastic bag and crammed some underwear into it and other stuff. Her favourite bunny – childish, but nevertheless couldn’t be left.

She ran to the window, careful not to place her bare feet on the broken glass.

‘Jesus, Ri, I can hear sirens.’

‘Go, go on,’ Rian urged.

Her legs were sluggish. She’d been trapped in the room for so long it would be some time before she got back her strength. Rian was right behind her, kicking the plank to the ground as he reached the garage roof.

‘Drop down to the garbage bins,’ he instructed her.

Genie practically bounced down, heart in mouth, tense, scared the cops would get there before they could go. She ran like the wind for the truck, her legs like jelly, Rian close behind.

Tunis began to move and they had to jump up on the back and flip over to land on the rolled turf stacked there.

As soon as they were safe aboard Tunis floored it.

Someone would have called 911 and they would have given a description of his truck. So he took the narrow

alleys behind the houses, keeping it slow until they reached the far end of Maple Street. Cops, he figured, would only look for a speeding vehicle.

Genie lay shaking in Rian’s arms. Still astonished at her escape and how cool Rian turned out to be. If ever a girl needed proof a boy loved her . . .

Rian was concerned at her bruises. Her eyes were puffy and bloodshot; there was a nasty burn in the shape of a cross on her arm. He knew they had held her prisoner, but they beat her? Burned her? Her own mother had done this?

‘She hurt you?’

Genie shook her head, her eyes shining. ‘I’m OK. I’m fine, Ri.’

But he was angry. This was his Genie and they’d disfigured her. She was so thin, so unbelievably thin. He couldn’t believe what he was holding in his arms. Reverend Schneider was the most evil man on earth. He would have to pay for this.

‘Get me out of here, Ri. Take me away,’ Genie whispered.

‘We have to go far. Reverend Schneider will send people after us.’

‘We’re leaving tonight. We ain’t ever coming back.

Get your shoes on. We got some running to do.’ He kissed the top of her head. Her heart was beating fast,

like a wild animal, as she clung on to him.

Tunis halted at the crossroads at Fir and Geary.

People were gathering in the community square by Princeton Park to pray for Anwar. Genie quickly slipped down out of sight below the sides. The shrine to the missing kids was lit up like Christmas and messages to the disappeared were pinned to the community notice board, fluttering in the wind. Heaps of half-dead bouquets of flowers littered the ground and someone had lit candles, which flickered in the blustery weather. Rian stared at the scene with sadness. So many kids gone from Spurlake, and now, perhaps, someone would add their names to it. Well, maybe not their respective mothers, but perhaps one of their friends at least.

Tunis turned off the road and took the unpaved track down by the river. There was good coverage from the forest there. He was confident no one had followed them.

He stopped by the old landing where the gold rush museum had burned the year before. By the time he got out of the truck Rian and Genie were already on the ground. Tunis lifted out the backpack and her bag and handed them to them. ‘You need to get going now. I got to change the plates back before he notices anything.’

He saw Genie’s face and was taken aback. ‘Jeez,

girl, what did they do to you? Hell, man. If I ever see Reverend Schneider or your mother crossing the road, I swear I ain’t going to brake. That’s a promise, girl.’

Genie broke free of Rian and smiled, wincing slightly from a cracked lip. ‘You do that, Tunis, and back up on them in case you didn’t do it right.’

‘Git going,’ Tunis told them. ‘Good luck. You’re gonna need it.’

They ran.

Tunis quickly wiped down the surfaces of his truck with cleaning fluid. He didn’t want their fingerprints found on his truck. The cops might never check, but you couldn’t be too careful. He’d miss Ri. Had a very bad feeling that he’d never see him again.

‘Where are we?’ she asked moments later, as they ran along the riverbank.

‘Just beyond the old railroad bridge. Got a boat ready.’

He hushed her a moment and made her squat down.

Headlights suddenly swept across the trees as a car turned.

Lovers used this area for trysts. He didn’t want anyone to see them if they could avoid it.

She took his hand and squeezed it.

‘Thanks for coming for me, Ri.’

He said nothing but squeezed her hand back. He

stood up again, pulling her after him, and they continued running. It was dark now and he wanted to reach the boat before the moon rose.

‘Where are we going?’ she asked after a while.

‘Remember the guy from Calgary who fixed our roof?’

She vaguely recalled him. He worked on the oil pipeline. They had met him at McBean’s. He told them he made nearly three hundred thousand dollars a year.

Was going to retire at forty-five. Had a plan. More importantly, he had a boat on the river. ‘We’re going to steal his boat?’

Rian shook his head. ‘Not a yacht or anything. It’s a houseboat. Doesn’t go anywhere. Had me varnish it this summer. We’re going there first. He’s back in Calgary now till the winter.’

She followed him with wonder. How long had he been planning this? She’d thought he’d forgotten her. She suddenly had a rising wave of nausea. She had to stop a moment. Rian held her as she threw up. She was pale and shaking. He dug in his rucksack, found a bottle of Coke.

He unscrewed the top and it fizzed from all the jogging.

‘Here. Stops me feeling sick.’

She took the bottle. It wasn’t cold, but she drank the whole thing quickly, and then burped loudly. She grinned at him. ‘Thanks. Needed that.’

‘Didn’t they feed you?’

She put up her hands. ‘Don’t even go there. Got any chocolate?’

He plunged his hands deep into the backpack and his fingers closed on a Kit Kat. She seized on it and tore open the wrapper. ‘Haven’t eaten in a week.’ She looked guilty.

‘Sorry. I think I was trying to starve myself to death. I didn’t think . . .’ Tears suddenly rolled down her cheeks.

‘Didn’t think you’d come. I mean, I prayed you would, but I didn’t think . . .’

Rian held her tight. They weren’t on the water yet, but he’d let her rest a moment. Get her strength. He wouldn’t be happy until he’d got her on to the houseboat downriver. He waited until she finished crying and then he moved them on. He wouldn’t feel safe until they were on the water.

BOOK: The Repossession
12.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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