Read The Secrets You Hide: A Mind-Blowing Thriller (The Psychosis Series) Online

Authors: Alex Crimson

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Crime, #Psychological Thrillers, #Teen & Young Adult, #Crime Fiction, #Noir, #Thrillers, #Psychological

The Secrets You Hide: A Mind-Blowing Thriller (The Psychosis Series) (3 page)

BOOK: The Secrets You Hide: A Mind-Blowing Thriller (The Psychosis Series)
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5: Robert’s Journal – Of Day 8

 

I stood up from my desk, abandoning the laptop on the table, and walked to the phone in the living room. The room was illuminated only by the thin streams of yellow from the street light which was sneaking in through the windows. The ring of the phone became louder and louder, sounding like the cry for help from someone who was drowning away in the darkness.

“Hello,” I said into the receiver. No response.

“Hello,” I said again, trying to elicit a response from the caller.

A soft, husky male voice was on the other side. “Hello doctor.”

I looked down at my feet randomly. “Umm, who’s this?”

“You don’t need to know who I am, doctor.”

I said nothing for a second, wondering what was going on. “I am sorry, sir. You seem to have dialed the wrong number. Who do you want to talk to?”

The voice took its time to respond. “This is not a call made by mistake, doctor. It is you I want to talk to. I have your wife and daughter.”

I squinted my eyes in the dim light of the room. It was more an expression of doubt than anything else…I was not sure if I had heard him right. But, almost simultaneously, my mind told me that whatever I had heard was unmistakable. I felt a surge in my pulse and stood frozen for a few seconds, saying nothing, thinking nothing. I recovered quickly, deciding that it must all be a prank–a fake and empty threat. Annie and Sarah were away, safe.

“Who is this?” I said, finally. “This is not funny. If you keep messing with me, I am going to put down the phone and call the police right away.”

There was another pause, perhaps only a second long, before the call disconnected. I felt my nerves calming down, surprised at my own aggression in dealing with the caller.

I put the receiver back down and stood by the phone for a few moments. Then I walked away to the kitchen and extracted a bottle of water from the fridge. I took two huge gulps before heading back towards the bedroom. As I approached the door of the bedroom, my cellphone, which I had left next to the laptop, started ringing. I rushed to it and looked at the screen. It was a call from Annie.
About time,
I said to myself.

“Hey,” I spoke into the phone, “You won’t believe what just happened!”

There was a long bout of silence from the other side.

“Annie?” I asked.

“Yes, doctor”, said the same voice which I had spoken to a few moments earlier on the landline phone. It sounded different, maybe due to the change in the phones I was using, but I was sure it belonged to the same person.

“You are right, doctor. Beautiful Annie cannot believe what just happened. She was surprised by your composure on our previous call. Now…she and I are both wondering what other tricks you got up your sleeve.”

I pulled the phone away from my face and looked down at its screen. I was confirming if the call had actually come from Annie’s number. It had.

“I hope this will stop you from calling the police anytime soon. The only thing they can help you find, doctor, are the dead bodies of your wife and daughter.”

The voice sounded like it was reading those words out of a book. It sounded flat, emotionless. There was no effort by the caller to express anger, to try to establish domination or even sound threatening. It was just a cold, calm voice. And that is where its effectiveness lay. It made everything it said sound like a statement of facts that could not be discarded.

A piercing silence followed the threat as both the caller and I tried to measure each other, guessing what was going on in the mind of the other person.

“Who are you?” I asked, “And what do you want?”

I felt my pulse surging again. I could feel my heart pumping fear into every vein of my body.

“I have very reasonable expectations, doctor. You will be surpri…”

I interrupted him. “How much money do you want? Just give me the num…”

“Don’t you dare interrupt me, doctor.”

There was silence again.

“Okay,” I recovered, trying to be patient and controlled. “I apologize. But what do you want?”

The response came immediately. “I want you to know right now that this…none of this is about money. There is nothing you have that I need. There is nothing you can give me to stop this. That would be the easy way out, doctor…for me to ask you for something that you can give me. But that is not what this is about. This…this is about me taking something from you…something that you cannot let go of yourself. That and that alone is my sole intention.”

Nothing that he had said made any sense to me. The same question lingered in my head with no obvious answer in sight.
What does he want?

“I don’t understand.” I said.

“You will, doctor. In time…you will.”

There was a pause again. This time it seemed as if the caller was waiting for me to say something to continue the conversation.

“And how is that?” I asked.

“Did you get the envelope that I left for you?” he questioned me back.

My mind responded to that question with a series of flashing images from earlier that evening. I remembered smiling foolishly at myself outside the door of the house. I remembered stepping on a light blue envelope as I had entered the house. I remembered picking it up and leaving it somewhere…but I could not recall where. The caller waited patiently as if he knew that I did not remember…as if he wanted me to feel the panic arising from the lack of knowledge about where I had left that critical piece of evidence.

“Yes…” I said finally deciding that I must have left it in the living room, “but I have not opened it yet.”

“I know that, doctor. Now is a good time to look inside it. I will call you again in a few minutes. You better hurry. But make sure of one thing, doctor. Follow the script.”

The call disconnected, leaving that cryptic command hanging in the air.
Follow the script?
I put the mobile phone into the pocket of my trouser and dashed to the living room. I switched on the light and spotted the envelope on the center table. I picked it up and tore it at one end, walking back to the bedroom with it. I paused for a second in the corridor and asked myself if I should call my in-laws to check if they had heard from Annie. Maybe, her phone had been stolen. Somewhere deep in my mind I still had the faint hope that this was all fake…that none of this was happening…that, at worse, this was nothing but a practical joke intended to embarrass me. But–my mind argued against all hope–Annie would never agree to be a part of something like this. She knew me and she knew of my severe discomfort with anything as serious as this.

I rushed back to the table in the bedroom and extracted the contents of the envelope. It consisted of a stack of white pages, neatly held together by a couple of clips on one side. I pushed the laptop away to the further edge of the table. Then, I sat down on the chair and examined the pages closely. The top-most page was empty, except for three words that had been perfectly placed right at its center.
Follow the script
the words read–the same cryptic command that the call had ended with.

As I turned to the second page and read through it, I slowly realized what I was holding in my hand. It was a script of some kind–the script that the caller wanted me to follow.

I read through the second page which began to describe the life and actions of the protagonist of the story–me. As I continued reading, it started to feel like the script was looking back at me, accusing me of being fake, of being an impostor, of hijacking the identity of its protagonist. My memories of the previous week were vague at best but the script was like a recollection of it…a mirror forcing me to look back at the past which I had nonchalantly forgotten. As I read further, I was gripped by the intimidating realization that someone had been watching me very closely. Somebody had been observing me for the past week…maybe longer.

A few pages later, the script started to describe events from earlier that day. It spoke of the different patients who had been sitting quietly in the waiting area of my clinic, awaiting their appointments with me. There was no mention of the conversations I had had with any one of them. Maybe, I guessed, the person behind this did not have access to the conversations I had inside my cabin at the clinic. Images of the cabin came flashing…and it felt like the sole refuge from the attack that I was under.

The script abruptly switched to a different location altogether–my home. It described Annie and Sarah as they drove out of the garage earlier that day. Annie was on the phone for a few seconds and then she handed the phone to Sarah, who was jumping with glee in the backseat of the car. I could tell that the script was referring to the conversation that I had had with them a few hours earlier from the clinic.

A few minutes later, in the timeline of the script, Sarah had quietened down and after disconnecting the call she had handed the phone back to her mother. After that, Annie had driven towards Interstate-5, which would then take them to their destination in SF.

The script made another jump in time, describing them as they stopped at a diner for food. They returned to their car after spending twenty minutes at the place but they were not alone when they returned. They were followed by someone…a man that the script shared very little detail about. The man held them at gun-point and then forced Annie to drive away to the place where they were to be held hostage.

Once again, the script snapped the flow of events. What followed next was a description of me returning home and everything I had done after. Not everything it described was accurate, but it was accurate enough as if the creator of that script had predicted my actions even before I had done them. It then described the ringing of the phone in the living room followed by the very conversation I had had with the caller on my cell phone. Finally, the protagonist of the script was sitting at the table in the bedroom–just like me–and reading the script he held in his hand. But it didn’t end there.

As I read further, it started to describe how the protagonist lifted his cell phone off the table and made a call to Annie’s father. I read the first few lines of the conversation and then suddenly realized what it all meant. I felt paralyzed for a second as if my entire body had been crushed under a heavy weight. I finally understood what that three word command meant. I turned to the first page.
Follow the script
–the words looked back at me coldly.

I extracted the cellphone from my pocket and dialed Frank’s number.

“Hello, Robert. How are you?” I heard Frank’s kind and ageing voice on the other side of the phone.

I struggled to respond for a second. I felt like I had failed him by failing to protect Annie and Sarah. A tide of shame and fear flooded my mind.

“Uhh…sorry to call you so late, Frank.” I read from the page before me.

“It’s alright, son. How are you? And how are Annie and Sarah?”

“Everything is alright.” I almost stumbled over the words. “I just wanted to check how things are at your end. How’s Mary doing?”

“We are good, Rob. It has been a while since we saw you all. We are looking forward to having you here this weekend.”

I took a deep breath trying to control myself, looking down at the page before me. I wished I could tell him that Annie and Sarah were in danger. I wished I could tell him that Annie had wanted to be there two days before the planned weekend. She wanted to surprise them before their anniversary by getting there today. But something had gone terribly wrong.

“Frank, did Annie speak to you earlier today?”

“No,” he said. Then I heard his lowered voice over the phone as he asked Mary if Annie had contacted her.

“Mary hasn’t heard from her, either” he added. “Is there anything urgent?”

Annie had not contacted them and neither of them seemed to be aware that Annie had wanted to visit them today. Even as Frank continued to say something, I started to realize what the kidnapper was trying to do. He wanted me to confirm that he was not faking anything…that this was all real. Annie and Sarah had been kidnapped and they were in danger.

“Robert, are you there?” Frank pulled me out of the trance.

“Yes, yeah. Nothing urgent, Frank. We are all eager to see you too. Annie and Sarah are actually both asleep now, but…but I guess I will have her call you some time before the weekend. We will certainly see you then.”

“Rob, I…I hope it’s not a bother but…you don’t sound alright. Is everything okay?”

Tears welled up in my eyes as I realized the true nature of the danger that my family was in. Frank treated me like his own son and I felt guilty for having to lie to him. But I could not get him involved in this. I was sure that if he found out what was happening, he would report it to the police. And that would bring to fruition the threat that the kidnapper had issued. I had to lie to Frank to keep him out of all this and to protect my family. It was what he would want me to do if he knew the truth.

“No, Frank.” I choked, before quickly recovering. “It’s okay. Everything is alright. Let me go back to sleep now. I will call you later. Yeah?”

“Okay,” Frank said. Then he seemed to wait, expecting me to say something more as I put the phone down.

BOOK: The Secrets You Hide: A Mind-Blowing Thriller (The Psychosis Series)
11.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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