Nancy checked over the supplies in the backpack again to make sure she had everything. Satisfied she was sufficiently prepared, she went to her bathroom and put on her black wig.
“What are you up to?” her husband Gregory asked her. He was standing in the doorway looking at her. “What’s with the wig?”
“Surprise party tonight for a friend,” she replied. “We decided to cut loose and have some fun tonight, so we’re all disguising ourselves. I’m already a blonde, so I decided to go as a brunette.” She walked over to him and wrapped her arms around him. “But I won’t have any fun because you won’t be there.”
“Do you have time for a little fun before you leave?” he asked, a familiar twinkle in his eyes. “I kinda like seeing you this way. Major turn-on.”
“You scamp!” she laughed as he dragged her to their bedroom.
Three hours later, she and Malcolm parked near the Strangerville Lab. “Are you clear on the plan?” she asked him for the fifth time.
“For God’s sake, Mother, yes,” he said, totally exasperated. “We go in, break into the room, dress him in the black outfit you have with you, we leave. It’s a piece of cake. You need to take some Valium, smoke some pot or something to chill out.”
“The minute you start to think that things are easy, that’s when they get hard,” she admonished him. “If anyone gets in the way, shoot them.” She could tell by the look on his face that he hoped he got the chance to use his gun. “Shoot to wound, not kill.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know.”
They carefully made their way back to the lab, Nancy noticed a set of tire tracks in the dirt. “I wonder if they’re getting ready to move him,” she said.
They made their way to the door, and it took Nancy two minutes to pick the padlock and the door lock. Looking around, they slipped into the room.
“Oh my god, it stinks in here!” Malcolm exclaimed, holding his nose.
“Shut up!” Nancy hissed.
The room was dark, save for a small lamp on a nightstand near a bed. She pulled out a flashlight and turned it on. Shining it around on the floor, she noticed a chain that ran from a hook on the wall by the door all the way to the bed. She followed the chain to the bed, and saw that it was attached to an ankle. “Get over here,” she said to her son. “I need you to hold this flashlight.”
The lock on the chain around the ankle looked tricky, but Nancy was able to unlock it in no time. Taking the flashlight from Malcolm, she moved to the head of the bed and felt the person’s neck for a pulse. “He’s still alive. Hey, come on. Wake up. We’re going to get you out of here.”
The man groaned, rolled over onto his back, and Nancy gasped. The man was emaciated; she had seen that look in photos from Jewish men in the interment camps. “Who…who are you?” he croaked.
“That doesn’t matter right now,” Nancy said. “We’ve got to get out of here. Get the clothes out of the backpack.”
It took them a few minutes to get him dressed. When they were finally ready to go, the man could barely stand up. “I’ll carry him,” Malcolm said. He bent over and gently put the man over his shoulder. “He barely weighs anything at all.”
Nancy opened the door and looked around. She thought she heard someone coming from the left hallway. “We’ve got to go now,” she told her son.
She let Malcolm out first, and he moved effortlessly down the hall while she closed the door and put the padlock back in place. As she hurried down the hall after them, she heard a voice called out, “Hey, you! Stop!”
Reaching into her jacket pocket, Nancy pulled out her Glock, turned and fired twice. The man hit the floor and didn’t move. She didn’t stick around to find out if he was alive or not. She took off running. Thank God for all the miles she did on the treadmill at home.
Malcolm was sitting in the driver’s seat when she arrived at the SUV. The man was laying down in the back seat. Malcolm had left the front passenger door open for her, and she jumped in. “Drive, drive!” she yelled as she slammed the door shut.
He floored it, the tires spewing rocks and sand behind them. “I heard shots,” he said. “Are you all right?”
“I’m fine. Not sure about the other guy, though.”