The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 13

Ray pulled up to the address Kelly Baker had given him and slowed his speed just enough to scan the outside of the apartment complex. Baker’s sister’s second floor apartment had two windows facing the street and a door that opened into a breezeway. Ray spotted two motorcycles parked outside, so he circled the block and stopped to think.

Turning in his seat to face Pete, Ray said,

“All right, buddy, it’s safe to say that we have a hostage situation inside.”

Pete sat up and looked at Ray expectantly.

“Yes, Pete. They’re still alive,” Ray assured him. “Why? Because these guys are not professionals. If they wanted her dead, she would be by now, and they wouldn’t bother cleaning up. No, these bums are more of the cleansing power of fire types. So what we need to do is rescue the hostages without putting them at risk. Now there’s a couple of ways we can go about this.”

Ray raised an index finger.

“One, we try some black ops swat type maneuver where we cut a hole in the floor and sneak them out or blow the door off hoping for the element of surprise. This works if you’re not seventy years old or in your case unable to hold a gun.”

Pete cocked his head to one side.

Ray held up two fingers and said,

“Two, we go the traditional route. Try to talk them into coming out. This almost never works because, let’s be honest, they hold all the cards.”

At this, Pete lowered his head, covering one ear with his paw.

Ray held up three fingers.

“Three, we change the environmental ratio. Make life inside the apartment more uncomfortable than outside, thusly forcing them out into the open and taking them down. This technique is commonly used to smoke out rabbits or drug dealers, as the case may be.”

Ray thought for a moment then nodded his head.

“Yep, Pete, I think three is our best option, and I know just what to do.”

Pete suddenly sat up and barked excitedly.



*              *              *



Ray pulled the Cadillac around to the front of the apartment complex and slid into an empty space opposite the sister’s two front windows. Shutting off the engine, he walked around to the trunk, popped open a hatch, and pulled out two tear gas grenades and a small aluminum bat.

From the front seat, Pete barked at Ray.

“It’s not like that,” Ray snapped. “My arm’s not what it used to be. The bat is just to help me reach the window.”

Ray pulled the pin from one grenade, tossed it up, then swung across and up with the bat, sending the grenade flying into the window furthest from the door. After a pause, he pulled the pin on the second grenade and sent it up and through the window closest to the door. Turning back to the open trunk of the Cadillac, he grabbed a flash grenade. When the apartment door opened and two bikers stumbled out, Ray yelled,

“Down here!”

As the men turned in the direction of Ray’s voice, he pulled the pin from the flash grenade and tossed it up, hitting it with the bat. The grenade flew into the breezeway exploding with a bright flash of light.

“Let’s go get them, buddy,” Ray said dropping the bat into the trunk and slamming it shut.

Pete hopped out of the seat, ran across the trunk, and jumped to the pavement. He beat Ray up the stairs, leapt up, and grabbed Kelly Baker’s pants leg as Ray took hold of the sister and led them down the stairs to the waiting Cadillac. Starting up the Cadillac, Ray pulled out of the parking lot and quickly drove away.

Once they were a good distance from the apartment complex, Ray said,

“Sorry about gassing your apartment and almost blinding you, but I needed to separate you from those bikers.”

“Mr. Slats, is that you?” Kelly Baker asked, tears streaming from her eyes.

“Yes,” Ray answered.

“Sharon, this is Mr. Slats,” Kelly said.

Pete yelped.

“And Pete,” Ray added.



*              *              *



“Once again, sorry about gassing your apartment, Sharon, but it seemed like the best idea at the time,” Ray said as they sat in the restaurant sipping coffee.

“It’s all right,” Sharon said. “I’m just glad you showed up.”

“Yeah.  Those men just kicked in the door and said they were going to kill us,” Kelly added.

Ray looked out at Pete waiting in the Cadillac.

“Then why didn’t they?” he inquired turning back to Kelly.

Sharon looked up and asked, “Are you disappointed?”

“Sorry,” Ray said. “I’m just trying to figure this out.”

“They didn’t bother us. They just sat there glancing out the window every couple of minutes. They wouldn’t let us move, but they didn’t ask for anything,” Kelly explained.

Ray thought for a moment then said, “I wonder what they wanted.”

“You two should steer clear of any places that could be connected to you. Whoever is behind this might come looking for you again,” he warned.

Gulping down the last of his coffee, he said, “I’m going to let Pete out for a minute. I’ll be right back.”

When he reached the Cadillac, Ray noticed Pete wasn’t around.

“Pete?” he called out.  “Buddy?”

“Where in the world is that dog?” Ray asked.

When he turned around, suddenly one of the bikers reached out with a pistol and struck him across the forehead. Ray staggered and fell to the pavement, struggling to brace himself. He felt his blood run down his forehead just before his arms collapsed and he passed out.



*              *              *



Richard Clay was sitting at his desk finishing up some paperwork on the Tanner McDaniel case when his desk phone rang.

“Detective Clay,” Richard said answering.

“Someone took him!” Deborah yelled into the receiver.

“Where are you and who was taken?” Richard asked.

“I’m at a restaurant Dad liked to go to. Lilly’s Diner. They took my father!” Deborah repeated in a panic.

“All right, hon. We’ll find him. Tell me what happened,” Richard instructed.

“Dad was working with Kelly Baker, the lady whose daughter was killed and whose husband is in jail. I told him to let it go, but you know how Daddy can be,” Deborah said crying.

“I know, Deborah. Now focus. What happened?” Richard asked.

“Kelly Baker called me. She said Daddy rescued them from two bikers, and then they went to Lilly’s Diner. When Daddy went out to check on Pete, Kelly saw one of the bikers knock him out and toss him into the back of a van,” Deborah said.

“Where’s Pete?” Richard asked.

“I found him in a nearby garbage can. Whoever did this must have grabbed him and closed him up before he could warn Daddy,” Deborah explained.

“All right. If we have Pete, we’re halfway there. All we have to do is track him down. Knowing Ray’s resourcefulness, he’ll probably escape before we find him,” Richard assured, as he motioned to a uniformed officer.

Holding the phone away from his mouth, he said,

“There’s been a kidnapping over at Lilly’s Diner. Send a car.”

He brought the phone back to his ear and asked, “Is the Cadillac still outside?”

“Yes,” Deborah said.

Richard turned back to the waiting officer. “There’s a black Cadillac El Dorado in the parking lot. No one goes in it till I get there. Understand?”

The officer nodded and hurried off. Richard returned the phone to his ear and said, “We’ll find him, honey. Don’t worry.”

Published in: on February 12, 2011 at 1:40 am  Leave a Comment  

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