20 Days of Chill: Zurich, Switzerland (Day 15)
(Note: Each Friday during the 20 Days of Chill, the stories are meant to link to one another. This is week two and I am still trying to decide where it’s going. You can read part one at: Philadelphia; and part two at San Francisco)
San Francisco: 8:13 p.m.
Reggie is slamming his head off a door that is locked and covered up. He missed his deadline by 13 minutes.
The damn airline.
He even hired a private plane just to get him from Philadelphia to San Francisco. He was to be here by 8 p.m.
He didn’t make it
Driving the streets of San Fran isn’t easy, especially when you’ve never been here. Maybe he should have planned and got an Uber driver.
But it didn’t matter. From the time he landed, he never would have made it here.
No texts. No calls. Nothing from the people who have his wife. He supposedly has something they want, and now … he doesn’t know. What should he do? Where should he go?
For now, he’s slamming his head on the door. Maybe it will knock him silly and out cold and when he comes to, he’ll see it was just a nasty nightmare.
Reggie is tapped on the shoulder, and he stops abruptly and spins around. Standing next to him is a man in his 60s.
“Are you OK?” the older man asks.
Reggie stares, trying to find the right words.
“I was supposed to be here by 8 … I … I … “ as his voice trails off.
“I’m the owner of this building,” the old man says. “But nobody has been in here for years. I was told I was to come here and a man would be here. I was then told I had to let you in. I questioned it and through an encrypted account, I received $5,000 to come here and let you in so you could look around.”
Reggie perks up.
“Who contacted you? What’s the number? Why were they here?”
Almost screaming like a maniac at this point, the man took a step back.
“Hey man, I have no idea. It was a blocked number and the transfer was secure and encrypted. I’m just coming here to see what’s up.”
Reggie calms down and paces around.
“OK, let’s go in then. I don’t even know why I’ve been told to come here.”
A few minutes later, Reggie was alone in the house. Using his phone’s flashlight, he peeked around, looking for any clues. Some old furniture looked like it had recently been used. Some ropes were on the ground, as well as a sweatshirt he recognized.
He slowly walked over and picked it up … “State University.” His wife’s sweatshirt. He lifted it to his face and took a long whiff.
“Katie…” Reggie whispered.
Underneath the sweatshirt was a large envelope. Reggie picked it up and opened it. Inside were several items – a letter, another envelope, and a photo of his wife, tied up and gagged and looking scared for her life.
With the letter in his hand, he opened the letter.
Your wife is safe and secure. For now. You’ve disappointed me, though. I thought you were better than this. It looks like this has turned into a game.
We will not be traveling with your wife from this point out. She’s going to be at a safe house, guarded heavily but unharmed. You will deliver what we need and you will start thinking about your wife. If you don’t, this could end very badly.
The enclosed tickets will get you to where you need to be. Once there, find locker 29. You’ll know how to decipher the combination as soon as you get there.
Do not disappoint us, Reggie. “
Reggie’s face turned red. He opened the envelope that had his ticket in it – Zurich.
“Switzerland? What could possibly be there?”
Reggie didn’t wait. The date on the tickets was today … four hours from now. He ran out of the house to find the owner.
“You know these streets better than I do … get me to the airport, please”
The house owner seemed a little worried but shook his head yes.
“I’m not sure why, but I feel like I have to help you. Let’s get going and I will get you there fast.”
Reggie hopped in the car and stared at the tickets heading to Switzerland. With his job, he always traveled with his passport. All he had with him was a small bag with a few items, so traveling light wouldn’t be a problem.
As night fully settled in on the city, the car sped toward the airport … but after that, Reggie had no idea what was in store for him.
T-shirt for the challenge
I am not sure if anybody is interested in a t-shirt commemorating the 2017 20 Days of Chill, but I decided to create one via Tee Spring in case people would like one. The options are a long-sleeve t-shirt and a short-sleeve t-shirt. The prices are set up so that as long as a couple are ordered, the shirt will be made. If you’ve never ordered from Tee Spring, it’s basically “crowd funded” and if the goal is hit, the shirt is made and shipped directly to the people who backed it.
You can see it here: https://tspr.ng/c/20-days-of-chill-2017-shirt.
If you want a shirt, go for it. If not, that’s cool, too. I’m going to order as I think it would be near to have the shirt, but can understand if others don’t want one.
This post is part of the 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge hosted by A ‘lil HooHaa. Please check out the link if you’d like to see others or join in. You don’t have to do every theme if you don’t want! And for those participating, take a moment and check out the other participants! You can see the 2017 themes by clicking here.