Chapter 8 (2)

I was still asking myself that question as I gathered up the pills and pushed them into a Ziploc bag that my mother held.  “Now be sure to get each one of these refilled.”  I grabbed the old bottle of Tylenol, “Take this too because I want you to be sure to get gel caps.  I hate those other kind.”  I hoped my monologue sounded convincing.
“Well, I’m glad you’re back home,” my mother stated like I’d prompted her to do.
“Don’t get used to it.  I’ll sleep here tonight but then I’m taking off to stay two weeks at that retreat in the mountains.”  I hoped by announcing I’d only be home one day, that I’d force the kidnappers’ hand.  They couldn’t inflict more punishment on me if they didn’t know where to find me.  If they hadn’t bugged my house, the charade would be useless but I felt sure they had.  They knew entirely too much.
I brought the plant into my bedroom and sat it down on my desk where the camera would cover the entire room.  “I’m going to relax and read that new book I bought,” I said to my mother.
She nodded and told me goodbye.  She carefully locked the door and pulled it shut.  She’d done a great job.  If anyone were watching they wouldn’t guess I was locked inside.
A shiver of fear trickled down my spine.  I’d have nowhere to go if someone decided to come after me.  I took a breath and tried to relax.  As nervous as my mother was, I felt certain she’d stay glued to the laptop I’d set up in a motel room nearby that was broadcasting the footage from the nanny cam.  She questioned having to stay in the motel room instead of her house but she’d eventually given in.  If the kidnappers knew me and had bugged my house, they could have bugged hers too.  I wasn’t taking any chances.  You’re sounding exactly like a paranoid mental case.  Maybe, but soon I’d know if I could trust myself again I thought.
The hours crawled by and I struggled not to call my mom and beg her to let me out.  I’m not claustrophobic but the thought of being locked in began to wear on my nerves and I started to experience a taste of the fear.  I also put off going to the bathroom as long as possible.
Finally, I had to give in.  I left the bathroom door open, as I didn’t want them to suspect why I wasn’t leaving the room.  I picked up the novel again and forced myself to concentrate on the story.  After a while, I lost myself in the mystery and relaxed.  I actually grew sleepy and decided to lie down on the bed.
When I awoke, sunlight was streaming in through the windows.  I glanced at the nightstand clock.  It was five a.m.  I yawned; surprised I had slept so soundly.  All the driving and stress from yesterday had exhausted me more than I’d thought.  I had told Mom to return at seven to unlock the door.  I figured if I’d had any visitors they’d have come and gone by then.  I fought the urge to pace and plucked the second new novel I’d bought from my desk.  Only two hours to go.
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I glanced at the clock again.  6:50, not too much longer now.  Unfortunately, the second novel wasn’t living up to its advertising.  Each minute seemed to drag by.  I forced myself to finish another chapter.  Eventually, I heard the floorboards outside the bedroom squeak.  She’d come at last.  It was 7:02.
I had to fight an urge to run to the door.  Instead I waited on the bed, pretending nonchalance.  When the door opened, I saw my mother’s face was pale and strained.  “What’s happened?”  I asked, a lump of fear forming in my throat.
I noticed the thin piece of paper clutched in her hand.  I removed it from her fist.  She didn’t say a word.
I read the words in horror.  Liz, why don’t you tell the police where you put their bodies?  I sank to the bed and dropped the paper.  I watched in a trance as it floated to the floor.
I snapped out of the fog, jumping up and grabbing my mother’s arm, pulling her out the front door.  I didn’t say a word until we’d walked a considerable distance into the woods.
She began crying, “Lizzy, you didn’t-”
“No!”  I said loudly.  “How could you even think it for a moment?”  I glanced back at the house.  “Stay here.”  I went into the bedroom, picked up the note, and put it in my pocket.
I rejoined my mother on the edge of the woods.  “Let’s go,” I said.  We both got into Chris’ truck and headed for the motel she’d stayed the night at.  I kept glancing in the rear view mirror but no one appeared to be following us.  Were they dead?  My hands shook and the tears slipped down my cheeks as I gripped the steering wheel tightly.

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