By Dan Leicht
Splints remembered how the young gun told him the foster parents had locked the kid out. Someone had let themselves in. He walked slowly into the apartment, leaving the door ajar instead of creaking it closed. Inside was darker than it was out in the streets, the glow of the moon better than no light at all. Not knowing the surroundings he had no choice but to give up whatever cover he may have had, he felt the walls for a light switch. Before he could find one the lights flickered on. Splints found himself staring into the barrel of a shotgun. From behind a hard hit from brass covered knuckles sends Splints to the ground, his head bleeding.
“This guys wasn’t part of the plan was he?” Splints heard a voice say through a haze. He was regaining consciousness and realizing he couldn’t move his arms or legs. He’d been bound to a chair.
“I take it neither of you are going to offer me an aspirin?” said Splints as he began to tug on the ropes binding his hands together. They weren’t tied by professionals.
“Who are you? And what’d you do with Roy?” asked the taller of the two men, each of them dressed in black.
“I take it Roy is the one I used as a stepping stool. He’s taking a nap on the dumpster down below. Don’t worry, he’s dreaming about unicorns and fairies,” replied Splints as he managed to free his right hand from the ropes. “I take it the three of you are a package deal? Brothers probably. Should have skipped this job, you’d have been better off.”
“Yeah right. The payday on this job will have us sets for years.”
“You’re not getting paid.” Splints frees his left hand, keeping them both behind the chair, holding the ropes tight so the brothers don’t see them fall to the floor.
“You planning on stopping us, old man?” The shorter brother holding the shotgun walks up to Splints and places the barrel against his forehead. Splints lets go of the ropes and catches the brother off guard as he grabs the gun and pulls him foreword. A sharp pain stuns Splints forehead as he bashes it into the skull of the gunman. With the brother knocked out he yanked the gun from his hands and aimed it at the taller brother.
“Untie my feet for me, will you?”
Splints stands up as the tall brother backs away, his hands up in the air in surrender. Using the barrel of the gun as a pointer he motions the attacker towards the chair. The brother sits down and Splints returns the favor he’d received earlier as he knocks the man out. He ties them both up, one in the chair and the other on the floor behind it.
Around the inside of the apartment there are pictures of the young boy alongside his foster parents. In each one they all look so happy; it seems odd they’d want to get rid of him. A blanket tossed lazily on the sofa suggests that’s where the boy had been sleeping. Splints makes his way over to the dressers lining the walls of the one bedroom apartment. His unwanted guests had been hiding in the bedroom when he had entered.
Top drawer of the dresser closest to the bed Splints picked up an envelope sealed tight with spit. As he opened it one of the brothers came to. “Let…let us go.”
“No can do,” replied Splints as he started to rip the top off the envelope. He read the letter inside to himself as the brother struggled to get free, crying out. Splints walked over and stuffed a sock from one of the drawers into the wide mouth of the brother.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Brown,
We have received your complaints about the boy you have adopted, Edward Franklin, and would like to remind you the stipulations to the adoption. You agreed to take the boy in exchange for a large sum of money. We understand he isn’t the easiest child to handle due to his…abilities, but you signed a contract and must take care of him until his eighteenth birthday.
– Mother Margaret
“That answers a few questions…while raising a few others.” After reading the letter Splints walked over and removed the sock from the would-be-assassin’s mouth. “What are the kid’s abilities?” he asked.
“Let me go and I’ll tell you!” Splints punched him in the gut while wearing the brass knuckles the man had hit him with earlier. “He…” the man coughed blood onto his lap. “…can.” The man passed out again before he could finish.
“I really have to calm down with the punching bag, getting too good in my old age.”
With another clue in his had Splints headed for the door.
Splints turns around at the mention of his name. Had the man awoken so soon?
“Detective Charles Splints, I slipped the address under your door so you could find me.”
“What’s going on here…” asked Splints as he walked up to the man he’d knocked out with the brass just moments before.
“You’ve done well so far, but I’m not safe yet. My foster parents have their reward and no longer need to care for me. I need your help in escaping.”
©Dan Leicht 2015