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A little excerpt:
I had no idea how long I’d been unconscious, but when I awoke I really had to pee. My wrists were bound in front of me with plastic strips cutting into my flesh. The strips weren’t real Flex-Cuffs. They were more like flimsy garbage bag ties. The room was moving round me. When it finally slowed, I focused on the face of Dame Judi Dench and then a second Dame Judi. It was enough to make me forget about my bladder. There were two kidnappers with me, both wearing masks. One Judi wore a pinstripe brown suit and was at least fifty pounds overweight; the other wore khaki shorts and had skinny knees like a baby elephant and ears to match.
I jumped to my feet shrieking at them. “Algy Green, I’d recognize you anywhere! And Nobby Seemore? Idiots! Take off the masks! Let me go you fools.” I was looking at a matched set of morons. I rubbed my face. “I must have ‘kidnap me’ stamped on my forehead, or are you all members of some eccentric kidnappers’ cult?”
Algy walked toward me with his hands on his hips. “Keep it down. Nobby may look like a side of beef, but he can be lethal. So just watch your mouth, missy!”
They took off their masks, powder fluming from both heads.
“Is that hair thing genetic?” I asked as I nodded at the clouds around their noggins.
“No… it’s just talcum powder.”
Nobby grabbed me and pushed me back into the wooden kitchen chair.
“We’re experienced at interrogation and will torture you if we have to. If you want to leave here with all your fingernails, you’ll tell us what you know about the Lost Boy.
“My fingernails are acrylic. They pop off.”
The kidnappers looked at each other. “We’ll think of something else. I’m warning you Nobby’s a sociopath.” Algy nodded his head at the tub of lard trying to look dangerous.
“How do you even know what a sociopath is?”
“Psychology is my hobby. I took a correspondence course. I’m rather good at it. Like I could tell from our first meeting you were attracted to me.”
If my hands had been free, I’d have wrung my face, but I smiled on the inside. This was going to be easy-peasy. I checked out the surroundings. We were in a seedy flat with a pull-down bed and a tin kitchen table with three mismatched chairs. A roach scrambled across the floor.
“If you don’t talk, we’ll hold you hostage until that archaeologist brings us the thirteenth Boy.”
“This dump is unacceptable! Couldn’t you find a nicer place to hold me hostage? You’re in violation of the Geneva Convention.”
Nobby looked around as if seeing the place for the first time. “Sorry. We rented it by the day. It was all we could afford.”
“I’ve been held hostage for weeks on a super-yacht with gourmet food. This slum is the best you can do? Untie me or I’ll … well it won’t be pleasant. I have friends in high places.” I struggled with the plastic bindings that held my wrists together.
The room was hot, airless, and aromatic “Wait! I smell fish ‘n’ chips!” I said jumping from my seat.
Nobby snapped, “Shut up, Goldilocks, or I’ll stuff a sock in your mouth.”
Algy and I both did a double take as Nobby tried to talk thug.
I laughed. “I’ll bet you don’t own a sock.” I managed to poke his chest with one finger. “And don’t you touch me again, you bloody ape.”
“That’s not very nice. You don’t know me well enough to call me names,” Nobby said.
Algy’s ears flapped as he forced me back onto the chair.
“You forgot to superglue your ears.” He pushed my chair over, and my head hit the slimy floor. I scrambled to stand up.
I was so woozy, I almost passed out – not just from hitting my head and whatever they used to knock me out, but it was oven-hot in the tiny room. Not a fan or an open window. If it was over one hundred degrees on the street, it had to be twenty more in the flat. I took a deep breath to clear the cobwebs. “Look guys… I don’t know where the Lost Boy is. But I’m to check in with Roger at exactly… what time is it?”
Nobby looked at his watch. “Ten minutes after twelve.”
“Thanks. At exactly ten minutes after twelve. He is going to tell me where the Lost Boy is. Hand me my purse. I’ll call him.”
They looked at each other and shrugged. Algy lifted my purse from the floor and handed it to me.
“How about cutting these bracelets off so I can reach my phone?”
“Nope.” Algy gave his head a quick shake, causing his ears to flap. “I’ll get your phone out.”
I tugged the bag away. “Get your germy hands off!”