Going Under_ A Bill Roberts Thriller - Silas Payton
A Bill Roberts Thriller
I would like to dedicate this to my family...the centre of my universe.
"This traffic is driving me insane!"
Sarah was on her way to meet a girlfriend at their favourite coffee house. The Toronto traffic was predictably frustrating. A quick glance at the clock on the dash, then back to the braking truck in front of her. Four-twenty in the afternoon and already late, she had been swerving in and out of traffic to gain the slightest advantage, hoping that just past the next car, the traffic would magically be moving faster.
Her cell phone chirped at her.
She heard its characteristic chime, but didn't reach for it. With five blocks to go, she pulled into the turning lane and made a right at the lights. She should have kept going straight, but for some reason she started to relax as she drove in a different direction. Her friend would be waiting, but strangely, it didn't matter.
No longer in a panic, Sarah was calming down. "I just don't care anymore," she said to herself. She found herself heading back in the direction of home. She couldn't remember the last time she felt this good. No more heart racing. No concern of the traffic.
There was an awareness that the traffic wasn't much better, but Sarah felt like she was the only one on the road. The closer she got to home, the better she felt. She wasn't sure why, but she knew if she veered off course, the anxiety would return. There was nothing Sarah wanted more than to continue feeling this good, but in order for that to happen, she had to get home.
After driving for twenty minutes she pulled into the long driveway, pushed the remote button on the dash, and watched one of the three garage doors open. On her left, the Escalade, but the spot on her right was still vacant -- her husband's sports car not there yet. He wasn't normally home until five-thirty so this didn't strike her as strange. However, for some reason she was relieved.
Sitting in her car, she reflected on the past twenty minutes, not able to explain the strange feeling inside her. The clock on her dash turned five o'clock and she got out, entered the house and as she always did, put her keys on the holder by the door. She walked to the kitchen, grabbed a glass, filled it with chilled spring water from the water cooler, and went upstairs to the master bedroom.
In the bedroom, Sarah changed into her more comfortable clothes and her sense of peaceful contentment slowly intensified. She started to feel tired, like her limbs had doubled their weight. She had to sit. She walked to the large bedroom window and sat in one of the two recliners. The clock on the wall said five minutes after five. She stared at it, and watched the second hand move one second at a time. The rhythmic movement, coinciding with the barely perceptible ticking, seemed to draw every bit of her energy.
Sarah could hardly sit up any longer when the minute hand on the clock reached the ten. Then she said to herself, "Five-ten. Better get ready." She stood and walked down the hall into her husband's study. Sitting at his desk, Sarah opened the top drawer on the right. She pulled out a box and put it on top of the desk. The lid of the box lifted up on its hinge, exposing the Smith & Wesson handgun her husband trained her on.
"Always confirm the magazine is loaded," she remembered her husband saying. "Always make sure there's one in the barrel. And when you're ready, unlock the safety." Sarah flicked off the safety and stood up from the desk, with gun in hand.
The entrance from the garage opened into a large foyer. Beside the door was a small table for mail and keys. Opposite the doorway to the garage, on the other side of the foyer, was a sitting area with a wingback chair and a side table. On