Frankie Fey

by Rigby Taylor

Chapter 25


At eight o'clock on a cool and clear evening, Sylvan parked his nondescript little Honda a few metres from Con and Ingenio's Toyota, in an empty car park that serviced the same boat ramp they'd used the previous time. Pretending not to know them, he wandered casually down to the river. A gibbous moon cast deep shadows that could easily have concealed watchers. House lights from the other side made jigsaw reflections in the rippling water. To his right he could just make out the Thrope house where the river curved slightly to the north. A light seemed to be burning in the top-floor room. Taking deep breaths to calm his nerves he watched the others unload the dinghy, wished them good fishing, then set off at a trot back to the road. Ten minutes later he was pressing a buzzer beside an impressive steel door set into the wall.

'Take one step back and a little to the right,' a female voice commanded. He did so and noticed for the first time the winking lens of concealed cameras.


'Martyn Hill.'

'Hold your disc to the camera.'

Sylvan obeyed.

'When the buzzer sounds, push on the left bottom of the door.'

An opening large enough for a dog, slid aside. He crawled through, straightened up and walked, not ran, the fifty metres along a concrete path to a grand wooden door that opened into an oval atrium the height of the building. A wide spiral staircase just off centre that appeared to be made of nothing but glass and thin steel rods, didn't look either stable or strong enough to support the weight of a human. The atrium floor was laid with hexagonal terracotta tiles and the walls were faced with white polished stone. Three closed doors were solid stained wood, and the ceiling twelve metres above was darkly reflective; probably glass.

An open gallery encircled the first floor. He counted five doors, one of which was open and emitting the strident strains of a military march. Sylvan hoped it belonged to the room with a balcony. Lighting was concealed and at the level of dimness when you can see, but not clearly enough to be certain you're not in danger.

'Good evening, Martyn.'

Sylvan spun around; surprised he hadn't noticed the woman sitting primly on a comfortable couch to the left of the entrance.

'Do you know what to do?'

'Yes, thanks.' He removed all his clothes, placed them on a small table beside the couch, then stood in front of Marie who took hold of his penis and pressed a tube against it. A slight prick, then a tingling sensation as the injection of papaverine relaxed nearby blood vessels, increasing blood flow and triggering an erection. Then, following Vic's instructions, he presented his body for inspection.

Marie was thorough. Peeled his foreskin back from an already turgid member, pulled his cheeks apart to reveal a freshly scrubbed anus, and probed to check for goodness knows what. Then toes, fingernails, ears, teeth were checked. It felt like being in primary school again with Miss Dickey; a bodily hygiene freak.

'Do you mind me doing this?'

'No, you're very professional and security is essential for wealthy people. I'd do something similar if I were employing a stranger after-hours at home. Do you mind doing it?'

'Not to you, but most of the men your age are not so pleasant to touch.'

'I gather I've passed inspection, then?' He smiled.

The smile she returned was cautious as she peeled off her surgical gloves. 'You passed. Now, remember to relax and do as you are told and you'll be fine. I have already informed Miss Thrope that you are not Vic.'

'Was she annoyed?'

Marie got to her feet and moved towards the stairs. Of average height she looked to be in her late thirties - early forties, wearing a tailored beige dress and sensible shoes that showed off well-turned legs and a neat figure. Her wavy greying hair framed a pleasant motherly face devoid of makeup, at odds with sharp, almost glittering eyes. She peered into Sylvan's as if probing his mind, speaking slowly and very clearly. 'Not annoyed and not very surprised; which surprised me.'

Sylvan's heart thumped. Why did that seem like a warning? 'When do I get paid,' he asked truculently. It would ring alarm bells if he didn't seem interested in the money.

Maria produced an envelope. He checked the contents, then handed it back for her to put with his clothes. She checked her watch. 'Ok, up you go.'

Naked, Sylvan's strength and confidence had returned. Since living with Karmai and the others he'd grown to dislike the restriction of clothing, whose sole rational function was protection of the body in action and chairs in a house. In both fighting and working they were an impediment to movement and thinking, as well as giving opponents a handhold in close combat. He was entering a hostile space about which he knew nothing, so he had to be at the top of his form with all abilities and senses intact and available. Tossing out all doubts, feeling both mentally and physically powerful, he took the steps three at a time, then walked proudly through the partially opened door, which closed automatically behind him.

The music stopped.

An armchair in the centre of the surprisingly small room was the only furniture. It was facing the door and occupied by the shadowy figure of Miss Thrope. Obeying Vic's instructions, he stood close in front of her, hands on hips, manhood thrusting, gazing around the room while avoiding looking at her, which wasn't easy as she immediately busied herself with an unpleasantly invasive exploration of his body.

To his relief, this was the room with the sliding door and balcony. In fact, that was the only opening. The curtains he had glimpsed the other day had been removed, leaving opaque glass that reflected the room dully. The frame of the slider was solid steel, not the flimsy aluminium that can be lifted by a child and removed. And the lock looked very solid. No one without a battering ram would be able to get through that door from the outside. But was it possible to break out from inside?

A soft metallic clunk from behind, interrupted his thoughts. A second clunk at the sliding door in front of him was accompanied by the turning of the locking mechanism; a tiny red light glowed beside it to indicate its state. Both doors had been electronically locked. He was trapped. Anne Thrope hadn't left her seat, so Marie must have activated them from below. She was probably watching now on a screen in her room. Sylvan shook his head in disappointed surprise. She had looked so pleasant.

Suddenly he screamed and leaped back, staring down at his bleeding scrotum. 'What the fuck were you doing woman!'

Thrope was inspecting her nails from which blood dripped. 'I was trying to tear your balls off, Sylvan.'

'You can't…' he stopped. She'd called him Sylvan. He stared into the grinning half-face and snarled. 'My name's Martyn.

'And your boyfriend's Karmai and he's a friend of Buddy, who is going to pay me a visit as soon as I've disposed of you.' She laughed at his fury. 'I own Colonial Chambers, Sylvan. Do you really think I wouldn't keep an eye on that black bastard? He used the anti-discrimination act to prevent me firing him when I bought the place.' She stared at her prisoner. 'No man will ever tell me what I can and can't do. If they try they'll end up like you.' Her hollow, mirthless laugh sent a shaft of cold fear through his belly. 'You men are pathetic. Your friend Frankie asked me ever so politely to give my properties back.' She threw her head back and laughed again.

Taking his chance, Sylvan leaped forward and threw a punch at her head, only to have his arm slashed with the sharp edge of a stick that had miraculously appeared in Thrope's right hand. The cut was slight, but the blood was annoying. She laughed again, brandishing the stick. It was about a metre long, slim and obviously lightweight, with a bulb at one end and, he realised with a shock, a three-bladed cutting wheel at the other.

'This is my latest toy, Sylvan. Look how light it is.' She waved it around. 'And look what it can do.' A high-pitched hum filled the room as the blades began to spin ever faster until they were but a blur. 'Do you know about inertia, Sylvan? Although this little thing doesn't deliver much torque, the speed of the blades makes up for it. They'll slice right through your flesh and a fair way through the bone before stopping. I tried it on the neighbour's yappy dog. Head off in two seconds.' She advanced slowly, brandishing the humming instrument. 'Death by a thousand cuts sounds so exotic, doesn't it? Probably doesn't feel very romantic though. I think I'll start at the top—first your ears, then fingers, then nose, then lips and so on.' she laughed again and lunged.

Just in time Sylvan leaped back. But the room was small, only about five metres square so she could stand in the middle, take a step and swing and reach most of the room, while he had to duck and weave and cower and jump to avoid the whirling blades. She lunged again and he miscalculated. A cut to his shoulder began weeping red. He had felt nothing.

Keeping to the edge of the room, he managed to avoid the sweeping, swirling blades, but it was clear she wasn't really trying. A sudden lunge opened a shallow gash in his thigh. He couldn't keep this up. Another swing and the pad at the tip of his little finger disappeared.

This was getting serious. Time to do something. He dodged successfully for a couple of minutes, manoeuvring her far enough from the chair so he could make a dive for it, slithering across the floor. Thrope's haymaker swing had it's own inertia that put her slightly off balance, giving Sylvan just enough time to grab the seat cushion and hurl it into the path of the blades on their return.

If the cushion had been firm it'd have been sliced to shreds, but the blades jammed in the thick, soft foam, twisting the handle and causing Thrope to stagger slightly. Sylvan sprang forward and slammed a tightly balled fist into the bridge of her nose, smashing the bone. With a howl of anguish she swung the rotor scythe blindly. Sylvan grabbed the shaft and landed a solid punch to the side of the mad woman's head. She dropped to the floor, along with the still whirring blades, which nicked her ankle. Out cold, she felt nothing. Sylvan turned the thing off, stripped off her clothes, used bits to tie her hands and feet together, then tried to open the door to the stairs.


A metallic click from behind made him turn. The red light was off and the lock to the balcony had opened. How? Why? No time to wonder. Hoisting the sagging, dead weight onto his hip he leaned over the balcony. The razor wire was directly below, so there was no chance of hitting that. But the edge of the water was a good metre beyond. The dingy with Con, Frankie and Karmai on board was waiting in the shadows to the left. The balcony rail was roughly ten metres above the water, but there was no way he could throw the floppy heavy body far enough to hit the water.

Keeping hold of her arm, he climbed onto the handrail, dragged her up and clasped her sideways across his chest in a tight embrace, squatted, then with all his force sprang out horizontally, not wasting energy on gaining unnecessary extra height.

When she hit the water he let go, and fell just beyond her, his foot grazing her. His cuts immediately began to sting. Without pausing to chat, he swam back towards the boat ramp. He was halfway there when the dingy pulled alongside, Frankie tossed him a rope and he was towed the rest of the way.

Ingenio was waiting in the darkness ready to help them put the moaning body in the Toyota and lash the dingy on the roof, then both vehicles drove quietly away, hoping they'd not been seen.

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