The Doll Collector

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Chapter 43

Geoff had waited and listened after being trapped in the en-suite bathroom. He had heard the kidnapper leave the room, return for something, and then for the girl, and then leave for good. He suspected the man would flee the area as quickly as possible. In a rather odd series of selfish thoughts, he was pleased that unknown guests paid for their rooms in advance. This man has paid for two several hours prior to pointing a gun at his face.

His thoughts turned to his employee, Amanda, trapped in there with him. He could handle being imprisoned, but the young mother looked terrified. It was time to make a move. It wasn’t a large room and there was barely enough room for the two of them to stand in the floor space that wasn’t taken up by a bath, sink or toilet.

He shoved his body weight against the door with as much strength as he could muster, causing it to bend open until the heavy weight on the other side forced it closed again. He suspected that the furniture, purchased by him some months ago for its heavy, durable composition, was preventing their escape. He threw himself at the door another three times before giving up. He was getting nowhere.

He wiped his forehead with his palm and said, “I wouldn’t worry, Amanda. The police will surely be here before too long.”

He clenched his right hand into a fist and banged the underside of the door and the wall in various places in a methodical manner. The walls were thin.

“If I can find a weak spot, I can force a hole in the side.” He drew in a deep breath, realising that his previous exertion had taken more out of him than he had appreciated.

Amanda, who seemed to have calmed herself in a matter of seconds, possibly due to finding amusement in Geoff’s lunatic methods for trying to escape, spoke for the first time since their confinement. “Before you hurt yourself,” she said in a slightly patronising tone, “I have another way of getting out of here.” She pulled another mobile phone from her pocket. It looked newer than the one she had put on the bed.

Geoff’s mouth dropped open slightly and he stared at the item in her hand. “You have another phone?!”

She shrugged. “My old contract was expiring, and I signed up for a new one. For a couple of weeks I’ve had two phones.” She paused and smiled, tapping the phone against her chin. “I had thought it was an inconvenience to carry two phones, but now I’m starting to think it’s a good idea.”

She quickly unlocked it and called the emergency services, updating them on their current predicament.

Geoff was relieved that he could save himself the difficulty and danger of kicking or punching through a thin wall, risking injury from shards of cheap plastic, as well as the cost of the repairs.

Knowing his part-time cleaner had already called the police with regards to the missing girl, Geoff was expecting freed within a few minutes.

He looked at his watch as news stories of slow police response times flashed across the forefront of his mind. He borrowed Amanda’s phone and called the neighbouring guest house owner with whom he had built up a good friendship.

Within two minutes they had been freed from their cramped surroundings by their concerned neighbour. After a further five minutes, Geoff and Amanda were sitting drinking coffee, attempting to settle their nerves. Gun-toting, maniacal guests were not part of everyday life in their often sleepy seaside guest house.

They hoped the mad man and his hostage would be too far away after those few minutes to further disrupt their usually quiet life.

Geoff was utterly convinced they would never see or hear from that man again. With any luck, the rest of the day would return to the sleepy pace, typical of their seaside business in the winter months.

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