Abduction Part 1

Posted: December 1, 2010 by Ty in Rex O'Neil Mysteries

            The fog had covered the highway just up the hill from the creek bed.  The drought though had left it little more than a water trickle over rocks. The jeep’s high beams were not slicing through the pea soup for much visibility when the lights came down through the sky.

            The driver, Melvin, was a middle aged, slightly obese, balding, librarian.  The lights shimmered through the front windshield causing Melvin to vanish from behind the wheel.

            The jeep was found in the morning at the bottom of the hill in the creek bed.

48 hours later.

            Marjorie Loo, Melvin’s wife had attempted to file a police report on her missing husband who vanished on the stretch of highway coming home from a conference in Banff, AB to Calgary, AB.  The police gave her a case number and not much else.

            So here I am, in my woollies, standing in a drying up creek bed with the first snow of the season falling down around me. Why was I dumb enough to take this case?  Oh right, simple things like paying rent.

            They had removed the jeep wreckage, but from what I gathered weather conditions two nights ago were dense fog conditions. So he could have just gone off the road, but then would he have stumbled off into the woods?  Howls of coyotes.  Time for a bit of a hike.  Checking the ground like I know what it means to track a man, but there is nothing to note signs of someone as large as Melvin was described (5’6” 350 pounds) had moved through here. So essentially I had nothing, might as well head back to the town site and see if any one in Banff had an idea about what had happened to Mr. Melvin Loo.

            The Provincial Convention of Librarians was held at the Banff Centre. A great complex up the mountain, from town you cut through the graveyard and walk up the mountainside.  There is multiple buildings and it is a weird mixture of business people and artists living in residence and taking courses.  Make my way to the main building and the front desk.  I flash my private investigator’s license to the young 18 year old red head working behind the desk and she gushes.

            “Wow a real PI, that is so cool.  How can I help you Mr. O’Neil?” Last guy in my family that used “Mr. O’Neil” was my great-grandfather, way to make me feel old kid.  I pull out the picture of Melvin and show it to her to see if his image rings any bells.

            “His wife has hired me to find him, he left here 50 hours ago to return home to Calgary, and never made it.” She looks like a deer in the headlights about the question.  What’s wrong here? Am I speaking Klingon?

            “He doesn’t look familiar.” I push a little bit more; ask her if there was anyone else I could talk to that worked here.  She declined saying that the weekend had the Librarian Convention and then it had been quiet, most of the weekend staff were not here.

            “Would it be possible to see the room he was staying in?”

She makes a quick phone call, and a “mature” looking Caucasian male in a decent three piece suit comes to the front desk to talk to me.  “Hello, you must be Mr. O’Neil.”

            I cringe a little, “Please, call me Rex, and you are?”

“Tom, Rex look I can understand Mrs. Loo’s concern over her missing husband, but we have just rented out his room and it would be an unfair inconvenience to the new guest to have some non-law enforcement individual nosing around.”

            Ah this bloke Tom is rather polite, even if he is giving one the ultimate brush off.  “Thank you for your help.” I leave and just decide to stroll around the grounds on my own and nose around.  There is something fishy going on here, and it is not just because he mentioned someone else had rented the room yet I had not seen enough cars around to stipulate this place was full.

            I text the missing man’s wife a simple message.

                        Do you know which room was his?

            She sends back a simpler answer.

                        27.

I head into the main lodge and move “stealthily” up to the second floor. Room 27, okay shall I freak out the unsuspecting? A light knock “Room service” does this place even have room service? The lack of an answer, a bit of a heavy shoulder and voila the door opens.

            The room is spotless; obviously it had just been cleaned.

The sound of fireworks…makes no sense.

            But the flying bullets through the window do. Duck behind the bed. Who would be shooting at me in Banff? This is crazy, a guy vanishes on the highway and now someone is shooting at me.

            So what the hell was this librarian into?

“Hey Mr. Gun Toting shooter, Rex O’Neill here, can you please cease and desist the shooty shooty.” A bit of silence, could this guy actually be listening to my lame ass attempt to stop the bullets from turning me into Swiss cheese?

            Crunching sounds, the shooter is approaching the window, okay a peripheral check, the window frame as there is not much glass left and no sirens.  I really have stepped into something here.

            “Mr. O’Neill, please rise from your cowering.”

Rise from my cowering? We are in freakin’ Canada and someone is shooting at me with what feels like a Prohibited Firearm, what the hell does he expect?

            I push myself up from behind the bed; there are bullets in the walls. “I am looking for Mr. Loo.” Okay this is awkward.

            “Who are you?”

“My name is Sinbad.” Always the name I pictured from a man with a Slovakian accent that looks like a bald Sylvester Stallone.  Things never cease to amaze me.

            “Mr. Loo is missing, so why the fuck are you shooting at him?!”

“Please do not curse sir, I have a half million Euro contract to eliminate Mr. Loo.”

            “Why?”

“He kn—“ a burst of energy and I think I just got showered with particle puke of `Sinbad’.

To Be Continued…

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