By Frank Fessler

Chapter 7


    Penny continued, flipping from one channel to the next, hoping, somehow, someone would be listening. She was getting hoarse and ready to quit when someone finally answered, “This is Agent Hansen, FBI, at Ranger Station 18, can I be of assistance?” It was a male voice, sounded roughly forty with a mild Southern twang.

 “Thank God!” Penny exclaimed, “Finally! You will not believe the kind of day I’ve had.” She told Agent Hanson about her run ins with both Hooper and the nefarious female Ranger. She concluded with, “So are my friends there yet?’

 “Not just yet, dear. We’ll keep an eye out for them. We know that Hooper is in this vicinity, so the FBI has turned this station into a temporary base. We’ll send one of our boys over to pick you up and take you back here, you’ll be safe with us. His name is Henderson, he’s with the FBI. He’s got on a dark trench coat, he’s about 6’1 with curly dark hair, glasses, and mustache. Don’t let anyone else in, okay, hun?”

 “Got it. I’ll be right here waiting. Over and out.”

    Penny immediately trusted the tall man with dark curly hair when he knocked upon the door. He looked just as the Southern agent on the radio said he would. Nonetheless, the man felt the need to identify himself, “Agent Henderson, FBI.” He flashed his badge, “I’m here to take you to ranger station 18.” Penny obliged, and followed the man into the Jeep. As they drove up the dark gravel driveway, Agent Henderson asked her to explain all she knew about the skyjacker known as Hooper. “He’s a big, ugly, awfully frightening man,” Penny said. She went onto describe all that had taken place, how Hooper tied them to trees, their rescue at the hands of the boy scouts, the evil female Ranger that handcuffed them together. “Any idea where this man is now?” Agent Henderson asked. Penny shook her head, “No. But if he knows the area, he’ll take route 69.”

 “Why would he do that?”

 “Because, it’s the fastest way out of these woods. Just 15 miles north and he’s on I-99, and 20 minutes on that and he’ll be at the Moor Train Station. There’s a couple gas stations on the way, too.”

    By now they had reached the small cabin that was Ranger Station 18. They walked up to the door, which Agent Henderson opened, “After you.”

    Penny stared, gape-mouthed, at what she saw in the cabin. Her two friends were both inside, tied-up and gagged. They were tied to chairs. Each girl’s pair of wrists had been pulled through the slats in the chair’s back, their wrist were crossed and tied together, then the remaining rope slack had been tied to one of the rungs between the chair’s back legs. Their ankles were crossed, tied together, then their bound feet were tied to one of the front legs of their respective chairs. The girls looked almost as if they were perfect ladies, sitting with their ankles crossed and off to the side. They’d been gagged with long strips of leftover parachute silk that stuffed their mouths until they bulged.

 “What on Earth!”

 “Inside.” Penny turned around to see Hooper, pistol in his right hand, curly black wig in his left. “Inside, my lady. Join your friends.”







Back to What’s New