Summary: When Charlie realizes the criminal behind a murder at the crime scene, the murderer kidnaps him. By threatening the life of Charlie, Don, and Alan, Charlie complies to his wishes. Though only captured for several hours, it's enough to traumatize Charlie, making him resort to almost child-like actions. Can Charlie overcome this traumatizing event? Will he let Don and Alan help him get through it?
As always, I do not own the characters from Numb3rs. If you don't recognize a character, it's probably mine.
50 Different methods of torture
10 pairs of related victims
9 Hours gone missing
1 Traumatizing event
We arrived at the scene of a murder. It was actually two murders. There had been a chain of twenty murders like this one. Strangely, every time there was another murder, there were two victims and they'd be related, usually being brothers or sisters.
Don didn't want me coming along, but I felt the need to come. I wanted to get all of the information I could and being at the crime scene gave me that.
I followed behind Megan. Don was talking to the man who called it in.
I gasped, stepping back. Megan had gone inside the house to the bodies of the two girls. I hadn't expected the way they looked.
Their skin was torn, burned, and bruised. One of the girls had no fingers and the other had no toes. Blood spilled around them.
There had been no bullet. No shot through the head. They had died from the torture the killer had inflicted upon them.
The girls looked worse than any other victim I had seen. The other victims had been bad, too, but seeing them up close was worse.
Their torture must have been endless. Both girls had so many wounds they were too numerous to count. I noticed something white showing on on of the girls' arms and found that it was her bone.
I had to turn away.
I went back to the van to wait on them. I took in the surrounding area. It wasn't much different from the last. It was strange, though, because this time we had found them where he had done the torturing. Usually, he would dump the bodies together and we would have a lot of trouble finding any DNA samples or finger prints from the killer.
I looked around. It was too unlike him to leave them where he'd been before.
"Hey, guys, I found some photos. We've identified them as some of the other victims."
So this was his place, where he'd torture people until they died. Why would he let us find his place like this? There was so much evidence.
"Don!" I screamed, running toward him.
He turned briefly, then went back to talking to the person who called it in.
I made it to his side and I grabbed his arm.
"Don! He's not that far! We caught him by-"
"Charlie, I'm busy! Stop interrupting."
Don wouldn't listen to me. This was important!
I saw Megan over by the van and I rushed to her side.
"Megan, about the murderer. He's here. He didn't get too far. We caught him by surprise."
"I'm sorry, Charlie, but I have to get back to work. Why don't you tell Don what you have?" She suggested as she walked back to the house.
I leaned against the van. This was getting me no where. What if he was still around? We could catch this guy if someone would just listen to me.
"Move an inch and you're dead," A sinister voice spoke behind me.
"Back away from the van slowly."
I moved, but I looked frantically at Don. He was too busy talking to notice.
"Don't even think about calling for help."
I got to the end of the van and was grabbed roughly from behind.
The man put his hand over my mouth so I couldn't scream.
"In case you're wondering, the thing that's poking you in the back is a gun, and it is loaded."
He dragged me away as I went limp with fear.
I stepped away from Hank Grand. He had called in the site where we had found the two victims.
I looked around for Charlie. He had seemed eager to talk to me, but I had gotten annoyed with how he had interrupted me. He should know better than that. I knew he shouldn't have come.
"Hey, Megan, have you seen Charlie?" I asked as I came up behind her.
"I saw him a few minutes ago. He was over by the van."
I went out to the van, but Charlie wasn't there.
"Charlie!" I called out, looking around.
I saw David not to far away. I ran up to him.
"David, I can't find Charlie. Have you seen him?"
"No, not since we got here."
"Help me look!"
I ran around the house and Charlie was still no where to be found.
David came out of the house, shaking his head.
"He wasn't in there."
I went back to the van, looking for any sign that he left.
In the dirt driveway, I found sneaker prints. Charlie had been wearing sneakers.
But then I saw another set of footprints. They looked like a type of boot print.
Not too far off there were scrape marks, where someone had been dragged.
I thought back to what Charlie had been telling me. What had he said?
Don! He's not that far...
"Find anything?" David asked, coming to my side.
"Charlie's been abducted."
I shook with fear from the passenger's seat.
The man, the murderer, had taken me to his car. We sped away so fast I could hardly get my seat belt on.
I learned that his name was Carl. That was all he'd tell me.
I rubbed my head where he had hit me. He used the barrel of the gun to knock me out when I tried to run. I could feel the blood spilling from the side of my head.
"Where are you taking me?" I asked in a high-pitched voice.
"That's for me to know and you to find out." He laughed, a laugh so evil it sent chills up my spine.
We drove on in silence. I watched as the cars disappeared quickly as we past them going at least ninety miles per hour.
"You got a brother, kid?"
I paused before answering. This guy killed brothers and sisters. If he knew about Don...
"No. I'm an only child."
He reached over and hit me.
"Liar! I know you have a brother. He's the one you were talking to. I could see it on your face, on his face, too. You kept looking to him when I took you away. And by the look of it, you're the younger brother too."
I flinched. If he knew I had a brother, would he go after Don?
"Any other immediate family members?"
I s hook my head.
He hit me again.
"Tell the truth!"
"My... my father."
Oh, God, why did I tell him about Dad?
"Interesting. You know I've thought up fifty different ways to torture people. You'd be surprised at some of the things I've done. Maybe I can practice some new ones on you."
Carl laughed at my fear.
"Why do you always go after brothers or sisters?" I asked, though I probably didn't want to know.
"I had a brother. His name was Todd. He made the wrong decision about me. He didn't really care. I was kidnapped when I was fifteen. Then, before he'd let me go, the kidnapper got Todd, too. You would think he wouldn't be able to get my eighteen-year-old brother, especially with him knowing that I was kidnapped. He brought Todd in to see me and gave him a choice. He would let me go if he could keep Todd instead. My brother chickened out. He didn't even look at me. He said, 'Keep the kid. Let me go.' It was all it took for me to hate my brother. When I got out, when the police finally caught up with the kidnapper, Todd didn't even apologize. Mom and Dad didn't know he had ever been taken, because he was released only an hour after being caught. Todd didn't even tell the cops where I was taken." He laughed bitterly. "But I got him back. I got him back good."
I shivered. I knew what he meant. He had killed Todd.
"So now I do this. It's fun seeing who actually trusts their sibling and who doesn't. I turn them against each other, unless they're really close. You think your brother would turn against you?"
I shook my head. Don would never turn against me. He was probably on his way to get me now.
"That's what some of the others thought, too. But they were wrong. I make the watch each other get hurt. I think that's what kills them the fastest, unless, of course, they're not so close. Then they actually enjoy it. It only happened once that they enjoyed it. They had some serious problems. Later, they seemed to work it out. See, I help them get through their problems."
"And then kill them."
He smiled wickedly. "Exactly."
We drove on in silence once more. He broke it.
"You know, I could kill you right now. It would be so easy. You're weak and defenseless. But I have options. Yeah, I've got a lot of options. I could hold you for ransom. I could use you to get whatever I wanted. Sure, the cops would catch me eventually, but I could milk you for all you're worth. But, that would be too easy on you. I could take you and torture you alone. Or, I could get your brother and torture you together. You could watch him hurt, hear him cry out in pain. Then again, I could get your father, too, and torture all three of you together. But the option I like best is I torture and kill your brother and leave you alone. Then you can go home to Dad and tell him how you watched your brother die and how it's all your fault. Also, I could kill them both, set you free. You'd be dead within a day. You'd commit suicide an I wouldn't have to worry about a thing. That'd be one less murder on my hands."
Carl laughed and I shook all over. Just him talking about it was torturing me enough.
Please, hurry, Don.
A car pulled out in front of us, making Carl pull the car into the right hand lane. We slowed briefly, and I took this as my chance.
I opened the door in one swift motion and jumped.
I rolled down the small hill. When I stopped, I felt my shoulder pop. I had pulled it out of the socket, no doubt. I struggled to my feet and ran as fast I could into the dark forest that lay ahead of me.