What are you doing?
Im trying to get the lid off this.
Dean was struggling with a box hed found at the back of
the room, it was a reinforced cardboard affair with faux leather straps and a
There must be something worth keeping in here mustnt
there, or they wouldnt have locked it?
It might be something horrible they didnt want to
come to light warned Benny.
Nah, itll be valuable, mark my words. Have you got
Here, in my pocket, Ive got secateurs. Benny
passed them over.
Secateurs? Dean queried. Were you thinking of
doing some pruning?
Dean slipped one blade under the strap and cut it easily, the
padlock fell to the floor with a bump.
That did it! Benny exclaimed, grabbing hold of the
lid and pulling it off.
Benny! He could hear a voice calling in the
distance, Benny! Again it came. It sounded familiar, it sounded
his own voice.
Dean thought for a moment or two. He thought about where he was,
he didnt know. He thought about what had happened, he wasnt sure.
Benny! The voice called. It WAS his voice, why was
he calling out when he was obviously asleep?
Youre OK, dont worry, just rest. Another
voice, a gentle female one this time. He started to come to consciousness.
Where am I? He asked the nurse.
Cartwright General Hospital, youve been here for a
week, we thought wed lost you a few days ago.
Lost me? Is it bad? What happened?
Dont know, we were hoping you could tell us, you
seem to have been knocked out by something but there are no scars or bruises to
Blurred images floated around in Deans mind.. a box.. a
strap.. a padlock.. a pain so strong it made him wince just thinking about it.
Wheres Benny? He asked.
The bloke I was with, is he here too?
There was no-one with you when you were found, you were
lying in the street, outside the old shop.
The policeman showed Dean into the shop. Is this the
Yes, the box is upstairs in the old store, we were
clearing it out.
And you have no idea where your friend may be? Weve
had to put out a missing persons bulletin.
Last time I saw Benny we were in here, trying to open that
They had entered the store room, a feeling of foreboding came
He pointed a trembling finger at the box; the box with a faux
leather strap neatly wrapped around it and fastened with a small padlock.
The policeman pulled out a pen-knife and bent down as if to cut
No! Cried Dean
If youre now awake sir, wed like to ask you a
few questions about your role in the disappearance of one of our
officers. Dean opened his eyes to see the familiar hospital ward and a
large policeman staring down at him.
OK, Ill show you where it happened, make sure you
bring a knife.