My phone rang as I was about to pack my clothes and get a taxi to the airport. I tried to guess who could be calling me at this time. I walked towards my phone which was lying on the bed and checked the name on the screen. It was David.
David had been my best friend since high school. We did a lot of things together. I had flown into Colorado from New York for a conference, and after the conference, I decided to visit David and his family. I spent three days with them and had a nice time.
David was a cop; he had always wanted to be a cop, ever since we were kids. He was already a detective who had solved a lot of cases. He was simply brilliant. He was married with two daughters, who were delightful and very funny.
I had spent one extra day and now planned to move when his call came in. Perhaps, he wants to remind me about something, I thought. I picked up the call.
“Hey, Dave, how is it going?” I said.
“James, I need your help. It’s Sarah. She is in grave danger,” David said.
Sarah was David’s first daughter. She was a brilliant girl who was about to go to college. Now she was in danger.
“David, what’s, is happening? Can you explain from the beginning?”
“Please, James, can you come over here? Please.”
“Okay, okay, I am on my way,” I told him and hung up. I wondered what was happening.
I dropped my bag and clothes and changed into casual wear. I got out of the hotel and took a taxi to James’ house. It was only about forty-five minutes away. I wondered if Sarah was alright. I prayed she was; she was a wonderful girl.
The taxi stopped in front of James’ house, and I found him, his wife and their second daughter, Laurel, looking agitated and anxious. I paid the driver and got out. I walked towards them.
“David, what is happening?” I asked.
When I looked at David’s wife, Katie, I saw that her eyes were red from crying. She ran towards me and hugged. “Thank God, you are here,” she said.
“What is happening?” I asked again.
“Please come inside, and I will explain everything.” I followed all of them inside the house.
Just as we entered, David began to talk. “I am sorry for delaying your journey, James.”
“Go straight to the point, James. Where is Sarah?”
“Okay, let me start from the beginning. There was a case which I worked two years ago. A kidnapper kidnapped a woman and hid her in an apartment in a twenty story building. We finally tracked him there. However, he took her to the roof. We chased him there.
“He forced the lady to climb down the roof. While climbing down, he was shot by a SWAT sniper, and he fell. We thought it was over, but it turned out that the woman was stuck in one of the windows and she could not move.”
“Jesus,” I said.
“She didn’t have long, and she was so scared. I climbed down and tried to tell her that she would be fine and she shouldn’t look down. I slowly, I moved towards her and when I finally got close to her, I got her unstuck and then I grabbed her hand. We were about to climb back up when her hand slipped from mine, and she fell.”
“Oh no,” I said.
“It was a terrible day,” James continued. “I was downcast for months, most especially after the woman’s husband blame me for causing his wife’s death. I thought he was saying that because he was angry over his wife’s death, but he was serious.
“Two years later, now he has Sarah.”
“What?” I said.
“He came here, kidnapped her and took her to the top of a rock, and he asked me to come and save her myself.” James brought out a picture. In it, Sarah was tied down on a rocky surface.
“He has her tied down he also planted a bomb on her. He says if I call the cops, he will blow her up. He also said if he sees any helicopter around the area, he will set the trigger.
“He said he wanted to see if I would lose my daughter the way I lost his wife. James, I need your help. You have always been involved in rock climbing. I know nothing about it.”
“But wait,” I said, “He says you have to be the one to do the saving, he would see me and know that I am an impostor.”
“I know, but I have a plan. You will dress like me. We are the same height, and we used to pretend to be each other when we were kids.”
“That was a long time ago, David,” I said.
“I know, but I have no other choice. You are the only one who can help me. I can’t climb a rock. I may just fall and break my neck or back or something if I tried.”
“He may know that you called me, you know. He may be in the area watching your house,” I said.
“I had his phone pinged. He is in the mountains.”
‘He may have people around watching you,” I said again.
“Trust me, and he doesn’t.”
“Okay, let’s say I agree, what will you be doing while I try to save Sarah?”
“I will look for that bastard and take him down.”
“Great. Let’s do it,” I said.
I had done a lot of rock climbing when I was in my twenties. The last time I did was three years ago, but I still had the skill.
David got all the gear needed for the climb. Then we had two hours left to save Sarah. I dressed in his clothes and put on a cap and dark glasses. Katie agreed that I looked like her husband. He told me to be careful and bring her daughter home.
I drove while David hid in the trunk of the car. We soon got to the location given to us. I got out and tried to walk like James in case the bastard was watching. I looked up at the rock, but I could not tell its height.
I was glad that rocks in Colorado had excellent crags. I began my climb putting my hands and legs in every crag that I could find. I began to make my way up. Constantly checked the time remaining.
We didn’t know if the bastard was truthful or deceitful, but he said all David had to do was get the bomb off Sarah and throw it far away. I wondered how the guy managed to get Sarah up to the rock.
As I climbed, I made knots in the rope I had and wrapped them around some rocky protrusions. It would help Sarah and me to get down easily. I began to shout her name, but she didn’t reply. I wondered if David had caught up with the guy.
Then I heard faint sounds of ‘Help”. I followed it and climbed more. Soon, I found a human leg. “Sarah?” I called. The wind around here was heavy. I finally managed to get to her. She looked very weak.
“Help me,” she mouthed.
“You are going to be fine, Sarah,” I said. “Stay with me okay?”
I pulled off the bomb over her head and threw it far away. It exploded, and the concussion almost threw me off the rock, but thankfully, I was secured. I undid the buttons on Sarah, and since she was weak, I carried her down the rock.
David already had the kidnapper in handcuffs. The guy was angry that David hadn’t climbed the rock. We got Sarah to the hospital.