I tossed a few logs on the fire and watched as the smoke curled up into the sky. McKinley was keeping a keen eye on me, although I didn’t make much of it, at first. He and his partner exchanged a few whispers that I couldn’t make out, but it did put me on my guard. I felt it would be good to wake up Loretta, but I wasn’t about to leave these two men alone with all the sensitive information I was protecting. I blame only myself for not being more suspecting of these strangers, from the moment they appeared out of nowhere.
As I lifted my head up and wheeled around, I felt a sudden blow on the back of my head. The next thing I remember was sitting, my back to a nearby tree, with my hands tied around the back. If you have never been in this position, I would not recommend it. In addition to the pain and strain it puts on your shoulders, it also makes the wrists and palms extremely uncomfortable. The plastic zip tie used to keep my hands together was so tight that I could only feel a slight tingle in my fingers. Attempting to remove the tie by brute force only made the pain worse.
My head was throbbing, but I could hear some rustling that sounded like my tent. “Bring the axe over. I can’t get the safe open,” I could hear McKinley saying. I still had no idea how these men knew about what I was up to or why they were so keen on gaining access to my safe. I was happy, at this point, that they had managed to spare me from any more torture. What I heard next was so disconcerting that I felt as if I had been ripped out of myself and forced to sit there and watch it all fall apart.
To be continued…