By Karen Singer
Chapter 8 (Part 2 of 3)
Janice and Carol sat in Mrs. Faye’s living room anxiously waiting on Mr. Fitch to arrive. Mrs. Faye came back from the kitchen carrying two mugs of coffee and a coke for Carol. She set the drinks down on the scared coffee table and handed Janice one of the mugs. Carol grabbed her drink herself.
“So you actually managed to get a job already?” Mrs. Faye asked. “That’s amazing! I’m so glad for you.”
“Yes!” Janice replied. “I only spoke with Mr. Brinkley over the phone, but thanks to Carol’s work beforehand, he’s agreed to give me a try.” Actually, she hadn’t done anything of the sort. In fact, as far as Janice knew, Roger Brinkley didn’t even know about her yet.
The doorbell interrupted their conversation and Mrs. Faye went to answer it. A moment later, she was ushering in Mr. Fitch. Janice stood to shake his hand and exchange a short greeting. Then Fitch sat on the sofa with Mrs. Faye and pulled a stack of paperwork out of his briefcase.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am every time I get to turn one of our kids back over to their parents,” Fitch said to Janice.
“And I can’t tell you how happy I am to have my daughter back again!”
“I have no doubt!” Fitch said with a big smile. Thoughts of what Agent Jacobs had asked for rang through his mind. “Um… if you don’t mind me asking, what are your plans now? Carol is in school here and the school year is almost over. Are you going to move her right away?”
“No, Mr. Fitch,” Janice replied. “Carol will be able to stay in school right here for now. I’ve been lucky enough to take a housekeeping job in the area.”
That surprised Fitch a bit. “A housekeeping job. Good for you! And so soon after getting out of…” he was reluctant to say the word prison in these surroundings.
“Well, my daughter was helpful in finding the position for me.”
“Oh.” Fitch turned to smile at Carol. “That was certainly good work on your part.”
Carol beamed at the compliment.
“So where will you be staying?” he asked as he sorted through the paperwork to find the form he wanted.
“That was all part of the job agreement. Mr. Brinkley will be providing room and board right there in his house for both Carol and myself as part of my payment.”
Lucky lady, Fitch thought to himself. She gets out of prison and immediately moves into some rich guy’s house. But again, Agent Jacob’s requests rang through his mind, along with a possible course of action. Not to mention that he was just plain curious! “Um… Mrs. Stokley, since my primary concern has to be for Carol’s continued well-being, I think I should take a quick look at where she’s going to be staying.”
Janice was shocked. There was really no reason for this. “But Mr. Fitch, I can assure you that…”
Fitch raised his hand. “It’s just a quick formality, Mrs. Stokley, believe me. It will look much better on my report if I can honestly put down that Carol will continue to be staying in a suitable environment.”
“But Mr. Brinkley won’t be able to be there,” Carol argued. “He’s working.”
“That’s alright. I just need a quick look at the house.” Before Janice could argue further, he was gathering up all his paperwork and putting it back in his briefcase.
Having been given no choice in the matter, Janice and Carol were again in the car heading to Roger Brinkley’s house. Fitch was following close behind. The last thing that Janice needed now was for this… man… to see where she and Carol would be living. Not to mention that there were certain other problems that could all too easily present themselves. One of which would have to be addressed immediately. She turned to her daughter. “Carol, as soon as we get there, I need you to run to the bathroom. I’ll try to stall Fitch in the kitchen. Get rid of that chain around the toilet and hide it somewhere. Just be quick about it.”
Fitch was shocked when they pulled into the driveway. The house was nothing like what he expected. In fact, to him, the place looked like a dump – and a small one at that. And this guy needed a housekeeper? He got out of the car in a state of shock. Carol and her mother had already gotten out of the car and Carol was hurrying toward the open garage door. “Mrs. Stokley,” he said to the waiting woman, “this isn’t quite what I expected.”
“I’m sure it isn’t,” Janice replied, “but this is the place. I know it doesn’t look like much on the outside, but wait till you see the inside.”
Fitch had his doubts, but he followed Janice toward the open garage and soon found himself in a surprisingly nice kitchen – where everything looked brand new. “Oh, I must say,” he started as he looked around, “this is a far cry from the outside of the house.”
“Mr. Brinkley is rebuilding the house, and as you can see, he’s been doing an absolutely beautiful job with it. He hasn’t had time to get to the outside of the house yet.”
“Is Mr. Brinkley married?” Fitch asked.
“No, he’s not.”
“And he still needs a housekeeper?” Fitch asked, somewhat surprised at the circumstances.
“That’s his business!” Janice replied sternly. “I’m only glad for the job and a place for Carol and I to live.”
Fitch backed down quickly. “Um… do you mind if I look around a bit? I’d like to see the room where Carol will be staying.”
That was the last thing that Janice really wanted. But… “There’s a small temporary problem with that,” Janice explained, “Carol’s room isn’t quite ready for her yet. But that shouldn’t be any concern.”
A big red flag was suddenly raised in Fitch’s head. “Not ready yet? Maybe I better see!” He himself took the lead and headed toward the living room. “Nice floors,” he noted as he looked around. He spotted the hallway leading back toward the bedrooms. “I take it her room will be back there?”
With no way to stop him, Janice followed behind. She noticed the bathroom door was closed at the end of the hall. Before they got to the first doorway leading into one of the unfinished rooms, Carol came out of the bathroom looking fairly happy. Janice saw no sign of the chain that had been wrapped around the toilet.
“And which room is Carol’s?” Fitch asked.
Having little choice, Janice opened the door to the unfinished room closest to the bathroom.
Fitch was immediately assaulted by the smell. The smell plus the sight of the totally gutted room backed him out of there quickly. Wanting to get away from the horrible odor, he headed straight back out to the living room. Agent Jacob’s request was running through his head. It looked like the FBI was about to get their wish. He turned back toward Janice. “Mrs. Stokley,” he started. “I think that in this case it will be in Carol’s best interest to stay at Mrs. Faye’s house until such time as her room is completely ready for her. There’s not even a bed for her to sleep in there.”
“But she can stay in my bed with me,” Janice argued. “And Mr. Brinkley has assured me that it won’t be long until he can have those rooms totally finished.”
Fitch shook his head. “I’m afraid I’m going to insist. Carol will remain with Mrs. Faye until such time as I can verify that she has a proper place to stay. I will apprise Mrs. Faye of the situation though and tell her that you will have complete visitation rights with Carol anytime you want. She’ll just need to stay there at night.”
“But Mr. Fitch,” Janice wanted to argue further.
“No, Mrs. Stokley, that is my decision! Call me as soon as her room is ready. With that, he let himself out the front door. As he walked to his car, he knew that he didn’t have to make that particular decision, but it was still a very good decision as far as Carol’s welfare was concerned. The fact that Agent Jacob’s request would be satisfied as well was only secondary.
Janice was livid. The nerve of the man! If it wasn’t for having to be so careful about the way she did everything right now, she would have strongly considered taking “other” measures with Mr. Fitch. But for now, everything had to look – perfect!
“Momma, does that mean I have to stay at the foster home?”
Janice tried to smile at her daughter. “Only at night dear, and only for now, until we can get your room ready for you. And I promise, I’ll make sure that Mr. Brinkley does his very best to get it ready – fast!” Once again a stupid man had done something to come between Janice and her daughter. And once again she had no way to do anything about it. Her mind was quickly racing ahead though. As irritating as the situation was though, it was only a very minor setback in a much bigger plan.
The bell had just rung signaling the end of the school day when Janice drove into the school’s parking lot. As the kids all ran out of school, Janice and Carol got out of the car. Together, they waded past everyone going the opposite direction and entered the building. Janice insisted in stopping at the school office first – things had to look exactly right!
The secretary there greeted her warmly and Janice introduced herself as Carol’s mother and asked to see Mr. Brinkley to see if anything else could be done to help Carol with her work – a common enough occurrence. The secretary simply directed her back toward his classroom.
Roger was wondering how long he was going to have to wait for Carol when the door to his room suddenly opened and Carol walked in with a woman he had never seen before. Closer examination revealed an obvious resemblance between the two. He was very surprised since Carol had been living in a foster home and he had somehow assumed that her mother was dead. Obviously not!
The woman approached boldly. “Hello Mr. Brinkley,” she said. “I’m Mrs. Stokley. Carol’s mother.”
Roger was still trying to get over his shock at seeing her. Was she the string-puller? Roger stood up to shake her hand, but she didn’t offer her hand in return. He sat back down as she stood next to his desk.
“Let’s be perfectly clear about something, Mr. Brinkley,” she said. “I own you! I own you body and soul! And there’s nothing you can do about that! All those pictures that Carol took of you doing… naughty things… I now have them safely put away where only I can get to them. I have more than enough proof to send you to prison for a very long time… and trust me, Mr. Brinkley, I don’t think you would like prison very much. I just got out of there today and I can tell you that much for a fact!” She could see the frightened look on his face – exactly what she wanted to see.
Before he could make any reply, she reached into her purse and pulled out the plastic container he had been forced to jerk off into every night. “Do you recognize this?” she asked. “You should!” Roger nodded nervously. She opened the container and held it up so that he could see that it was empty – washed clean. “I’m sure you know what was in here. All that miserable sperm of yours is now in another container safely stored away with the pictures. What do you think would happen, Mr. Brinkley, if I injected a bunch of that semen up inside of Carol and then took her to the police claiming that you raped her?”
Before she could continue, Carol let out a small scream. “Momma!”
“Don’t worry dear, it’s all dead! There’s nothing there that can possibly harm you at all. And as long as Mr. Brinkley does as he’s told, hopefully, we’ll never have to resort to that. But Mr. Brinkley, do you think the DNA they would find inside of her would match yours? What would the police do then?”
Roger’s mouth was totally dry as he tried to swallow. He tried to answer, but words were beyond him. All he could see was a cell door closing in front of him and life as he knew it, ending. He had no chance at all. He never imagined that he could get set up so thoroughly.
Janice let a hint of a smile cross her face. “Your only hope, Mr. Brinkley, is to do exactly what I tell you to. Then, eventually, when this is all over, you can have your miserable life back… what will be left of it that is.”
Was she throwing him a lifeline? Giving him hope? He wasn’t sure. And what did she mean by what would be left of his life? He searched for something to say, but his mind came up blank. He still only saw the cell door closing on him.
“Come along now, Mr. Brinkley. It’s time for you to drive us home.”