So, we finally finished the work and his Side-Show Bob act had officially gotten on my nerves. I told him to take off and I would see him at work tomorrow. He said he felt bad leaving me to check the stuff out at the register. I told him I had some personal shopping to do and again to just go home. He seemed reluctant at first but relented and finally left. I didn’t really have any personal shopping to do. I just wanted to get rid of him. I checked the stuff out slowly to give Brone plenty of time to be gone by the time I got out to my car.
I chatted with one of the clerks I knew and managed to put Brone completely out of my mind by the time I headed out to my car. I popped the rear door and was loading the few bags into the rear cargo area. I heard footsteps come up behind me quickly. A shadow loomed over me. Before I could whirl around, someone grabbed me in a bearhug from behind and was trying to pick me up. Clearly, I was heavier than he anticipated. He was not able to get me off the ground, completely. My toes were dragging. As he spun me around, I saw Brone’s car still parked next to mine with the rear door open. I was friggin’ pissed! In a nanosecond, two thoughts ran through my mind. One, this weird fucker is trying to abduct me and two, you picked the wrong person to fuck with.
I threw my head back and cracked him right across the nose. He snarled in pain as I kicked my feet repeatedly and finally caught him in the knee. I heard a dull popping sound and he lost his grip. He stumbled a little bit trying to regain his stability, but he was still reaching for me. I grabbed a collapsible nightstick out of the back of my van. I swung it into extension. He turned like he was trying to grab something from the back seat of his car through it’s open door. He heard the unmistakable sound of metal snapping into place. Turning back to look just in time to see me swing down on his other knee. I caught it perfectly and heard a loud crack-popping sound. He cried out in pain and tumbled to the ground. At that moment, a man and woman ran up. They saw everything from a couple of rows over. The guy pounced on Brone and bent his arms behind him. I heard cuffs clicking around his wrists as the woman dialed 911. They were off duty cops. She then took the knight stick from me and put it in her purse.
“You never had this, you kicked him twice,” she said.
“Okay,” I said.
As we sat there waiting for the squad car to arrive she searched his car. She found box-ties, duct tape, an axe and plastic garbage bags. Her husband kept his knee in the middle of Brone’s back as he lay on the ground bleeding from the nose and groaning from the pain of two knees that would never be the same.
I called my boss Jennifer. She freaked and came out to the store after dropping her kid off at her parents. As I was giving my statement for the police report, Jennifer was on the phone to the home office telling them what happened. She had to leave a message. No one was in their office due to the time difference.
When I got to work the next day, Jennifer told me Giles, from home office, called her at four in the morning to find out what the hell was going on. They didn’t know anything about hiring a new guy. A couple of hours later, we found out that power was out to our building because someone had taken an axe to the power box out back and the guy who occupies the unit behind us (our units share a common back wall) was found bound, gagged and nearly starved to death.
Turns out Brone had started using the unit behind us to listen in on the activity in our office. In the process of searching the unit, police found all manner of strange books strewn about the office. They thought he must have been cooking food over an open fire until the guy he held captive told them Brone had been burning animals in what appeared to be some sort of ritual.
They also found video and audio feeds piped through the wall to our side so that he could see and hear what went on with us. We couldn’t see them because we have twenty-foot ceilings and we never look up. They also found lots of pictures of Jennifer, Dan and me but mostly Jennifer. He had a sort of shrine, with her as the focus. From what they found, it seemed his real target was Jennifer but when Dan and Jennifer arrived at the same time he was forced to change targets. Brone was a next level freak. He drew all sorts of weird pictures on the walls of the neighboring unit. The police say the poor guy who occupies that unit was absolutely terrified the whole time. He said Brone had heated solo tirades, chattering on in unintelligible speech.
Thank God the guy’s kids came looking for him. They hadn’t heard from him in days and couldn’t raise him the phone. They had the police in here on the other side of the building forcing their way into their father’s unit last night and in the process of investigating that scene they discovered the destroyed electrical box. Then, when the police ended up on our side of the building this morning they were able to out two and two together. I was looking forward to finding out more about this lunatic and what his full intentions were, but two days later we were told he had hung himself in his cell before they could do a psych evaluation on him.
Now, you can say what you like but I know that It was purely by the grace of God that Jennifer had not arrived alone at work as she normally does and that I am the type of person who happens to have kept a nightstick in the car after finding it on a hiking trail nearly ten years earlier.