EDGE OF NIGHT Re-IMAGINED by Charles Pearson, 7.April.1969
“That R-Ron...” Barrington stutters; then stops, staring into empty space. He shakes his head, unable to continue.
“Must be elimanated,” Travis finishes gladly. “In other words, killed like a prey on the spot.”
Barrington puts his cigar down in an ashtray on a corner table and stares at smoke billowing from the cigar and, for a moment, there is a tear in his eye. “You know, I have a lodge up in Graham County near the gardener’s shack and it's by the river. Why don’t you accompany me there?”
“For a close encounter?” Travis laughs. “Is that what you’re suggesting, Eric?”
“Why not?” Barrington wipes his eye.
Travis lights a cigarette and sits back in his chair gazing at a photograph of his beautiful daughter Nicole on his desk. Nicole, his precious daughter and most important off-spring, is even more beautiful than the mother, Eleonore. Unlike orderly Eleonore who in the last years of their marriage bore him to discard her affections like an unwanted old shoe, Nicole never bored him and was the most important body he had left in the world, even if she was foolishly in love with his nemesis, Mike Karr. “Indeed,” he says aloud, thinking what could it hurt if Nicole eventually took Mike away from Nancy and married Mike who would become his future son-in-law. Mike would have to take Ben's side for Nicole’s sake. No matter how criminal. Mike couldn't hurt Nicole. “A weekend getaway up in the Graham county to sort things out in all that fresh country air could do wonders. Yes, Eric, I will accompany you to see just where Laurie Karr is going to take her last breath...”
In Raintree an hour drive outside of Monticello in Graham county, Sheriff Wim Willard picks up the phone.
“Graham County police. Sheriff Willard.”
“You gotta help me!”
“What? Who is this?"
“I’ve been kidnapped.”
“You’ve been what?” the Sheriff drops in the chair behind a desk and grabs a pen and pad.
“They’re holding me here against my will...”
“Wait just a minute, Miss...Miss...-“
“My father is important. Mike Karr-”
“Mike who? Who is this?...” Before a puzzled Wim can finish the line goes dead.
After a hard struggle with Laurie, a breathless Mona manages to wrestle the phone away from Laurie, and Mona quickly disconnects it from the wall.
“Don’t you understand Barney will harm you badly if he knew what you’ve done,” Mona warns Laurie.
Overhearing their argument at the door, a slightly intoxicated Barney waits at the threshold.
“I don’ care!” Laurie tells Mona. “ I’ll do anything. Anything to be free of two petty criminals.”
“Can’t you see, I’m afraid for you."
“Then if you’re so afraid let me walk out of that door right now?”
As Mona looks at the door, it opens and Barney walks in.
“What’s going on?” he says.
Fearing for Laurie's safety, “Nothing,” Mona says trying to cover for Laurie . “Nothing at all.”
“ What did she do?”
“I told you,” Mona insists. “Nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing has happened..”
“I called the police,” Laurie admits without fear.
“You did what?” A furious Barney grabs Laurie by the arm.
"You heard me! I said I called the police. A sheriff picked up the phone."
"Sheriff Wim Willard?"Barney wonders out loud.
"He's going to take you and Mona up the river."
“This time, little lady, you’ve gone too far.”
“Not far enough,” Laure spits at Barney who raises his fist to hit the girl in the face but Mona stops him.
“I’d tell you what, Missy,” Barney shoves Laurie down on the bed. “From now on you will not only be bound and gagged, you'll be drugged until you’re delirious.”
“Barney, no,” Mona plops down on the bed and reaches for Laurie, but Laurie shuns any comfort from Mona.
“We’re see how you wiggle your self out of that all doped up,” Barney laughs.
"Please Barney," Mona pleads. "Let's not use any drugs...No drugs."
"We gotta control her!" Barney says.
“Do what you have to do,” a defiant Laurie tells Barney, “but I won’t stop trying to escape until I’m free to testify and see that both you and Mona are sentenced to rot in prison...”
An angry Barney starts at Laurie again and Mona screams...
In Mike’s study, Nancy watches with trepidation as Mike and Ron locates Raintree on the map, which they discover is only 30 miles north of Monticello.
“Mike, we got to tell Bill,” Ron implores.
“Absolutely not,” Nancy forbids.
‘Nancy, let’s think about this."
“Don't you see, Mike, if that compromise is broken, Barrington will not hesitate to kill our daughter at the first sign of police just as he stipulated.”
“Nancy, we can always have Bill dispatched quietly."
“How do you know that Barrington doesn’t already have a crooked cop planted at police headquarters?”
“Mike, Nancy’s right," Ron injects, "Barrington could have an inside man already there.”
“Which would explain how they’ve managed to stay one step ahead of every move the crime commission has made,” Nancy says scrutinizing Ron who looks at Mike to avoids Nancy’s accusing green eyes.
Mike sighs heavily and sits back in his chair staring up at the ceiling dubiously; finally, he looks at Ron, his eyes wide with fright. “Ron, you know what this means?”
“Yes,” Ron nods at Mike; then takes a deep breath as he looks into Nancy Karr's unwavering eyes, “we are acting alone.”