Pedophile, страница 1
by Rath Dalton
Copyright 2016 Rath Dalton
Something tugged at the man’s overcoat and he looked down to see what it was. It was a little girl; The little girl. His heart skipped a beat. He glanced around the store, taking it in; music, shoppers, a couple with a baby, a woman in a house dress searching her way down the aisle. An elderly woman peered close at a label through bifocals. There were clicking sounds from a teenager in a blue vest with a price gun. The girl’s mother was nowhere to be seen and the man wondered where she could have gone. She had been there a moment ago.
“Hello there,” he said, fiddling with his glasses. “Did you lose your mother?”
The girl gazed up, her purple dress stiff with newness, and nodded.
He gave a look around, then leaned down.
“That’s a beautiful dress.”
A smile from the girl.
“I got it for my birthday - for the party.”
“Oh, a party!” His own smile was overly large. “You’re going to have so much fun!”
The woman in the house dress moved past, absorbed in her own business. No one gave them a second glance; a father and daughter having a moment.
“Take my hand,” he said suddenly. “Let’s find your mother.” Her hand looked fragile in his as he pulled her to the end of the aisle.
“Let’s look around, shall we,” he said, glancing up at the security camera, a silver dome on the ceiling, then at the manager who was near the front of the store.
The man seemed to make a decision. They moved quickly, his long coat billowing as he walked, her nearly running to keep up; a father in a hurry with his daughter. They moved down past the registers and were almost to the exit when the manager looked up from his clipboard.
“Have a nice day,” he called.
The man’s step faltered. “Yes . . . ah - you too,” he forced a smile and resumed his stride. They would have been at the door in a moment but a woman pushed a cart into the way absently as she chatted with the cashier. Blocked, he halted and the girl bumped into his legs. She blinked and looked around.
“Don’t you look nice in your pretty dress,” the manager said to the girl, coming up behind.
“It’s my birthday,” she said, brightening.
"My Mommy . . ,” she began but the man jerked her arm and shoved the shopping cart aside. The woman who pushed it looked around from her conversation, the cashier too.
“Can’t be late,” he said, towing the girl the last distance to the door and out. The manager and the two women watched them go, then glanced at each other.
The sidewalk was dotted with old chewing gum. A line of carts rattled across the pavement, pushed by an employee leaning into the effort.
“My daddy left us here,” the girl said. “Right here.”
“He’ll come back soon.”
The man in the overcoat stopped suddenly. His upper lip was beginning to sweat, despite the cool air. “You know, that’s an idea. He’ll probably come back soon, and I know just what to do,” he said. “We’ll watch for your Daddy – and your Mommy but not from here. There’s a place where we can watch from and keep warm at the same time. Come on.” He began towing her again, fast across the parking lot. The girl hurried to keep from being dragged but she hesitated with her voice.
“My Daddy . . .” she began.
“Oh no, this is perfect. We’ll see your parents when they arrive and we’ll toot our horn. We’ll be cozy and warm while we wait. It’s perfect.” He unlocked the passenger door of his car and swung it open. “Up you go,” he said, lifting her in, almost tossing her. There was doubt on the girl’s face but he slammed the door before she could protest. He threw a look left and right before stalking around to the driver’s side and getting in.
“I want my Daddy,” the girl said, looking pale.
“You just sit tight there, Honey,” he said, his demeanor changing. He started the car and began to back out when a car cut him off, stopping deliberately behind them. It was a Cadillac Ciel and the man watched in the rear view mirror as the suicide doors opened toward each other like jaws. Four men climbed out dressed in suits.
The man in the overcoat swore. One of the four stepped to the driver’s window and tapped on the glass. He was a big man and he leaned down to peer in. The driver rolled the window down a few inches.
“Mind telling me where you’re going?” the big man asked.
“Daddy!” squealed the girl.
The big suited man ducked a bit more to see the girl. “How ya doin’ princess?”
One of the other suits was pulling at the passenger door handle with no luck.
“Could you unlock the doors, please?” the big man asked. “I’d like to have my daughter back.”
“Yes, yes, of course.” Overcoat bobbed his head and smiled as he popped the electric lock open on the passenger door. “You’re her father! We were just about to drive around the parking lot to look for you and her mother.” He chuckled. “You saved us some time.”
“That’s real nice.”
The girl rocketed around the car to her father and wrapped her arms around one huge leg.
“Sweetheart!” the man said, picking her up. “Am I glad to see you! Did you get your present?”
“No Daddy, I didn’t get it. We were looking for a Little Fibby doll and then I couldn’t find Mommy and this man said he’d help me find her and then he found you. Can we get my Fibby Daddy? Can we find Mommy and get my Fibby? I want to go to the party.”
“Yes, Princess, we’ll do all that but first I need to talk to this man.” He set her down. “You go with Uncle Vinnie and find Mommy. I’ll be there in a minute.”
The girl took Uncle Vinnie’s hand and they walked off together, Vinnie half listening as the girl chattered away.
The big man turned to another one his entourage. “You go in and find my wife. Three months of rehab and she still can’t keep it together. You call me when you find her.” The suit nodded and moved off.
“Now,” the big man said, leaning down to the window again, “why don’t you step out of there so we can have a talk.”
“Oh – ” Overcoat gave a small laugh. “I’d love to but I’m in a hurry. Things to do, busy busy. So - if you could move your car it would be really helpful. Could you move your car please?”
“Yeah – I don’t think that’s gonna happen just yet. You and I need to talk. We need to figure out what’s goin’ on here. See, I drop my wife and daughter off to buy a toy and next thing I know, I see you dragging the girl out into the parking lot. My wife ain’t around and you’re movin’ fast like you gotta get somewhere – or like you gotta get her away from somewhere. I was sittin’ right over there watchin’ the whole thing. Now what am I supposed to think?”
“It’s not how it looks at all.” The sweat was back on the man’s upper lip. “I’m just a good Samaritan helping out.” He smiled. “I came to buy a gift too - for my niece. Other people have birthdays too, you know. Your daughter asked me for help, I didn’t approach her at all. I’m not sure why she picked me and I’m beginning to wish she hadn’t. People tell me I have a friendly face.” He gave a tentative grin.
“Yeah, you do have a friendly face, that’s what scares me. People with friendly faces hide shit. Most serial killers have friendly faces, you know that?”
“You’re . . . that’s not very nice.”
The big man studied him for a moment. “Tell me something,” he finally asked, “do you think I have a friendly face?”
“Well . . . ” The overcoat man shifted uncomfortably in his
“Let me help you out. This here is my friendly face,” he said, pointing. “You don’t want to see my unfriendly face. People have a real bad day when they see my unfriendly face.”
The sound of a car engine starting interrupted them. Someone had climbed into the car parked in front while they were talking and it began to back out. The overcoat man saw his chance and reached for his car ignition.
“Looks like I’ll be on my way,” he said, twisting the key. His own car engine roared to life. “I’m glad everything worked out for you and your daughter.”
There was a tapping on the window; metal against glass. A gun had appeared in the big man’s hand and he held it close as he leaned in. To a casual passerby, it might look like two friends having a chat. “If you touch that shift lever,” he said, “I’ll blow a hole through your head. The world will be minus one child molesting piece of shit and we’ll all feel good.”
“I – I didn’t touch your daughter. Just ask her.”
“Yeah? And I think that if I hadn’t stopped you just now, you might have. ‘Course I could be wrong. You want a chance to explain yourself, get out and we’ll talk about it.
The overcoat man had gone pale. “Okay - just don’t shoot. Please don’t shoot. I can explain.”
“And get your hand away from that pocket.” He adjusted his aim. “What the hell are you fishing for?”
“I’m putting my keys away . . .”
“Get that hand out of there now. Take it out slow – that’s it – snail’s pace – so I can see