A tiny beam of light flickered across the top of the open pit. Sheridan lay motionless on the cushion in one corner of her subterranean prison. "It's daytime," she thought to herself. "How many days does that make that I have been in this awful place? Nine? Ten?"
She had totally lost track of time. In actuality, Sheridan had been trapped in the makeshift dungeon for almost two weeks.
Her only company had been the derranged woman in a clown costume who fed her from above. Sheridan had come to hate mealtime for this reason. She was always hungry, and knew that her unborn child needed nourishment, but she despised the sinister voice of the kidnapper. "She must be mad," Sheridan thought. "Only a madwoman would do something like this - throw a pregnant woman in this terrible pit."
Tears welling in her eyes, Sheridan's mind turned to her baby - the tiny life inside of her. "What's going to become of you?" she thought. "I've got to do all I can to protect you."
Actually, Sheridan had spent the first few days trying to escape her dark prison. She soon learned her efforts were futile. There was no way out - at least by escape. The only way she was going to get out of here was if someone found her - or let her go.
Sheridan knew Luis was doing all he could on his end to rescue her. That was a comfort to her. She turned her thoughts to what she could do to get out. That would involve talking her captors into letting her go.
Although she had once seen two people in clown's masks leaning over the pit, only one of them - the large woman with the hideous laugh - ever interacted with her. And that was only to snicker at her and call her "Blondie."
"This must be the woman who wanted to kill me," Sheridan deduced. "But why would she keep me here in this pit for days? Why is she feeding me and giving me basic necessities, like blankets and vitamins?"
Sheridan thought that just maybe this woman couldn't go through with her sinister plan to murder her - that she actually had a heart afterall.
"Maybe I can talk to her and get her to let me go," she thought. "I've always heard if you try to let your kidnappers get to know you and think of you as a person, then you have a chance."
Hearing footsteps overhead, Sheridan knew she was going to get her chance!
"Well, well, Blondie," the voice sneered from above, "Guess you'll be wanting your din-din!"
Looking up, Sheridan saw the giantlike woman, her face hidden behind a clown mask, leaning over the edge of the pit.
"Oh, hello," Sheridan said nervously. "Listen, I'm glad you're here. Yes, dinner would be nice. You know, I have really been feeling kind of lonely down here. I thought it might be nice to have someone to talk to ...Like, maybe we could get to know each other...And I could tell you some things about myself, and listen to whatever you want to-"
"What do you think this is? A dating service??!!" roared the woman, adding, "I don't dig blondes. You're barking up the wrong tree, missy!"
Sheridan, dumbfounded, lowered her head in defeat. "That plan really worked well," she murmered sadly to herself.
"Here you go, Mr. Crane!" the chief security guard said. "All the videotapes from the Crane security cameras from two weeks ago."
He laid the box of videos down on the office counter of the main security building on the Crane estate.
"You know," he continued, "Officer Lopez-Fitzgerald already viewed these tapes - the day after Mrs. Lopez-Fitzgerald disappeared. He didn't find anything. We've all heard she just ran off anyhow. Of course, I guess you still want to find her - her being pregnant and all."
"These aren't the tapes I want," Julian said insistently.
"But they're the only tapes we've got, Mr. Crane," the security guard said, "the only tapes our cameras took from two weeks ago."
"Matt," Julian said, softening his voice, "Your name is Matt, right? Well, Matt, I know that you have other videos from that night, and it is those videos that I am requesting. Kindly produce them."
"I don't know what you're talking about, sir." Matt stammered, "There...there are no other tapes."
"Matt, let's get something straight," said Julian, looking directly into the eyes of the chief security guard. "I am well aware of the cameras my father has had installed on this estate. I know that they are far more extensive- dare we say intrusive? - than the regular Crane security cameras. It is those videos that I am requesting now."
"But, sir," Matt protested, "Even if that's true and such tapes exist, I can't give them to you. Your father would not allow that."
"Matt," Julian said, his voice suddenly turning quite cold, "Let me explain something to you. Either I walk out of here with those videotapes in my hands right now, or you don't ever walk again. Am I making myself clear?"
"Y-yes, Mr. Crane," the security guard stammered, "I think I can get you those tapes now - if you'll just wait a second."
Julian smiled to himself. Sometimes you just have to know how to deal