Authors: Peg Kehret
Denny withdrew a short black gun, not much bigger than Matt’s water pistol, and pointed it at Bonnie.
Bonnie stared at the gun. She didn’t know what kind it was, only that it was aimed at her heart. A small gun could be just as deadly as a large one. Fear crashed against her like ocean waves.
Denny wouldn’t get away with it; Bonnie was positive of that. As soon as Denny shot her, Matt would scream and run upstairs for help—and what would Denny do then? Shoot Matt, too?
Don’t Tell Anyone
The Ghost’s Grave
I’m Not Who You Think I Am
Searching for Candlestick Park
Terror at the Zoo
The Pete the Cat Series
The Stranger Next Door
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Registered Offices: Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published in the United States of America by Dutton Children’s Books,
a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2004
Published by Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2006, 2011
Copyright © Peg Kehret, 2004
All rights reserved
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE DUTTON EDITION AS FOLLOWS:
Abduction! / by Peg Kehret.—1st ed.
Summary: Thirteen-year-old Bonnie has a feeling of foreboding on the very day that her
six-year-old brother, Matt, and their dog, Pookie, are abducted, and she becomes
involved in a major search effort as well as a frightening adventure.
[1. Kidnapping—Fiction. 2. Brothers and sisters—Fiction. 3. Fathers and sons—Fiction.
4. Seattle (Wash.)—Fiction.]
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The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
For my daughter, Anne Konen,
enny Thurman stuck the black wig on his head, pulling it snug above his ears. He put on the brown shirt with the fake UPS logo, buttoned it over his T-shirt, and tucked it into his brown pants. Last he pressed a false mustache on his upper lip, pushing hard to make it stick.
He smiled at himself in the mirror. His own mother wouldn’t recognize him.
The temporary rose tattoo on his left biceps showed below his sleeve, but the slight bulge of the handgun in his shoulder holster was barely noticeable under his shirt.
Denny hurried downstairs to his car, feeling nearly as excited as he did when he placed a bet. An hour
later, he stopped the car in the alley behind his ex-wife’s house and put on thin plastic gloves. He got out but left the engine running, in case he needed to drive away quickly. He looked both ways, saw no one, and walked to the gate that connected the garage to the fence.
He reached over the top of the gate, feeling for a latch. Good. No lock. He opened the gate and stepped into the yard. One hand rested in his pants pocket, the fingers wrapped around a small plastic bag containing a piece of broiled steak. With luck, the dog would come to him without the bribe. If that happened, Denny would have a steak sandwich for dinner tonight.
He wished he could remember the dog’s name, but Denny had never paid attention to the dog—he didn’t care for animals—and six years was a long time. By now it might be a different dog.
Denny’s eyes swept across the small yard: neatly mowed grass, a swing set, sunbursts of yellow tulips in full bloom, a bird feeder and birdbath. No dog, though. Surely Anita would have a dog; she had been crazy about dogs, and so had Bonnie. They both petted every mutt they met, acting as if each was the grand champion of all time. Anita even kept dog biscuits and a leash in the car, in case she saw a stray in need of help.
The dog must be inside. Denny would have to pry open a door or window. He hoped the house wasn’t wired with an alarm system.
Denny walked toward the house but stopped before he reached the screen door. His eyes swung to the corner of the house, to a metal flap at ground level. A dog door! If he could coax the dog out the door, he wouldn’t have to break in, after all, and wouldn’t risk setting off an alarm.
Denny stood outside the dog door and whistled. “Here, dog,” he called. “Come get your steak.” He whistled again.
When no dog appeared, Denny pulled off a piece of the steak, pushed the door flap inward, and tossed the meat inside.
Soon the flap pushed outward, and an elderly black-and-white terrier waddled out. The once-dark muzzle was gray, and the dog walked stiff-legged, as if his knees didn’t bend well anymore. It’s the same dog, Denny thought. He must be over one hundred in dog years by now. Denny wondered if the dog would remember him.
“Hey, dog,” Denny said.
The dog blinked, looking around as if unsure where the sound had come from. He’s almost blind, Denny realized.
Denny held the steak toward the old terrier. The dog sniffed, wagged his tail, and came closer. When he tried to take the meat in his teeth, Denny pulled it away. He put the steak back in the bag and shoved it into his pocket. He had the dog; why waste the steak?
He removed the leash from his other pocket, looped it around the dog’s neck, and tugging gently, led him out the gate. The dog followed willingly but couldn’t jump into the car; Denny had to lift him into the backseat.
Before he shut the door, he unbuckled the dog’s collar and read the ID tag.
, it said, then a phone number. That’s right; Pookie. Denny remembered now. Foolish name for a dog. The ID tag clinked against a rabies tag and a King County dog license as Denny tossed the collar into the weeds beside the alley.
He opened the driver’s door and slid behind the wheel. He glanced at himself in the rearview mirror, to be sure the wig and mustache were still in place. Satisfied with his appearance, he drove slowly out of the alley and headed for the school, removing the gloves as he drove.
The dog whined and pawed at the back of Denny’s seat.
“Too late to cry,” Denny said. “You’re the bait now, Pookie, my boy. You’re the insurance to make sure Matt gets in the car without calling for help.”
onnie hadn’t thought about the dream in years, which was fine with her.
She remembered it when her best friend, Nancy, said, “Last night I dreamed I jumped out the window during math, landed in the ocean, and rode off on a sea turtle.”
“I can never recall my dreams,” Bonnie said as she pulled on her Mountain Middle School shorts and T-shirt for PE class. “Except for one. I used to have it a lot.”
“You had the same dream more than once? Mine are different every night.”
“This one was a nightmare. The first time I had it was the night my dad died.”
“What was it about?”
Bonnie leaned down to tie her shoes, surprised by the chill she felt. “It’s hard to explain.”
“In the dream I’m lost on a huge prairie, acres and acres of grass higher than my head. I spend the whole dream running, calling out for help that never comes.”
“Just grass? No vicious lion chases you? You don’t fall into a pit full of poisonous snakes?”
“I know it doesn’t sound scary, but whenever I had the dream I always woke up crying, with my heart pounding.” Each time she had felt as if a heavy black fog hung over her bed, seeping through the blankets into her skin and making it impossible ever to feel happy again. Bonnie shuddered, remembering.
“You were four when your dad died, right?” Nancy said.
“Right. The thing is, I didn’t know about death until it happened. I’d heard the word, but I didn’t think it had anything to do with me. I never expected it to happen to my family, to my daddy.”