Prologue – Sunday, June 16, 2013
Butch Kincaid turned off the shower, grabbed a thick towel on the rack by the glass door and got busy drying himself off. The others had already left but he had been unable to resist taking advantage of the expansive marble shower before heading back to the campground at nearby Presqu’ile Provincial Park. His delay wasn’t a bad thing as it would give his crew time to take down the campsite and load up their gear as he wanted them to hit the road early to get some decent mileage out of the day.
Done with the towel, he dropped it to the floor as he stepped out of the shower then searched for and found a deodorant stick which he was certain his hosts wouldn’t mind his using. He took a couple of minutes to brush back his long, damp hair before tying it into a ponytail before slipping into his jeans, boots and a new golf shirt he had found in the adjoining bedroom.
His bathroom activities completed, he left the master suite of the lavish home and strolled down the hallway to the kitchen. Amidst the jumbled array of mostly empty liquor bottles on the granite-topped kitchen island, he noticed that the bottle of Grand Marnier – Cuvée de Centenaire which he had favoured the night before still had an inch or so of liqueur in it.
Smiling, he ambled over, pulled the cork top out and drained the last few ounces in one hearty swig before moving on to the den beyond to join his hosts.
“Sorry to keep you waiting,” he announced as he entered the room. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bathroom as fancy as yours and when I saw that shower, damn, it’s bigger than most of the hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in. You have four showerheads in there. Anyhow, I couldn’t help myself and once I got in there, I kind of lost track of time a bit. I hope you don’t mind.”
Fred Copley, the sixty-ish owner of the home peered up at Butch with his remaining good eye and shook his head before rasping, “When are you leaving?”
“I have overstayed my welcome,” Butch admitted, “So I’ll be leaving in a minute.”
“Are you planning to leave us like this?” asked Copley, gesturing to the duct tape which held his wrists and ankles secured to the armchair.
Butch shrugged. “Can’t really set you free, can I? You just might find the strength to go find some help before we get out of here.”
Fred turned his head slowly, his neck stiff, and gazed at his unconscious wife, her naked and bruised body spread-eagled on their central coffee table, her wrists and ankles securely taped to the legs.
“Can you at least get a blanket to cover my wife?” Fred asked, “Just to keep her warm?”
“Don’t worry, good buddy,” Butch replied. “I’ll make sure you both stay nice and warm.”He went to the garage and returned shortly with a five gallon canister of gasoline which he proceeded to splash and pour on furniture, throw-rugs, wood paneled walls and pine flooring in and around the den, ignoring Copley’s whimpering pleas as he went. Within minutes, he was done and, after getting the fire going to his satisfaction, he left the house, climbed onto his motorcycle and headed back to the campground to hook up with his waiting crew.