The Face of Fear: A Powers and Johnson Novel

BOOK: The Face of Fear: A Powers and Johnson Novel
4.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
The Face of Fear
A Powers and Johnson Novel
R. J. Torbert

Copyright © 2012 by Entertainment 21 Corp

Two Harbors Press

212 3rd Ave North, Suite 290

Minneapolis, MN 55401


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written prior permission of the author.

This story is a work of fiction.

All characters and events in this publication, other than those in the public domain, are fictitious, and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright ©2012 Entertainment 21 Corp. A Powers and Johnson Novel; The Face of Fear All Rights Reserved

Ghost Face is a Registered Trademark of Easter Unlimited Inc. Fun World Div. All Rights Reserved

Ghost Face protected under copyright registration, Easter Unlimited Inc, Fun World Div. All Rights Reserved

Zombie Cryptic Mask protected under copyright registration, Easter Unlimited Inc. Fun World Div. All Rights Reserved

"I'm missing you" lyrics protected under copyright registration. R.J. Torbert/Entertainment 21 Corp. All Rights Reserved.

Front and Back cover design: Jason Lash

follow @RJTorbert on Twitter

ISBN: 978-1-938690-78-5

Table of Contents

This book had to be written. This story played out in my mind so many times throughout the years that it needed to be finally put on paper.


You are beautiful inside and out. No one has more loyal friends than you. It is a reflection of the type of woman you are. Thank you for your understanding and patience during the writing of this book.


This is for you. Never, never give up. If you can envision it, feel it, and desire it, then it is a dream that is attainable


You are loved, and I hope this makes you proud.


You are everything a father should be. Thank you.

Dear Mother:

It was you who always said, "The only people that fail are those that try." I miss you.


I miss you, baby sister.

Alan Geller:

How would history be if you did not stamp your approval on the design and development of the mask that has become the "Icon of Halloween" in stores, films, and now books around the world? You are the genesis of all that has become.

Stanley Geller: You have always said, "No matter how well you do something, it is always second best. There is always a way to do it better." Keeping that in mind, I want you to know I gave it my all.

Kevin Cronin:

A terrific cop, a good teammate, a wonderful man, a great friend.

Jason Lash:

Front and back cover design. Your support and encouragement was appreciated during the past two years.

Andi Wolos:

A good person and a hard worker—;thanks for proofreading the first draft of this book.

Allan Longobucco:

You are my greatest source of laughter. Thank you.

Ken August

Your support, enthusiasm, and encouragement during the writing of this book is greatly appreciated.

John Valeri Tim Wagstaff Rodrigo Kurtz John Klyza

Your devotion and dedication in promoting Ghost Face on your web-sites is not only appreciated by me but fans worldwide of this mask and the movies associated with it.

Thanks to the following:

My Twitter followers—you are amazing. As well as:

Jennifer Siff

Frank McGovern

Jerry Kowitt

Robert Chapman

Rickey Roth

Adele Glimm

Robert Healey

Loren Santospirito

Marquerite Zangrillo

Sid Bluming

Ki Ceniglio

Scott Tillchock

George Lynagh

Kathy Tillchock

Ralph F. Brady

Kathleen Healey

Sean Moran

George Zangrillo

Andrew Dell'Olio

Jef Workman

Joel DeGregorio

Kathy Daley

Nada Marjanovich

Paul Pappas

"Aunt" Mary Cuomo

Gordie Brown Meghan Rief

Joey Zee

Joanne Kowitt

Joseph Santospirito

Maria Robison

Katherine Healey

Paul Kampmeyer

Isora Gozley

Patricia Riggs

Peter Cook

Entire Staff of Z Pita

Mayor Margot Garant

Your enthusiasm and support is greatly appreciated.

Brittany Tillchock

You are a talented young lady. Thanks for your help as administrator for the website and The Face of Fear Facebook page.

Port Jefferson Free Library, Port Jefferson, Long Island Where this book was written.

Finally, to Wes Craven:

His first words to me when I showed him the summary of my story were: "Wow! You really thought about this." A true gentleman, a gracious man, a legendary director.

Saturday, June

eborah loved relaxing in the back of the home where she grew up in Belle Terre, Long Island. It was at the end of Cliff Road surrounded by a wall and metal gates. It may have seemed like a prison to some, but the walls and gates insured privacy in the upscale community of Belle Terre. Long Island, as most would think, is just that: a long island located in Southeast New York, east of Manhattan.

Deborah was so close to everything yet still had the privacy of being alone in the country. She could close her eyes and soak in the sun or open them and look out at the beautiful Port Jefferson harbor. There was nothing like watching the boats on the water and the rest of the activity to give her a level of relaxation that she never tired of. Most of the time she would bring a good book and a newspaper to read until she took a short nap.

She was blessed, and she recognized it. At 26 years of age she couldn't have asked for a better life other than losing her mother at the age of 13. Her dad was more than a dad; he was a father in the true sense of the word. William Lance was involved in his daughter's life in every way, even during what most parents considered the terrible teenage years. He would often say the hell with the people who would say the terrible twos or threes. It was the ages 16 through 18 that he found most challenging in raising a young woman. Even during those years William Lance was there for Deborah in every way, including when discipline had to be given.

William was rich in finances, but more important, he was rich in friends. From the time Debbie as her friends called her, got her first cell phone, she was required to call her dad at least once a day no matter where he or she was. If she missed a day, she would lose her phone for a week and have it replaced with a GoPhone. His words stuck with her after she lost the phone the first few times. Her father would say, "Until you are responsible to another, I want to hear from you once a day. This way when I don't, I know something is wrong." Little did he or she know, those words would ring true.

Robert Simpson, her father's assistant, came out to bring her an iced tea on this late morning day. "Unsweetened iced tea with cranberry juice, Ms. Debbie."

"Thank you, sir," she replied.

Robert placed the glass down next to her lounge chair on the round table and bent down closer to her and said, "It's just the way you like it," as he smiled.

Deborah took off her sunglasses and put her hand on the back of his neck and brought him closer for a kiss. Robert moved his hand over to the bottom of the bikini, where Deborah stopped it.

"Are you crazy?" she laughed.

"Oh," he replied. "It's been a while, baby. I miss you."

"Well, it's going to have to wait a little while longer. We can't hook up while my dad is home," she replied.

Robert shrugged his shoulders and replied, "He won't notice anything."

Deborah pushed him away, saying, "No, sorry, I can't. I'll be back tomorrow while Dad is playing golf," as she gave him a wink.

She made a good decision, because her father came out back a few minutes later to check out the scenery. He gave his daughter a kiss on top of her head, which was Robert's cue to get some work done in the house. Debbie told her dad she would see him the next day before going back to her place. She was on her way to meet her best friend Patty and see a concert in Bridgeport. She planned to stay over with her relatives before coming back Sunday afternoon on the Cross Island Ferry.

"OK, sweetheart," her father replied. "Just be careful, and don't forget to call your dad tomorrow." He kissed her again.

She smiled and said, "Yes, Dad."

The Cross Island Ferry crosses Long Island Sound between the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the Long Island village of Port Jefferson. The 90-minute ride allows pedestrians, vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, and buses of all sizes to load onto the ferry. Riding the ferry in the summer saves time and gives riders a chance to relax and soak in the atmosphere or read or even sit in the bar for a drink.

Debbie gathered her things and sent Patty a text saying she would be taking the 4:00 pm ferry to Bridgeport and would meet up with her to have dinner at 5:30 before the concert. She went up to the bedroom she grew up in and smiled, as she did every time she entered it. Her father had kept everything the same since she moved out on her own. She always thought that once she and Robert were married, she would be back living in the guesthouse with him, so no matter what, this was her home and would always be her home. Many people have called it the Pink Mansion, the Lance Mansion, or the Pink House, but to her it was home.

She went into her walk-in closet and started looking at things she could possibly wear for the concert that night. She had so many clothes that she had left many of them in her home in Belle Terre when she moved out. Her life was always very private and low-key, even though her father had been in the public eye.

By the time she showered, got dressed, and put her makeup on, it was already past 1:00 pm. Debbie felt like having lunch down in the village before catching the ferry, so she asked her father if he wanted to join her at Z Pita, many locals' favorite casual eatery.

"Forget about tomorrow, Dad, let's have lunch."

"Sure," he replied.

"But only if you're buying," she replied, laughing.

He shook his head. "Some things never change."

Debbie drove to Z Pita with her Dad following. Because she was taking her car onto the ferry, he needed to take his own vehicle which was diamond white Corvette, he called it his favorite toy. They walked into Z Pita and sat for lunch at table four. It was ironic because the two men sitting at table three, Detectives Powers and Johnson, were going to be a part of her for the remainder of her life. No matter how long or short it would be, it was these two that would have an important role in her destiny and yet now, this second, they were just two men sitting close to her space while not even giving them a moment's thought.

The Z Pita building was the original firehouse in Port Jefferson Village, but now it was a 900-square-foot restaurant that had 20 tables inside. If you didn't make a reservation for dinner, most likely you would not be at one of the 20 tables. The chalkboards on the front sidewalk facing Main Street listing the specials gave it a distinctive, unique look. Once you came inside, the small cafe; was divided by a wall. The owner Joey Z kept one side for families and the other side just for adults. He opened the place in 1998 and had been busy ever since. He earned it. The service was top-notch and the food was delicious. The historical pictures of Port Jefferson Village only added to the charm. Upstairs, above the restaurant, he rented out the apartment to Detective Powers, who was sitting three feet away from Debbie and her father at table three.

When lunch was finished, Debbie kissed her father goodbye as she got into her 2010 burnt-orange Charger and drove down Main Street, took a right on East Broadway, and turned left into the ferry parking lot. The attendant asked her if she had a reservation and assigned her to lane 4 after she replied that she did not have one. Debbie pulled her car around and drove into the lane, shut her engine off, and waited until the vessel named
George Washington
pulled up to the dock next to Danford's Restaurant and Hotel. She turned the key just far enough to listen to the radio station 106.1 BLI without turning the engine on and began to send a few texts. One of them was to tease Robert Simpson: "keep your pants on, I will attack you tomorrow. It will be worth the wait." She did not get her reply from Robert before they started loading the ferry.

The huge vessel hit the dock at 3:12 pm. It took about 15 minutes to unload the vehicles crossing over from Connecticut and another 12 minutes to load up the cars going to Bridgeport. Across the street was William Lance. He hadn't told his daughter he would not leave until she drove the car on to the boat. She was an adult now, but he was still her father. It would not change the way he worried about her. Debbie turned her car on and started driving up the ramp to load onto the boat. Her car disappeared from view once she was inside. As the ferry employee directed her, the young woman pulled into the last possible space on the north side of the large boat. She turned the key to shut off the engine and instead of getting out of the car, she took out her hairbrush to fix her hair and take inventory of her belongingsin her pocketbook. Inside she found little post it notes that she kept from her father. He would leave her notes, sometimes serious, and at other times, humorous but she always kept her favorites. It was times like this when she was alone that she would read them. Yet, she was not alone. 4 vehicles in front of her in the row next to her were 3 occupants who had interest in what Debbie Lance was doing. One of them got out of the car and walked upstairs to the pursor's office to pay for the ride across the sound. When he reached the window, he bought a ticket for one vehicle and 1 occupant even though there were 2 others with him. The man went back to his vehicle as his partner left his seat and went up to the purchase window and also bought a ticket for 1 vehicle and 1 occupant. When he came back downstairs to meet up with his other companions, Debbie Lance was still in her car going through her personal effects. The 3 of them became restless as they got out of the car and started looking around to see that almost everyone had gone upstairs to the air conditioned seating to relax, pay for the ride or go to the restaurant bar or sit on the top deck. One of the men walked past Debbie and received a smile from her as he walked by her window. He was actually enjoying the suspense and the thrill over what he was about to do. The young woman put all her belongings back in her bag and was so preoccupied that she was startled by the loud ship horn of the ferry which occurred everytime it left the village. The sound was so loud it could be heard throughout the entire village, even inside the buildings if it was quiet. Debbie laughed at herself for being so frightened by the sound. She opened her car door still with the smile on her face as the man who had just walked by her window punched her in the side of her cheek and she quickly fell over unconscious. Within seconds his two accomplices ran over as the keys were tossed to them. The trunk of the car was opened and Debbie Lance was thrown inside. The man who struck her promptly sat down behind the wheel of her car and started unpeeling a banana. He only became annoyed when he realized the radio in the vehicle would not work while on the ferry.

He looked over at his partners and gave them a thumbs up as they returned to their vehicles.

Debbie never met Patty for dinner, and she wasn't at her seat when the concert started. With no replies from Debbie to texts or phone calls, Patty finally called Robert Simpson to tell him that she never met up with her and that she was worried. Robert looked at his watch and saw 8:06 pm, which meant more than four and a half hours had passed since Debbie drove onto the ferry. Robert ran up to the main house and gave William Lance the news that his daughter never made it to Connecticut. William Lance called his daughter's cell number, to no avail. He tried to remain calm but with his over protective emotions about her, he decided to call in favors with the Suffolk county police department who in turn connected him to the FBI. Normally it would require a much longer time to have elapsed before their involvement but the ferry did cross state lines and courtesy would be given to the former Suffolk county executive.

He knew she boarded the ferry to Connecticut because he had witnessed it. William dialed Debbie's number five times, and it kept going to voice mail. Each time he left a message to call him. Questions kept entering his mind. What could have happened on the boat? Did they find her car? She wouldn't run away, would she? Was this a kidnapping? He had visions of someone throwing her overboard on the Long Island Sound. He shook his head to try and clear his thoughts, but they wouldn't go away. Down the hall he could hear Simpson dial her phone and leave messages. William Lance was getting concerned. If something happened to his daughter, he would not have a reason to live anymore. He did not want to overreact, but he knew his daughter. There was no way she would have committed suicide, so the only explanation was that something happen to her. He tried to think of other options that could have happen but there was not many, especially when there is only a certain amount of space on a large ship over the long island sound.

During his term as county executive, he was the chief administrative officer of county government. He was elected for four years and had a high approval rating when he decided not to seek reelection from the voters of Long Island. His expertise on budgets, program services, and labor relations proved to be what most considered an extremely successful term during his tenure, however it was his relationship with the police department and its force that created the quick response that was given to William Lance.

Special Agent Jack O'Connor arrived at the door within the hour. Though he was not convinced foul play was involved, he took information from both William Lance and Robert Simpson as to Deborah Lance's trail. He then drove to the Cross Island Ferry, which was getting ready to close for the evening, and realized there was no way to verify that Debbie had in fact took the vessel other than her father being a eye witness to her driving on to the boat. Only a reservation would have been documented proof that she was on the boat once she checked in. He knew then it was going to be a long weekend.

BOOK: The Face of Fear: A Powers and Johnson Novel
4.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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