Bücher online kostenlos Kostenlos Online Lesen


Titel: Lightning
Autoren: Dean Koontz
Vom Netzwerk:
him. Startled, Markwell turned his head and saw a man bending down and peering at him through the glass.
    The stranger was approximately thirty-five. His features were bold, well-formed. Even through the partly fogged window he was a striking man. He was wearing a navy peacoat with the collar turned up. In the arctic air his nostrils smoked, and when he spoke, the words were dressed in pale puffs of breath. "Dr. Markwell?"
    Markwell rolled down the window. "Yes?"
    "Dr. Paul Markwell?"
    "Yes, yes. Didn't I just say so? But I've no office hours here tonight, and I'm on my way to see a patient at the hospital."
    The stranger had unusually blue eyes that conjured in Markwell the image of a clear winter sky reflected in the millimeter-thin ice of a just-freezing pond. They were arresting, quite beautiful, but he knew at once that they were also the eyes of a dangerous man.
    Before Markwell could throw the car into gear and reverse toward the street where help might be found, the man in the peacoat thrust a pistol through the open window. "Don't do anything stupid."
    When the muzzle pressed into the tender flesh under his chin, the physician realized with some surprise that he did not want to die. He had long nursed the idea that he was ready to embrace death. Yet now, instead of welcoming the realization of his will to live, he was guilt-stricken. To embrace life seemed a betrayal of the son with whom he could be joined only in death.
    "Kill the headlights, Doctor. Good. Now switch off the engine."
    Markwell withdrew the key from the ignition. "Who are you?"
    "That's not important."
    "It is to me. What do you want? What're you going to do to me?"
    "Cooperate, and you won't be hurt. But try to get away, and I'll blow your damn head off, then empty the gun into your dead body just for the hell of it." His voice was soft, inaptly pleasant, but full of conviction. "Give me the keys."
    Markwell passed them through the open window.
    "Now come out of there."
    Slowly sobering, Markwell got out of the car. The vicious wind bit his face. He had to squint to keep the fine snow out of his eyes.
    "Before you close the door, roll up the window." The stranger crowded him, allowing no avenue of escape. "Okay, very good. Now, Doctor, walk with me to the garage."
    "This is crazy. What—"
    The stranger stayed at Markwell's side, holding him by the left arm. If someone was watching from a neighboring house or from the street, the gloom and falling snow would conceal the gun.
    In the garage, at the stranger's direction, Markwell pulled the big door shut. The cold, unoiled hinges squealed.
    "If you want money—"
    "Shut up and get in the house."
    "Listen, a patient of mine is in labor at the county—"
    "If you don't shut up, I'll use the butt of this pistol to smash every tooth in your head, and you won't be
to talk."
    Markwell believed him. Six feet tall, about a hundred and eighty pounds, the man was Markwell's size but was intimidating. His blond hair was frosted with melting snow, and as the droplets trickled down his brow and temples, he appeared to be as devoid of humanity as an ice statue at a winter carnival. Markwell had no doubt that in a physical confrontation the stranger in the peacoat would win handily against most adversaries, especially against one middle-aged, out-of-shape, drunken physician.

    Bob Shane felt claustrophobic in the cramped maternity-ward lounge provided for expectant fathers. The room had a low acoustic-tile ceiling, drab green walls, and a single window rimed with frost. The air was too warm. The six chairs and two end tables were too much furniture for the narrow space. He had an urge to push through the double swinging doors into the corridor, race to the other end of the hospital, cross the main public lounge, and break out into the cold night, where there was no stink of antiseptics or illness.
    He remained in the maternity lounge, however, to be near to Janet if she needed him. Something was wrong. Labor was supposed to be painful but not as agonizing as the brutal, extended contractions that Janet had endured for so long. The physicians would not admit that serious complications had arisen, but their concern was apparent.
    Bob understood the source of his claustrophobia. He was not actually afraid that the walls were closing in. What was closing in was death, perhaps that of his wife or of his unborn child—or both.
    The swinging doors opened inward, and Dr. Yamatta entered.
    As he rose
Vom Netzwerk:

Weitere Kostenlose Bücher