Consequences Part 11

November 4th, 2011 by Wordsman

“Let me get this straight: you want me to get you out of those handcuffs.”

“For a start.”

Peter frowned.  You never get a good answer when you start with “Let me get this straight.”  “And how would you suggest I go about doing that?”

Though she hadn’t done it in a while, in the early days of her captivity the old woman had spent some time imagining who her rescuer might be.  They came in a variety of sizes and colors, but one thing they all had in common was that they were heroic.  In her mind one of the defining characteristics of heroism was the ability to take charge of a situation.  Heroes do not need to be led by the hand every step of the way.  But after two hundred thirty-three days, she was not about to start looking gift horses in the mouth.

“The most basic way would be to go at them with some kind of saw, I suppose.”  She had spent many hours planning exactly how to direct her champion, should he ever appear.  It seemed perfectly in keeping with her luck that when he finally did, the first problem they would have to deal with would be something that hadn’t come up until that very morning.  “But it sounds like you’re having a pretty jittery day, so I don’t think I trust you with sharp objects.”

Apparently, if you ordered me to use the saw, my mind would be crystal clear.”  Sarcasm: also not an official stage of grief, but useful nonetheless.

“No thanks.  You’re just going to have to get the key.”

“The key.”


“The key to the handcuffs.”

“That’s the one.”

“The key to the handcuffs, which is in the police station.”

“That’s where I would keep it if I was the police.”

“And that’s exactly where they’d want to keep me if I tried to steal it!”

Peter didn’t like the idea of trying to get a job at a law firm with an attempted theft from a government building on his record.  He didn’t like standing around discussing the crime with someone whom the police had already tried to arrest once that day and were probably coming around to get a second time.  He didn’t like her explanation of the song in his head, which he only believed because it happened to stop when he was near her.  He especially didn’t like that he was essentially rewarding this woman for smacking him in the face—lawyers know all about setting bad precedents.

“Forget it,” he said.  “I’ll take my chances with the earworm.”  He turned around and walked toward the exit.

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