Trapped! the final crisis ( 800 words)
You wake up late on Tuesday morning, groggy and disorientated. For a long time, you remain on the sofa bed, still and silent as you catch your thoughts and weigh up the situation.
‘What happened yesterday?’ you say, finally.
‘Yesterday?’ The gorgeous woman says. ‘I didn’t know you were awake.’ As usual, she’s sitting at the table, smiling as she texts away. ‘Are you feeling better? A bit sleepy, I expect. Those painkillers are potent, aren’t they?’
‘The tablets you were prescribed by the doctor. Don’t you remember?’
‘When did I see a doctor?’
‘Yesterday afternoon. We took a taxi to the walk-in at Finchley Memorial. They wanted to send you for a brain scan, but you refused, so they gave you some potent painkillers and told you to contact your GP as soon as possible. You probably shouldn’t take any more tablets unless you really need to.’
‘I don’t remember going to a walk-in.’
‘Precisely. The tablets made you drowsy and you forgot about it. I wouldn’t worry too much. The side effects will wear off in a couple of days. By the way, the friend I was telling you about is coming over this evening instead. I had to cancel last night, as there’s no way you would have been up for it.’
‘Why don’t I make us a bit of brunch? You haven’t eaten since Sunday morning. You need protein.’
‘Okay,’ you say, to buy yourself some time.
You finally accept the truth. The full truth, not part of the truth. The gorgeous woman’s lied all along. You didn’t take a taxi to a walk-in yesterday. You didn’t accept a prescription for painkillers. You didn’t kill a bloke in the early hours of Sunday morning. You fell for the woman’s story because you fancied her and wanted to play the hero by offering her safety from her abusive boyfriend. Or so-called boyfriend who probably doesn’t exist.
You must find a way out of the situation. Now.
And the tiredness? The dizziness? The amnesia? She must have slipped drugs into your drinks over the last few days.
You have to escape from a woman as unstable as this.
Only problem, you need to take a couple of steep flights of stairs down to the ground floor in order to exit the building and summon help, and you’re way too heady and giddy for the stairs.
‘Are there any eggs left?’ you say.
‘An unopened box in the fridge, I believe.’
‘Any chance you could you do boiled?’ you say, knowing that these take the longest to prepare. ‘I’m pretty famished.’
‘Certainly. Would you like toast as well?’
Lying back on the sofa bed, you snuggle deep under the duvet so that you can use your phone without the gorgeous woman seeing. You intend to text for help. But before you can do that, a news headlines flashes up on the screen, along with a photograph of the woman.
ANXIETIES GROW AS POLICE CONTINUE SEARCH FOR MISSING WOMAN
The photograph. It’s her, definitely.
You scan read the article, enough to get the gist. The woman recently left psychiatric care and should not be approached, although the article doesn’t give a reason why people should avoid her.
You text Simon with the woman’s name, saying you’re in an emergency and in danger. You ask him to contact the police immediately, as the woman would hear you phone the emergency services. As an afterthought, you forward the text to another mate.
You get out of bed, fighting the urge to topple over. You intend to grab your keys and leave the building best you can, but when you look at the door you realise that your keys are no longer in the lock.
So where are they?
In the gorgeous woman’s handbag, most probably.
‘Don’t take this the wrong way,’ she says from the kitchen area. ‘But you’ve been wearing those same clothes for three days. Would it offend you if I asked you to freshen up in the bathroom?’
‘That’s very reasonable of you.’ She turns the pan on the stove down and wanders over to the wardrobe to select a jumper, trousers, underwear and socks. ‘Okay? Take your time, and brunch will be ready soon.’
So you head to the bathroom. A good start. Complicity seems the best option. Pretend to go along with the woman, fool her, and find your keys.
Plus, the police will arrive soon.
After a struggle to retain your balance, you manage to change into fresh clothes, and you step back into the main area of the flat, hoping to retrieve your keys from the woman’s handbag.
‘Looking for something?’ a voice says behind you.
You feel something like a needle pierce your skin and everything blackens. And just before you lose consciousness, you catch a glimpse of the gorgeous woman.
She looks furious.
‘I don’t like being betrayed,’ she says.
And that’s the last you know for a while.