Another Saturday, another scene!
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This week’s scene is from Last Call: Cease, the second story in the final Mina and Matty series.
Gradually, she became aware of her chin slamming into something hard. Mina blinked the snowflakes off her eyelashes and lifted her head. She hung over the shoulder of the golem.
Her teeth chattered so hard her jaw ached, and her hair stuck to her face, frozen in place. The stiff strands smelled like the river. She couldn’t understand what was happening.
You’re cold, and you got knocked out. Your brain is on the fritz.
Mina tried to shake her head to restore some sense of equilibrium, but the movement made her want to puke. She swallowed the bile in her throat. She’d heal up faster than a human, but a blow to the head still scrambled her brains for a bit.
Slowly, the world swam into focus. The Trojan hovered off to her right, still floating in the air. He met her eyes and heaved a relieved sigh. He jerked his head, indicating to something behind them.
Mina peered into the darkness. From behind a garbage can, a shadow shifted and gold flashed for an instant.
It’s Matty. He’s following us.
Relieved, she closed her eyes, and counted the thumps in her temple. She blacked out somewhere past twelve.
The next time she opened her eyes, plastic cut into her wrists, and she couldn’t move. The dizzy, unreal feelings had passed, although she had a headache.
She couldn’t hear any breathing but hers. Still, she waited until her eyes adjusted to the darkness, so she could look around. She sat alone, tied to a chair, in the middle of a mouldering, dank room only marginally warmer than outside. Her breath hung misty in the air.
She strained to hear anything beyond her room, but couldn’t make out any creaking floorboards or quiet chatter of guards. Wherever she had been taken, she was alone. As far as she could tell.
The next step: get out of the chair. Sitting upright with her arms behind her back meant she couldn’t change into a wolf. The position would be worse for a canine.
Thank the gods for Sam.
Mina slipped her ring off her finger. Her latest Christmas gift from her Speaker held a surprise. A groove on the inside housed a tiny, flexible saw.
She eased it out with a nail. With painstaking care, she turned the saw until it was between her thumb and forefinger. She slipped it under the zip tie that bit into her skin. Slowly, she worked it back and forth until she had a groove. Then she carefully reset the thin strip of metal and worked it faster. It took about a minute to break through her bonds.
She was still secured with rope around her middle, but releasing her arms loosened the thick nylon. Mina wiggled around, working her shoulders back and forth until she could lift an arm. Then she pulled her birthday present out of her hair.
She had no idea where Sam had bought the clip, but it was the handiest and prettiest multitool she had even seen. It housed everything from a screwdriver to a ruler. Right now, the most interesting feature had to be the saw-toothed edge.
It took much longer to saw through the rope than the zip tie. The angle was awkward and she had limited room to move her arm. The serrated cutting edge wasn’t particularly sharp, either. But every strand that snapped made it easier to saw through the next.
Eventually the last two strands sagged and Mina pushed them away. She put her clip back, careful, as always, not to accidentally slice off a hunk of hair.
She looked around again and noticed her purse. The contents had been spread about. She knelt beside the smashed hunk of wires and plastic that had been her cellphone. She held her breath at what wasn’t on the floor. She picked up the tiny bit of leather and let out a relieved sigh. Whoever had searched her purse hadn’t found the hidden pouch. That or they were sloppy.
She unzipped the lining and pulled out a taser. Now armed, she let out a breath and took a moment to consider the situation.
As a wolf, she had greater sneaking and fighting ability. But Matty had been following them, as well. Without a Speaker, a change was chancy, and she might need to talk when Matty got to her. Overall, staying human made more sense for the moment.
That decided, now she had to find the Trojan. Or her brother. She walked quietly towards the door and listened. There was still no sound in the hallway.
Mina eased the door open and peered into the hall, taser held at the ready. It seemed to be as as moldy and dank as the room she had been held in, and utterly empty from what she could see.
She slowly opened the door wide, taser in front of her. A woman stood off to her right. Her features were too even, and the pale skin had an odd sheen to it.