“DON’T JUST STARE AT THE FUCKIN DOORWAY!! Get her you useless pricks!”
Janey could barely hear the psychotic tones of her old boss as she was halfway down the hallway, sprinting away from her certain death. Why did she always find the worst thing to say in a crisis? She made a mental note to address this dangerous character trait once her imminent death had been averted.
Running up to the lifts, Janey ran her fist into the down button. Luckily one of the lifts was on her floor so it opened with a BING! Throwing herself inside in a whirlwind of sweat and breath, Janey stared at the numbers for each floor when a crazy idea hit her in the face like a wet sock. She could hear the heavy-footed henchmen approaching so dragged her newly painted nails down the buttons catching almost all of them in one go. Before the lift doors could close, Janey jumped through the shiny metal gap and carried on running down the hallway to find another way to the parking lot. As her skirt flew round the corner, away from the lifts, the mouth-breathing henchmen reached the metal doors and stopped to watch what floor their target had got off at. Considering how many brain cells they collectively owned, they were going to be some time.
Bursting into the stairwell, Janey suddenly realised she was nine floors up. Why is the boss’s office never on the ground floor? She didn’t have time to answer that because her focus needed to be on getting down this avalanche of cold grey steps. She kicked both of her heels into the air, catching both in quick succession. This was the quickest her body had travelled anywhere in decades and Janey was impressed how fit she seemed to be. Of course she was forgetting the amount of blind panic and adrenaline that was currently coursing through her body. Whatever the reason, this combination of bare feet and panic sped up her descent and in no time she had made it to the third floor.
Janey could have carried on down the stairs but she knew they would be expecting that. Carefully she put her ear up to the third floor door and listened. Nothing… well except for the worst Muzak this side of Nevada. Slowly opening the door, Janey stuck her phone out and looked down both directions of the hallway. Still nothing. One deep breath, one short breath and a big exhale for luck she dashed onto the third floor and ran towards her latest destination.
Jogging down the hallway, Janey knew she only needed one of the doors on the right-hand side to be open. Unfortunately, at this time of night it was unlikely, unless the maid had been called. This was a stupid long shot but she had to try. Every shut door made her heart sink further especially when the distant BING! behind her revealed a familiar noise from a previous floor. They’d found her.
Reaching the last door in the hallway, Janey stopped, span round and saw the henchmen were only 30 seconds away from catching her. She closed her eyes resigned to the fact she was about to die…
Janey’s eyes flew open, the hotel room door next to her had magically come to her rescue. She barged through the door, apologised to the person she’d just knocked over, jumped over the pile of clothes by the bed, flung open the balcony window and without overthinking it, dived over the side into a long plummet towards the ground.
At this point, clinging to her heels whilst she headed swiftly towards an icky end, Janey opened her eyes to check if her idea had worked. This was also the moment her legs hit the water of the hotel’s swimming pool. It was shallower than she remembered but, other than being winded by the impact and soaking wet, Janey and her phone were alive. And her car was just around the corner.
The squelchy journey to her car had been eerily straightforward, other than the one thirty foot drop into a swimming pool. Janey took one last look around, unlocked her bashed up blue rust bucket and got in. Maybe the henchmen had given up? It was a lot of running for such large units. The car started first time, avoiding the usual cliché of these situations proving to Janey this was really happening to her. Taking off the handbrake and jamming her foot down on the accelerator, Janey’s car didn’t know what was happening but thankfully it did what it was built for and sped down the strip towards the freeway.
Putting her phone down after a frantic conversation speeding down the freeway, Janey looked in her rear view mirror… nothing weird at all. Breathing a sigh of relief she turned on her CD and the Travelling Wilburys started blaring out.
You walked in, half past nine
Lookin' like a queen
Serving me with papers
Calling me obscene.
Woman, I've tried so hard
Just to do my best
They're gonna put me in the poor house
And you'll take all the rest.
Janey loved this song. The problem was she loved it too much. Meaning that she didn’t notice the two huge black Humvees about to ram her car. As the song kept playing the first Humvee inserted itself into Janet’s bumper at speed. The impact sent her body crashing forward tightening the belt around her chest. Doing her best to keep the car on the road, Janey looked directly out of her window at the ominous black beast filled with familiar heavy breathing faces.
Aw, hit it
(Ooh-ooh, in the poor house) Whoa
This was not going to end well unless… Janey slammed on the brakes and sharply turned her steering wheel towards the henchmen’s Humvee. Her little blue rust bucket slammed against her larger opponent who swerved into the next lane barely making a dent. All the henchmen including the driver stared down at Janey knowing they had won. Yet Janey was laughing. The henchmen were confused, why was she laughing and pointing down the road? It didn’t take long for them to find out when the truck crashed through the Humvee causing a large explosion on that side of the freeway. If they hadn’t been so dumb they might have realised they had swerved across one too many lanes and were now driving into oncoming traffic.
If I drove a pulpwood truck
Would you love me more
Will you bring me diamonds
And hang around my door
Janey’s car was struggling, she had no idea where she was headed but needed to find somewhere to hide. Her house wouldn’t be safe so she needed to… BANG! The second Humvee filled with more henchmen slammed head-on to the side of Janey’s car, sending her off the road and into a wall, crumpling the car into a metal accordion and stopping everything in its tracks. As she lost consciousness, Janey was serenaded by Tom Petty on a malfunctioning CD player.
Woman, I've done my best
There ain't much left for me
They're gonna put me in the poor house
And throw away the key.
“There she is!” said a familiar voice.
Janey groggily opened her eyes to see her boss smiling back at her in a high-backed armchair in the corner of the room. Her right arm was strapped up and she could hear her heartbeat beeping away via the machine next to her bed. Her mouth was so dry, it caused her to clear her throat spitting a blood-soaked loogey in her boss’s direction.
“How sweet! For me?” Janey’s boss chuckled at her.
“Look at me! Don’t you think you’ve hurt me enough?” crackled Janey, noticing her voice was shakier than she expected.
“Maybe if tonight hadn’t happened I’d have given you a whirl but we’re just too different and…”
Janey’s boss stood up and slowly walked over towards her. Leaning into her ear he whispered the rest of his response,
“You saw too much!”
Janey’s eyes widened, even on her best day she did not have the strength to fight against this guy and his countless minions. She’d fought hard but she knew this was nearly the end.
Closing her eyes, Janey didn’t notice her boss disappearing abruptly from her bedside. But the accompanying noise and swear words interrupted her final moments and her eyes bounced open to see her boss being dragged out of the ward by two armed police. Through relief Janey passed out and gained consciousness a few minutes later to see an armed policeman next to her bed.
“Miss Cartwright? Just wanted to say we are guarding your ward and that man will not be causing you any further danger. Get some rest. We’ll be back to ask some questions when you’re ready.”
Janey wanted to talk to the nurse and this cop, to check she still had her phone and clothes, but she needed to recover first so drifted back into a well-earned sleep.
Three and a shit hours earlier
“Hello!?! Police please… Yes it’s a fucking emergency… why else would I be calling you? Sorry, I’m trying to drive at speed and call you… did I say drive? No I meant thrive… driving on the phone is illegal silly! Anyway this is a lovely conversation but I need your fuckin’ help! So shut up and listen as I tell you what I saw…”