Day Two: Escape 1
“I hope you’re happy,” Sigrid said, tugging at the ropes. “All we had to do was show up, hand over the money, and we’d be done.” She tugged again. “Out.” She made a little growling noise as she managed to get her left hand into her back pocket to reach the switchblade. “Finished.” There was a pause, and a quiet noise. “Hah!”
The knife clattered to the concrete floor.
The man chained to the floor in the corner shrugged, torn leather scraping against the concrete wall he was leaning against. The chains jingled slightly. “I told you to hire another guy.”
“We didn’t have the money for another guy, Ezra,” she said, trying to take one shoe off with the other. “We had money for the guns – DAMMIT – and the… What did you call them? ‘Foolproof disguises?’”
“I never said they were foolproof,” he said. “Just that they were good.”
She stopped moving and glared at the wall in front of her as if Ezra were there, instead of chained out of her sight behind the chair she was tied into. “Yes. Of course. Very good disguises. If by ‘very good’ you mean ‘Perfect for getting our asses handed to us and making sure we would never be seen by our loved ones again.’”
“You don’t have loved ones, Sigrid,” he said, and she could hear the smirk in his voice.
“You don’t know that,” she said. There was at least one more knife in the other boot. She started trying to wriggle her toes under the laces.
“You don’t. People with loved ones don’t try to scam the Mob.”
“Point. But that’s not helping us get out of here.”
“You’re changing the subject.”
“If I can get this other boot off, I’ll be able to cut myself free and then – despite my better judgment – I can get you unlocked.”
“You’re definitely changing the subject.”
“Gimme a sec to….”
There was a minute of silence, broken only by the soft scuffle of her feet. Then a quiet metallic ‘snikt’ noise.
“Good,” she whispered.
“Did you just -”
“Shut up,” she said, and began sawing through the ropes. Her breathing became labored as she contorted her leg up to get to the rope that bound her arms to her sides. She cursed quietly but proficiently under her breath as she picked away until the rope came free with a soft tearing sound.
She grabbed the knife in her newly freed hand and made short work of the rest of her bindings. “All RIGHT,” she said, standing up. “Now, can you give me a really good reason why I should WHAT THE HELL?”
Sigrid turned around to see Ezra leaning against the wall. The chain was coiled up neatly at his feet.
He held up one hand, the other in his pocket. “I just wanted to see if you could manage it. Now let’s get out of here.”
“You could have helped me!”
“Yes, I could have,” he said, running his hand down the wall by the door. “But I didn’t. I wanted to see if you could get out like that.”
She spun the knife in her hand. There was a tiny spot on the back of his jacket, a little place where the seam had rubbed away a bit. It was slightly worn and discolored and it called to her, practically begging her to just jam a blade in there. She bit her lip and snapped the blade shut. “If you got out of those,” she said through her teeth, “you should be able to get us out of here.” She picked up her third knife and laid it carefully in his outstretched hand.
“Thanks,” he said. “And yes, I can. So long as I think about it the right way.” He tapped the concrete wall with the edge of the blade, causing her to wince.
“Do you know what matter is?” he asked after a minute.
“Do you know what matter is? Things.” He gestured aimlessly. “The stuff all around us.” He tapped the wall again.
She shrugged. “Concrete. Steel. Armed thugs.”
He smiled and looked back at her. “Nothing.”
“Well,” he said, waggling his fingers at her. “ Mostly nothing. There’s a little bit of something in there. But not a whole lot.”
“Well a whole lot of nothing is staring me right in the face, and even more of it is on its way to drop us in the East River, so if Yer Honorable Zen-ness wouldn’t mind holding off on the philosophy until we’re far, far away from here, I’d really appreciate it.”
He turned back to the door and tapped it again with the knife. “The neat thing is that there’s so much nothing there that, if you know how, you can just….” He slid the knife into the concrete quickly and quietly. His hand followed with it.
“Slip right through.” He turned and grinned and stepped through the wall.
She jumped at the door after him, and her hand slapped cold steel. “Ezra, you son of a bitch, what did you do? Don’t leave me here, you… you… FREAK!!”
The lock clicked, silencing her. She backed away from the door, palming the switchblade. The door swung open, revealing Ezra, hands in the pockets of his jacket and a smug grin on his face. “You comin’, Sig?” he asked.
She grabbed her other boot and pulled it on. “One of these days you’re going to tell me how you did that,” she said.
“I told you – it’s mostly nothing.”
“And when you do I’m going to beat you senseless.” She stood up and held out her hand for the knife. Ezra gave it to her. “But until then, we have a small legion of large men in bad suits to get away from, so let’s go.” Sigrid stepped gingerly out the door, looked to see that no one was around, and dashed off to the stairwell. Ezra followed, his pace slow and sure.