Soul Scout Chapter 37: Plan C
-- Psalm 20:4
Even though Caisee Pells was anxious to be freed from the bonds that had fastened her to a chair for several hours, her legs weren’t ready to support her weight when she stood up.
She immediately fell.
“Oww,” she said, lying on the floor. “My legs are still asleep. Can you give me a moment?”
“OK, but don’t stay down there long,” said Doyle Logan, keeping his gun trained on her. “We only have a few minutes to do this. Neither of us wants the dragon lady to return and see you loose.”
“No. … here goes.”
Her legs still felt painful tingles, but she slowly got off the floor and tried to regain her balance. She nearly fell again when she felt Logan’s hands help steady her. Knowing his gun was tucked away for the moment, she nearly took off running, but Caisee knew her legs were in no condition for a sprint. They may as well been hollowed out and filled with lead. Her feet were pin cushions for a million tiny needles. She would have to wait for the most opportune time to start her escape, sticking to Plan A – escaping through a bathroom window she prayed was waiting for her to climb through.
“OK, do you have the feeling back in your legs?”
“Sort of,” Caisee replied softly. She took a few short, awkward steps and started feeling her courage waning. Was all of this going to end with her tied up again to the chair or worse -- gunned down?
Logan waved his gun toward the door. “The bathroom is through the door and down the hall. Let’s get going.”
Caisee walked slowly and Logan opened the door, which led to a long, narrow hallway with several doors on both sides – the one at the far end was marked with a flickering exit sign. Dimly lit, the hallway smelled of mold, and water stains streaked down portions of both walls. Whatever this place was, it wasn’t in use anymore and hadn’t been for a long time.
“Last door on the right,” Logan said. “Don’t get any ideas in your head about running off.”
Please, please, please let there be a window I can crawl out of, Lord. There is always one whenever someone tries to escape in the movies. I know this isn’t a movie, but I could use a Hollywood ending right now.
Logan opened the bathroom door, turned on the light -- a single dim bulb dangling from the ceiling on a dusty cord -- and lightly pushed the gun into Caisee’s back.
“Make it quick.”
Caisee’s heart sank as she quickly scanned the room once the door closed … no windows. Just four walls, a dirty toilet, a sullied sink, a mirror cracked in five places, an overflowing wastebasket and a stench worse than any truckstop restroom she had ever been in.
No! There’s no way to sneak out of here.
She just stood there, staring at the walls for several seconds, as if her gaze could punch a hole through them.
“Hurry up,” Logan said through the door.
“Just a minute,” Caisee replied, snapping out of her daydream. Her legs nearly felt normal again as she closed her eyes and prayed.
Lord, how am I going to get out of this? I was hoping I could pop through a window and disappear. Now I have to resort to Plan C, but I’m gonna need Your help to make that work. I might not get another chance. Help me, please. Amen.
Caisee knew she only had a minute or so before Logan might get restless and barge into the room. So she quickly flushed the toilet and ran the sink, hopefully buying her a few more seconds to gather the courage to implement Plan C. She mentally ran through what she saw as her only options:
Plan A: Escape through a bathroom window. Not possible.
Plan B: Return to the chair, get tied up again, and hope for another chance to escape. Not an option.
Plan C: Surprise Logan with swift kick and high-tail it out of here. Is there any other choice?
“Hey! Don’t make me come in there. Finish up and get out here,” Logan said, punctuating his threat by pounding the door a couple of times.
“Coming,” Caisee said, as she thought back to the self-defense class she once took for six weeks in high school.
She didn’t even want to take the class, but she needed the extra credit and convinced her best friend, Tate, and brother, Wakeman, to tag along. They took turns practicing several martial arts maneuvers on each other, but probably spent more time giggling and goofing around than anything else. Bruce Lee’s legend was safe.
Self-defense wasn’t her favorite high school class by a long shot, but she did enjoy the parts of the class when she got to kick. Caisee felt powerful snapping her long legs into the kicking bag and making believe she was incapacitating some bad guy.
But she never dreamed she would actually need to use that kick for anything more than getting a grade.
I guess I’m gonna find out real quick just how lethal that kick is. All I have to do is picture Logan as a kicking bag ... holding a gun!
She quickly practiced a couple of kicks in the bathroom while keeping an eye on the door in case Logan burst into the room and caught her performing a kung fu act. Since Logan would be standing behind her while he returned her to captivity, turning toward him and then kicking him would take too long. She needed to strike more quickly with a side kick. A kick that knocked the wind out of -- and the gun away from -- Logan.
Well, here goes.
Caisee opened the door and re-entered the hallway where Logan stood, staring intensely at the door and still holding the gun. He motioned toward the wretched room with the chair, ropes and gag. Caisee tried to keep a suitable distance from Logan as she walked. Close, but not too close that her kick wouldn’t have much of an impact.
She stumbled again, catching her fall with her hands.
“Sorry … still haven’t regained all the feeling in my legs,” she said.
“Do you need any hel—”
Caisee struck quickly as she stood up again, landing a blow that knocked the gun out of Logan’s hand and pushed well into his stomach. It felt like her leg had pushed into a bowl of gelatin.
Logan’s big frame fell in a heap. Caisee scooped up the gun and started sprinting toward the door marked “exit,” praying it wasn’t locked.
Logan, still wheezing, called to her as she neared the door, “Hey, wait. You’re going to get us both killed! She will find you!”
But Caisee didn’t reply, turn around to look at him or slow down as she approached the door. She wanted her freedom and nothing was going to stop her from regaining it. Dreaming of what waited on the other side, she hit the door running, turned the knob and sprinted through the doorway.