Serial Story: English Breakfast, Part 10

This story is presented weekly in draft format.

English Breakfast, Part 10

Karen gingerly unplugged the handset of the phone from the cord as she crouched beneath the old metal desk. The land line would start beeping soon, and she didn’t want to draw attention to her position on the off chance whoever was coming wouldn’t notice the cord hanging off the desk.   
There was another metallic click, and another, but the door didn’t open. Curiosity getting the better of her, she slowly peeked around the edge of the desk at the window in the door across the room.

She nearly gasped as she saw the woman from the other room standing on the other side, turning the door knob at intervals with her other hand braced against the glass.

Karen scrambled from her hiding place, briefly wondering if it was a trap before she jogged across the room. The woman’s eyes met hers and genuine fear flared in them just before she turned and ran away from the door.

Yanking it open, Karen realized there was no where to go. Another short hall ended abruptly with two doors in the middle, and the other woman braced herself against the far wall, eyes darting anxiously about as she looked for some miraculous avenue of escape.

“I’m here to help,” Karen said, holding out both of her hands so the woman could see they were empty. Though her beaten and bruised face should be a good indicator of the truth.

“I’m a prisoner too, and we need to get out of here. Do you understand?” She remembered the drugged, almost lifeless form she’d seen being tortured, and her gaze went immediately to the woman’s arms. She frowned. 

They were devoid of any kind of marks or bruises whatsoever.

“Who are you?” the woman asked, her voice shaky. “How did you know I was here?”

“I’m with…well, I was with Kane Security. A friend of yours hired them to find you, and they asked me for help. The guys who kidnapped me just happened to be the guys who kidnapped you, and here we are.” She stepped closer, pointing to one of the woman’s arms. “I watched them cut you through the window. You were drugged. Why don’t you have marks?”

The woman looked down, holding her arms out and turning them this way and that. “I don’t know, but when they were questioning me, there was a man in the other room. He was making cuts on another man’s arm, and the other guy looked drugged. I was confused myself when I woke up after thier threats and I wasn’t hurt.”

She looked up. “My name is Heather, by the way. Heather Charles.”

Pieces started clicking together in Karen’s head, vague bits of information she’d heard in passing. Something that had been in the news recently…

“Charles. As in Charles Industries, currently under investigation for a series of employee disappearances?”

Heather nodded. “The very same. It’s my brother’s company, and I have evidence that he doesn’t want getting out. Apparently someone in the company is worried – and rightly so. I was just finishing up an article to blow everything open when I was taken. It’s way bigger than a few employee deaths.”

Karen nodded, struggling to process the new information. She forced herself to focus – they could go over this later, but first, they needed to get free.

“I don’t suppose you know the way out of here,” she asked, glancing at the doors to her right. “There’s just another hall that looks like this one on the other side of the office, and the interrogation room that I was in.”

Heather shook her head. “They had something over my head. I couldn’t see a thing.” She frowned. “Why would they leave us here alone? That doesn’t make any sense.”

The hair on the back of Karen’s neck stood up, and she looked up, checking the corners. A small red dot stared back at her to the left of the office doorway.

Of course.

“They didn’t,” she said, her stomach flipping with the realization they’d both been played. 

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