The name’s Angola LaGrange, private investigator. I was caught by the serial killer known as the Brain Teaser. Intent on silencing me, the murderer kidnapped me from the police station parking garage. I tried to
The name’s Angola LaGrange, private investigator. I was caught by the serial killer known as the Brain Teaser. Intent on silencing me, the murderer kidnapped me from the police station parking garage. I tried to distract her with the revelation that I knew her true identity was Doctor Ashley Hudson long enough to escape. But if I want to keep my brain intact, my time has just about run out.
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Doctor Hudson leaned in for my brain, and I knew the time had come to use it or lose it.
I gave up on subtlety and yanked my arm against the restraint with all my might. The rough leather peeled off patches of skin. I bit down hard on the gag as my bloody hand pulled free. I reached back and shoved Doctor Hudson as hard as I could. Pain shot through me as my forearm took the slice meant for my head. It was an awkward angle, but the doc was so engrossed in her work, that the blow caught her off guard. My palm connected with her nose and my nails dug into her forehead.
She swore and stumbled back, hitting the ground hard and giving me a momentary reprieve.
Spitting out the gag, I made short work of releasing the other restraints and rolling off the operating table. The plastic sheeting that covered the walls made it difficult to judge where the exit was, and I didn’t have much time to search.
Doctor Hudson was already regaining her feet. Her blonde hair had followed my example and escaped from under her surgical attire in a few wild strands. She had a scalpel in her right hand and my blood smeared against the side of her face.
Now that’s the Brain Teaser.
I glanced at the tray of surgical instruments in front of me. There were more scalpels, but blades weren’t my best weapon, and I didn’t like my odds in a knife fight against a crazed professional cutter. Sweat rolled off my forehead into my eyes, I had to think fast.
Grabbing the tray, I flung the loose instruments in Doctor Hudson’s direction. She dodged them easily, but now I had an aluminum shield.
She lunged at me, seething through clenched teeth, and I swept her aside with a swipe of the tray. I backed toward the closest wall. My heart raced, making my hand slick with blood. She doesn’t need to catch me; she just needs to keep me here until I pass out. I took a few deep breaths, trying to calm my frantic heart.
She whirled and lunged again, and I dodged out of the way. I needed something to shift the odds back in my favor, but I couldn’t afford to take my eyes off the mad scientist.
My back stopped suddenly against the wall. The change forced me to glance around, and while I was distracted Doctor Hudson attacked again. Blood gushed from my thigh before I even registered the scalpel’s cut.
I swung my makeshift shield vaguely at her, and she backed away. With the slight reprieve, I put as much pressure on the cut as my already bloodied hand could manage. Amid the flood of adrenaline, I couldn’t recall where the major veins and arteries in the leg were, but I had a vague sense that there were a lot of them. If she even nicked one of those I’ll be dead in minutes.
The clang of metal on metal echoed through the room as I blocked the doctor’s next assault.
I limped away from the doc, keeping my back against the wall, both for support and in hopes of stumbling across an exit. Though my original plan of “find an exit and run for safety” was severely hampered by my bleeding leg.
Across from me, Doctor Hudson had lost her pristine façade, her wild hair and mad eyes caused her to look more like a savage animal than a medical professional. She was unraveling.
No, she’d been unraveling, when she kidnapped me out of the police station parking garage, now she was broken, sloppy. I’d gotten to her.
“What’s wrong, doc? You don’t seem yourself.” I backed away as she lunged at me again, the scalpel slicing through the plastic sheeting. I swung the tray at her, but she dodged out of the way. “Was this not how you saw this going?”
The corners of my vision dimmed. I took another deep breath and the effect subsided. For now.
Jabbing pain in my back promised hope of escape. I’d found the doorknob.
A few wild swings of the tray drove the doctor away from me long enough to yank the door open and back through it.
And if not for the blood loss and spikes of adrenaline I probably would have thought to check if there was a step there first. As it was, I tumbled backward down three stairs to the concrete floor below.
My head rang and my vision was patchy, at best. Too much of my blood was staining the concrete. I didn’t know if my wounds were mortal, but I didn’t know that they weren’t. What I did know was that I only had a few moments, maybe less, before I’d be fighting for my life again.
I tried to get a sense of my surroundings, anything to help bring me back to the real world. It was a big, empty space, probably one of the abandoned warehouses that cluttered the waterside. Hard—very hard—concrete floors…and my purse, sitting only a few feet away. I had to blink twice to make sure I wasn’t imagining things.
Of course the meticulous Doctor Hudson couldn’t leave evidence of my kidnapping at the crime scene. But maybe….
I started crawling inch by inch over to my purse.
Above me, the doctor started laughing. “What’s wrong, detective? Was this not how you saw this going?”
I threw my tray at her, but it clattered to the ground without ever reaching her. The world spun around me from the desperation and the blood loss. Just a few more inches….
“Looking for this?” The doc stood over me, even as my hand latched onto the purse and pulled it over to me.
I glanced up at her. She held the scalpel in one hand and my baton in the other.
“No….” I reached into my bag hoping the unraveling Doctor Hudson hadn’t bothered to check it. My bloody fingers wrapped around my Glock. “I’m looking for this.”
I pulled out the gun and fired.
To Be Continued…