Z-anon-sensei Speaks #85
“My life wasn’t worth much, but it was worth that much” Raymond Chandler
At the exact moment the earthquake struck North Carolina—the first in nearly a century— the lights came on in Xenon’s cell after a particularly long spell of darkness. She’d been asleep for a while, long enough to fall into a dream, although by now the difference between dream and waking had become a bit blurred for her. The dream had an old lady in it, Xenon remembered, looked like a Russian grandma with a scarf and sort of a hunch-back and she was making the worst screeching noise, sort of wailing, like, but then… Xenon shuddered. Something dark seemed to loom out of the dream-world, something that scared her— and she didn’t scare that easy. She sat up on the edge of the cot and looked over at the door. No food or water this time. She never knew if there would be, and it was never enough. Oh, well. Fuck ‘em, anyway.
Xenon tried to exercise while the lights were on, so she stood up and stretched her arms up over her head. Took a deep breath and shook herself from toes to fingertips. She needed to shake off that dream, whatever it was. Center herself before starting the routine. Breathe. And breathe.
Then the door of her cell opened.
Her back was turned to the door, but she heard the click of the lock. She made her move without even turning to look first. She’d thought it through a lot, and had rehearsed every detail in her mind. It worked pretty much like she’d imagined it. She quarter-turned toward the door and leapt, not toward the door but upward onto the opposite wall to the right of the door. Her right foot hit the wall about four feet up, and she propelled herself off the wall at an angle toward where the gap in the opening door should be. If they weren’t ready, if the timing was good, if there was only one guard, if her angle and quickness caught them by surprise…
It could have worked. Her timing was perfect. She struck the hapless guard, who was still pulling a key from the door handle, directly in the chest with both outstretched fists. She hoped it would be the orange-shirt dude who had snatched her, but it was some skinny, baby-faced guy. She had time to register his surprised look as the sudden blow knocked him backwards, and Xenon rolled away from him into the hall beyond the door.
She got all the way up to her feet before the electric shock of the taser hit her and knocked her back down.
Damn it. More than one guard. She saw at least two, and a dude in a suit, standing over her before she lost consciousness.