The Defective Detective : Cat Chaser : Prologue

Written on July 30th, 2010 by Adam in Cat Chaser

There was another horrendous thud against the door of the storeroom we were hiding in.  Erin screamed as the force of it threw her down to the ground.  I scrambled forward to take her place, barricading us in.

“I told you, you stupid, stupid, man!” she screamed, picking herself up and leaning against one of the metal shelving units that sliced the room into three tight rows.

I tried to glare at her but another thump against the door destroyed my composure.  She stared back, her eyes wide, mascara beginning to fracture and invade the bags under her eyes.

I pushed back against the door, my feet unable to find purchase and tried without success to get my mobile out of my trouser pocket.

“Jacob,” I said.  “Can you reach into my trouser pocket?”

Lori giggled instinctively, her hand going up to cover her mouth but she winced in pain as her arm moved.

“You what?” said Jacob.

“My phone, it’s…  Never mind, come here and brace the door.”

Jacob nodded and did as he was instructed.  I shifted myself and grabbed my phone.  Still no signal.

“It won’t work,” said Erin.  “I keep telling you.  You can’t get a signal anywhere in this place, can you Lori?”

Lori shook her head.

“Well is there another way out of here?” I asked no one in particular.  The wall shook from the force of another attack but the sound of splintering plaster on the other side seemed to be coming from a little further down the corridor this time.

“Erm, well,” Jacob began. “I think…”

“Oh shut up, Jacob for all our sakes,” Erin snapped before turning and pointing one of her hyper-manicured talons at me.  “And anyway, it’s no use putting you in charge.  You’ll just fall asleep again.”

She tilted her head slightly to one side and pouted.

“Now hang on a minute,” said Jacob but I held up the palm of my hand to stop him.

Erin had a point, maybe she’d spotted that I was starting to go maybe she hadn’t.  I could feel my lids weighing me down and I’d nearly succumbed to sleep twice but somehow I would keep it together. And the first step towards that was very, very simple.

“Can you please shut your cake-hole you bitter harpy,” I made sure each word was spoken carefully, softly and slowly.
Her bottom lip dropped, leaving her mouth hanging open.  I got the feeling she didn’t encounter many people with spines.

“Right then, we really need to get out of here before…” I pointed and, right on cue the wall shook, the impact of the attack knocking over one of the shelving units and scattering bleach bottles and sponges everywhere.  “Before that gets in.”

My head fell forward but I fought back the sleep again.

“Lori,” I continued, dropping down onto my haunches next to her.  “How are you doing?”

“I… er… well,” she said, her hand cradling her shoulder.  “Scared. And I think I might need to go to the loo.”

“You,” I said pointing at Erin who had resorted to scowling at me.  “Can you look after Lori, please?”

To her credit Erin didn’t hesitate, her face snapping out of the scowl and into concern.  An empty shell of a woman she may be but she knew how to put on a maternal act even if she couldn’t feel the emotions.

“Okay, Jacob,” I turned around and smiled.  “You get the best job, my friend.”

“The best job to the man who shares an office with the cleaner?” Erin muttered through her smile.  “And where’s that lazy caretaker anyway?  Hiding as usual I’ll wager.”

I turned to Erin and raised an eyebrow.  She turned back to Lori.

“The best job?” said Jacob.  “Brilliant.  What do you need me to do Mr. Barnum?”

“Please stop calling me Mr. Barnum,” the urge was becoming too much now, I knew any moment I was going to have to give in to it.

“Sorry,” he smiled.  “I suppose we’re past formalities now, eh?”

I nodded.  “First I need you to barricade the door with one of those metal shelves.  And then I want you to see if you can kick a hole through that partition wall.  We should be able to get out I reckon.”

“You know, I reckon you’re right.”

“Oh and do me a favour?” there was another thunderous bang against the door.