Left Holding the Bag

Walking down the broken sidewalk, I tripped over a brown bag. Not like a lunch sack, an expensive leather bag. I busted-up my knee falling over it. I figured it was just sitting there on the walk and so was I, for at least another five minutes, I might as well check it out.  I unzipped it to find several rosy shades of soft, lacy lingerie. It was a bit on the hefty side to contain only nighties. I shuffled through them to discover a very black Springfield .40 XDSub-Compact.

I was on my way to the ballet studio when this cocoa-colored, bag-of-holding grabbed me. Yet, I couldn’t leave a loaded weapon, disguised as a designer bag, sitting on the walk. I should take it to the police; that’s what I resolved to do. My knee was not great anyway, pliés would hurt like hell. The last thing I needed was another reminder of how graceful I’m not.

I picked up the Springfield, checked the safety, it was on and I replaced it at the bottom. Then, I retrieved it, dropped the magazine and checked the chamber. The magazine was full, the chamber was empty. I hoped this weapon wasn’t evidence in any crime, since I had now obscured most of the printable surfaces. I just couldn’t see handling the weapon with the satiny things inside the bag and I was trying to keep it, discreetly, in the bag. I doubted it was evidence though, seeing as the magazine was full.

Once I had bolstered myself with that thought and decided my knee was good enough, it was time to set off to a police station. If only I knew where one was. Having dropped my Samsung into my coffee that morning, I was lost: map-less and hapless, without cheerful music to change the direction of my day, or an app to give me directions. So, next stop Caddo Parish Fire House. I remembered seeing it up Dixie Garden. I set out to retrace my steps, thinking. Why on earth was some high dollar call girl carrying such heavy artillery? It had to be a stripper or something, who else would pack nothing but lingerie? And a gun.

I glanced over my shoulder. I was waiting for a blond twenty-something to show up, carrying on in Louisiana drawl, “Hey gurl, that’s ma bag.” I was wishing hard for that to happen. Maybe then I could finally make a friend in this forsaken town. I’d take a gun-toting stripper over these prissy ballerinas any day. As I approached the Caddo Parish Station I noted the “Safe Haven” sign. This was not a baby though. I was not looking forward to explaining this to a bunch of axe-wielding firemen. I anticipated lewd remarks about the non-lethal contents of the bag and considered just turning over the weapon to avoid the hoopla. I discarded that idea, having nothing whatever to do with lingerie of any hue or the nine-hundred dollar overnight case containing said undies. So, I sucked in my breath, put on a stone face, and knocked on the red door.

As expected, Mr. Blue-eyed hottie hotterson answered. Smaller than I expected for a fire fighter, I guess I was thinking of a lumberjack. He opened the door wide and he might have invited me in, but the radio started jabbering. Suddenly, the station turned into the most organized mad house I had ever seen. Where there had been one man, there was a flood of them. I guessed they were getting called out. I nodded and gave a dismissive waved to Mr. Blue-eyes, indicating I had no emergency. He moved away, pulling up suspenders. I expected once the truck went out, someone would see to me.

Within moments, however, the place was deserted, an echoing hollow building, with just a little static bouncing around, from the now inactive radio. I inched my way through the open door. There was still a truck in the second bay, but apparently no one to man it. I decided to look around. I might even wait for the firemen to get back. Maybe, but the hair on the back of my neck was crawling. The radio static was eerie, like an old time horror movie. Then, I heard a scuffle. Really, I guess I had heard it all along, but discounted it as the radio.

The zipper sounded loud and eerie too. I thought I must be ratcheting myself up, zippers do not sound like creaking doors. I went ahead and removed the Springfield.  As softly as I could, I set the magazine. Damn, this gun was heavy. There was no quiet way to pull the slide back. I released the safety. The scuffling turned into a flurry on the other side of the remaining engine.

I left the bag of unmentionables beside a table and did my best to creep around the truck. When I turned the end of it, there she was: blond twenty-something, bound wrists and ankles, gagged. Her mascara made black diamonds under her eyes and I had a flashback of Blade Runner before I came to myself. I realized she saw the gun in my hand and what she must think. I set the safety and made soothing sounds. Her eyes, wide and panicked one moment, fluttered shut. She passed out.

I figured she might respond better when I roused her if she wasn’t tied up and there wasn’t a gun in her face. I dropped the magazine, put it in the bag and pocketed the chambered round. She came to while I was untying her ankles, having released her gag and wrists. She tried to talk, but couldn’t get any words out, which was okay, since we were in a hurry to leave before anyone else showed up. We started out the door before I realized, I could use the station phone to call the cops. They had to have a land-line, and I still didn’t know where the police station was.

Inspired by aopinionatedman


17 thoughts on “Left Holding the Bag

    • Always looking for an edit. I like forsaken w/out “God.” The other three I changed, because across drafts they had all already existed. You probably didn’t click the link. This was a thousand words or less in a unfamiliar genre. It ended up a thousand, down from 1234… 🙂

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