One Man’s Trash

Here’s my attempt at this week’s Inspiration Monday. I’m not too happy with this one but I’ll post it anyway. Go easy on me. I suck at third person.

*****

He chased her up the escalator. When they reached the top, they were both out of breath, as anyone would be after sprinting up a long flight of stairs while laughing so hard.

“You know there’s cameras everywhere,” she said. “It’s only a matter of time.”

He raised his eyebrow and stifled a grin. “Maybe I turned them off.”

She studied him. “Are you as good at turning things off as you are at turning them on?”

An open door. A “Welcome, Please Come In” sign. He took a step forward.

She retreated one step into a rack of Calvin Klein. “What kind of girl would I be if I let you kiss me that easily?”

He felt his eyes get wide before he looked down. Coward. He looked straight into her eyes. “Guess you’d be easy.”

“Guess so.”

“Want to climb the elevator cable?”

“You turned that off too?”

“No, but I could.” He slipped his backpack to his front and went for the zipper. His laptop battery was about to die. If he was going to do it, he’d better do it now.

Her gaze slid along the wall behind him, obviously searching for the elevator sign in the dim light. “Race you.” She took off, in the wrong direction.

He threw his backpack to his back and ducked between the racks. He could beat her there. If he kept down she wouldn’t see where he was headed. Something ripped his backpack off his shoulder and he spun around. Darn clothing rack. He jerked himself free only to hook the other strap on another rack. He’d never beat her now.

He crept toward the elevator, head low. Cold air blasted over him. The air conditioner shouldn’t be running after hours. She was hunched down in the light of the elevator sign, holding her ankle. Her face turned to him. Lips parted. Frozen. Blood seeped through the fingers gripping her ankle.

“Meg? What happened?” He dropped to his knees next to her.

“I don’t know,” she whispered. Blood puddled around her foot, sticky and reflective. “It was like something slapped me. God, it hurts. I think it’s cut through. My Achilles tendon. I can’t walk on it.”

He took off his jacket because that’s what people do in movies when someone’s bleeding. She moaned as he tied it around. Then she grabbed his shoulder, her eyes wide and staring past him.

“Something. Over there.”

He jerked his head toward a light screeching. Metal on metal. Hangers, sliding on racks. He spun to face the sound. Quiet settled on them, hung in the air. He looked at her. “Maybe we should-”

A black length whipped out of nowhere and he shoved backward, out of the way. She cried out, grabbing her other ankle. Metal screeched, the racks swayed, and he got around her and slid his arms under hers and dragged her around the elevator behind a plastic dumpster.

Her eyes were watery, but she looked too afraid to cry. “What is that? My god what is that!”

“I don’t know.” He pulled her hand away from her ankle. Her second tendon was severed just like the first. He wiped the blood on his jeans. If she could barely walk before, now she couldn’t at all.

He stood and yanked the broken arm of a metal clothing rack out of the dumpster. One man’s trash is another man’s weapon.