“Sometimes instead of watching an action movie, you have to take action yourself.”
I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #91 – The image above
FOWC with Fandango — Hysterical
Your Daily Word Prompt — Capable
Ragtag Daily Prompt — Tough
Word of the Day Challenge — Triumph
A Skunky Abduction
Kendra worked from home as a technical adviser. She hated the job, dealing with people whining and complaining because they couldn’t get their computer to function properly. However, it paid her bills and allowed her to live a pretty good life. When she was done for the day, she liked nothing more than a large shot of bourbon and a good movie. As the red logo of the film app appeared on screen, she put her feet on the desk and reclined back with a cigarette in hand.
“Ahh, much better! Now to find a suitable hunk to watch in an action—” Kendra flinched as her phone rang beside her. Seeing it was her friend Nadia calling, she asked at once.
“Kendra, help! Oh, please help!” Nadia sounded hysterical with terror.
“What is it, Nadia? What’s wrong?”
“Somebody’s trying to break into my …” The line went dead.
“Nadia?” Kendra said into her phone. She was already on her feet and running through the house. Grabbing her car keys, she rushed from her apartment to her car in the parking garage. She drove a 90s Cavalier. Sure it was worn out but the tough, old car did the job. Leaving in a hurry, she screeched her wheels out of the building and aimed for Nadia’s place. Only then did she call the police. With then converging on a friend’s house, she drove like a madwoman to save Nadia.
Nadia lived in a tree-lined avenue in a nice part of the town. Kendra turned into it with a feeling of panic tightening her chest. Her eyes passed beneath the oak trees to look at a friend’s house. Even from a distance, she could see the front door was open. Steering around a beautiful green Triumph Stag, her eyes are drawn to a black Lexus coming her way. As the car past Kendra’s, she saw panicked blue eyes and a flash of ginger hair in the back.
“Nadia!” Kendra slammed on the brakes. Spinning her car around, she called the police again. “I called about my friend’s house been broken into a few moments ago,” she said when her call was answered.
“Officers haven’t reached the address —.”
“Doesn’t matter!” Kendra set van and car horns blaring as she swerved into traffic in pursuit of the Lexus. “She’s been abducted! I’m following the car now.” Kendra gave details of the vehicle and did all she could to keep behind it.
“Roger that, Madam. Information passed to capable officers. They will apprehend the car. Please stop chasing it for your own safety,” instructed the officer.
“Will do.” Kendra hung up as she watched the Lexus make a left turn and followed on behind him. “Sorry, pal. My friend’s in danger. While I know where she is – I’m going to rescue her!”
The Lexus turned into a business park consisting of mainly old warehouses a while later. The driver selected one of these warehouses and turned into the forecourt, hiding his car between two old lorry trailers.
In her Cavalier, Kendra could hardly control her thumping heartbeat as she continued past the warehouse. She realised, now, she had to risk her own life to save her friend. The very thought of the danger turned her mouth dry with apprehension. Turning her car around for a quick getaway, she parked a little way along the road. There she updated the police and alighted.
Staying low, Kendra crept back to the warehouse. By then the Lexus was unoccupied. She noted the green paintwork on the door and shutters of the brick building was all peeling. A sign this building was long disused. Approaching the former reception door, Kendra found it open a jar. She just got a hand on the frame, when a terrified cry reached her ears.
“No! let me go!” Nadia screamed from within the building.
There was still no sign of the police leaving Kendra with little choice. “I’m coming, Nadia!” she breathed. Balling her fists, she slipped inside.
The former reception was devoid of furnishings. It was Kendra’s nose which gave the biggest clue as to the going’s on in this building. The acrid skunky odour could only belong to one thing. ‘I wonder what Nadia has to do with a cannabis factory?’ Kendra thought as she moved across the room and peered into the warehouse. She found herself looking at the chipboard wall plastered with theatre and movie posters. It was a façade hiding the buildings illegal activities when the shutters were opened.
“Claude! What the hell? Let me, g-ahh!” Nadia yelled, her voice cut off by a slap and a groan of pain.
“You’re one tough vache! You owe me big time. You’ll be my slave until you pay!” Said a man with a French accent.
“You were always a nice man when you came to the bank. You’ve changed an awful —” another slap silenced Nadia.
Kendra crept closer, her intrigue and ire growing. Surely Nadia wasn’t a drug dealer, she was a bank manager, wasn’t she? She was paid well and didn’t need anything to do with drugs. Yet she seems to know Claude. Everything had become quite mysterious.
“Be quiet! Get ready to work off your debt.”
“This is bull-crap, Claude. A—” Nadia got the first syllable of her next word out before she was slapped again. “Stop hitting me and talk. I’ve never taken anything from you.”
Kendra had made it past the façade undetected, she could see an enormous crop of cannabis plants growing beneath bright hot lamps. All surrounded by walls of silver foil and irrigation pipes. Kendra enjoyed the police programmes on TV. From those, she knew there was a least a hundred grand’s worth of plants in this space.
“My associate brought you a lot of money to deposit for me. That money never appeared on my records. That’s your fault, Nadia. You made it disappear. Now, you’ll pay it back by being my slave. Then — haha! — You’ll disappear!” Claude gave a sneering chuckle.
Kendra heard a thump and Nadia cried out in pain. Creeping through the forest of cannabis plants, Kendra came to a back room, its doors framed by stacks of compost bags. Movements flickering in the light cast upon the bare brick wall told her this was where her friend was. ‘One scumbag. I can take him! ‘
“For now, you can clean this room, vache,” Claude demanded. “Start by licking the table clean. Try anything and you’ll disappear sooner.”
“You disgusting, creep. I’ll make you pay for this!” Nadia replied her hysterical fear giving way to anger.
“Shut up and work, vache!”
Kendra entered the room as Claude forced her friend’s head toward the table. It was littered with the remains of dried cannabis plant residue and deal bags. “You know, Claude. It’s not polite to call her lady a cow. It’s even worse to assault her.”
Claude turned to face Kendra while keeping Nadia’s ginger ponytail twisted in his thick hand. His mouth twisted in fury, displaying broken and festering teeth. He was clean-shaven but his face still looked dirty; matching with his grubby denim overalls. “Oh, look another vache for me to play with. You’ll die for poking your nose into my business!” he yelled.
Rolling her neck side to side, Kendra wrinkled her nose. “Try me!” she beckoned while concealing her fear. She had self-defence training but felt this much bigger man could kill her before she had the chance to use it.
The drugs farmer let out a roar and charge the intruder.
Kendra waited until the skunky smell of his clothes was too much to bear. It was then she rolled away, scything her leg into the back of his knee.
Claude cried out as he slammed into the door, ripping the top hinge out of the frame.
The impact sent Kendra sprawling into the bags of compost outside. Kicking free, she rose straight into Claude’s grasp. She felt his big hands and fat fingers clench around her neck. An unbearable pressure grew within her head causing darkness to edge her vision. Unable to breathe, she summoned the last of her energy and plunged her knee deep into his groin.
The drug grower’s eyes bulge as pain rip through his stomach. His grip lessened on Kendra.
Breaking free, she snapped her forehead into his nose and felt cartilage crackle. Feeling him drop to a knee, Kendra spun on him and knocked him flat with the heel of her boot. Claude was out cold, allowing Kendra to return to Nadia and set her free.
Kendra made it one step inside the backroom before pain erupted in her scalp. She refused to cry out despite the pain.
Nadia screamed but seemed frozen by the table.
Claude had seized a handful of Kendra’s dark hair. He dragged her back into the warehouse and launched her across the floor.
Unable to control her fall, Kendra felt her legs smash into cannabis plants. The impacts splitting pots and breaking stems. Hitting a wall, she came to a stop amid falling brooms and spades. She allowed her fingers to clamp around a handle but remained unmoving on the floor.
The drug grower lifted her limp body and spat in her face. “Now, I’ll teach you a less—”
Kendra snapped open her eyes and swung with all her might.
Claude took the spade square in the jaw, pitched over a table in an explosion of deal bags, cannabis leaf and gardening tools. Tumbling free, he took out three cannabis plants and came to rest, unconscious, amid his illegal crop.
“Good night, scumbag. I hope resting in your skunk will cure your headache. Although, I don’t hold out much hope because it’s giving me one.” Kendra saw a movement and turned to see Nadia run from the back room.
She ran at her abductor and drove her foot into his backside. “That’s for ruining my day you ugly, stinky, slimeball!” she yelled as she hit him again.
Kendra chuckled, “So, you are capable of self-defence. You couldn’t have kicked his arse a few minutes earlier could you?”
“Sorry, I panicked and froze.” Nadia came and hugged Kendra. “Thank you for coming to rescue me.”
“Of course, that’s what friends are for. Why did he grab you? I heard about his missing money but you didn’t take it, did you.”
“No. His associate kept coming with large bags full of small notes. It seemed they were doing the same with several bank branches. Eventually, our head office must have realised something illegal was going on and contacted the police.”
“Indeed, they did.” Announced a police detective coming in shadowed by two officers. “We’ve been tracing the drugs money and trying to find the central hub for this illegal operation for weeks.”
“Glad we could help,” Kendra replied with a cheeky smile of triumph as she let her friend outside at the end of the most adventurous, tough day of her life.