Travel Mates

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lock Picks are Lovely

To get by on the streets, you always have to act cooler and tougher than you really are, so I had a lot of practice putting on an act. Plus, it was just fun to be wearing clean, new clothes that actually fit. I wouldn’t have cared if I’d met Paul and the other woman (who’d remained mum about her name) in my old stuff, but since the Company seemed to want me to be more respectable-looking, I figured I could act the part.

I pretended to be interested in Paul, who seemed a bit full of himself but not a bad fellow, and at least he talked. The other woman just stood and glowered at me, until she suddenly tried opening the door she was leaning against. It opened to a dimly lit, dank corridor, though the smell didn’t bother me since I was used to much worse. Like total idiots, Paul and I followed the woman in without leaving someone to hold the door open behind us, and I mentally cursed when I heard it lock with a quiet click. Still, true to my new persona as a cool, collected person, I didn’t let my exasperation show as I shared this observation with the others.

Paul looked like he was going to be ill and made some inane comment about chewing gum. The woman let out a long, colorful string of curse words, then shut her mouth, perhaps realizing that swearing wasn’t going to get us out of there. I didn’t say anything, but walked up to the door that she’d been unsuccessfully trying to open at the other end of the corridor. It was fairly securely locked, but nothing I couldn’t handle. If I was going to pick a lock, I may as well pick the one that led somewhere besides that sterile waiting room.

Without telling them what I was going to do, I reached down into my shoe for my lock picks, pretending to fix a shoelace. I thanked God and my lucky stars that I’d remembered to take them into the bathroom with me at the hotel; otherwise, they’d have disappeared with my old clothes. Still, I didn’t want them to know what I was doing, so I had to come up with a diversion.

“You, what’s your name—“

“Suzie,” she replied sullenly.

“Suzie, you and Paul try to get that other lock open. Maybe it’s not as secure as this one. I’ll try my luck at this end.”

Suzie looked mutinous, but Paul seemed to be glad of something he could do to pretend to be useful. He nodded, grabbed Suzie’s hand, and yanked her down to the other end of the hallway, Suzie muttering under her breath as she went.

I gave a mental shrug. She didn’t have to like me, I just needed the two of them out of the way for a minute so I could get at the lock without them seeing. I quickly pulled the lock picks from my sweater sleeve, where I’d stashed them after removing them from my shoe. The door surprisingly wasn’t deadbolted, so it only took me about a minute to get it open.

“Hey, I got this one to open,” I called to Paul and Suzie, who were still struggling with the other door. I slid the lock picks into my waistband before they could turn around.

They quickly joined me by the door, which I’d opened only a crack—I wasn’t taking any more chances with this place.

“Shall we?” remarked Paul, trying to sound gallant and brave but failing.

I rolled my eyes and opened the door, which showed us another hallway, but more brightly-lit, and with doors that looked like offices on either side. Suddenly, one of the doors opened, and a well-dressed man stepped out and walked up to us.

“I see that you are already a resourceful team,” he remarked. “Welcome to the Company.”


Blogger Tomboy said...

Haha! El's in such a shiatsu!

Did I mention how much fun this is?

1:26 PM  
Blogger Elster said...

So, I'm in shiatsu huh? Well it seems I thought my way out of Scraps' little tunnel, haven't I? Tom - As my email is out of send commission, I hope to tty soon about life outside of the Mates. Later yo.

AND - I like your interpretation of my idea.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys, honestly, if you care about your readers at all and not just commenting to eachother, please change tht severely annoying background.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Elster said...

tomboy is in charge of site layout anon. Ye shall blame her directly>

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Willy Wonka, for some strange reason.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Tomboy said...

Oh well, I guess redecoration is my nemesis.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!


12:38 PM  

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