Author : Sarah Klein

“You must think yourself pretty clever, Mr. Culler,” Parkinson said, snickering. “Look at all these devices you’ve rigged up to catch an intruder. Do you notice how I’ve been able to avoid every single one without losing a drop of blood?” He cackled.

Culler said nothing as he awoke from a drugged slumber, taking in his surroundings. He had been propped up in a chair and he was handcuffed. He clenched his teeth and very, very slowly eased his cuffed hands towards his pants pocket.

“You know, I’m just as smart as you, maybe even smarter,” Parkinson said evenly. He pressed the barrel of the gun against Culler’s temple. Click.

Culler had managed to get a couple fingers inside his pocket. He kept a straight face, looking ahead, groping silently.

“We were supposed to be partners! PARTNERS!!” Parkinson roared. “And you dismissed me! Why? Because you ‘felt like working alone’. Do you have any idea what that did to me, you worthless snob?!”

Flecks of spit hit Culler’s cheek as he grasped the lockpick and began to carefully ease it out, hoping he was being subtle enough. But Parkinson was too far gone to notice.

“You ruined my career!” he screamed, pushing the barrel in harder. Culler braced himself so as not to fall over. “You made me a disgrace! No one will even look me in the eye, much less work with me! All because you had to have all the glory yourself!” His red eyes bugged out as he trembled with rage.

Culler picked the lock without trouble, the small noise covered by Parkinson’s hysterics. He sat calmly with the cuffs still around his wrists, and slipped his hand into his other pocket just as subtly.

“You ruined my life,” Parkinson whispered darkly, “so I’m going to end yours.” He prepared to pull the trigger, but after a blink, saw only empty space. His mouth dropped open in surprise.

Click. A pair of handcuffs fell to the floor. Parkinson whirled around to see them, fallen on the floor – and unaccompanied by a person.

His heart sank as he remembered the theme of the project they were supposed to share.


He felt his neck being squeezed. As his vision began to blur, he heard a voice.

“You must think yourself pretty clever, Mr. Parkinson…”

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