Vroom and Doom: 3.A.2.1

Scooter blurred
Vroom and Doom

Stealing the envelope is the most tempting option, but perhaps it would be wiser to incapacitate the more powerful vehicle and then wait to see what happens.

You first pretend to ride out of the parking lot, but then double back to edge Kathy into a stand of trees as close to the station as you can get. Then, picking your way past the mop buckets and empty cardboard boxes littering the back of the station area, you emerge around the farthest corner of the building, allowing you to crawl up to the MP3 undetected.

Pulling a folding knife from your pocket, you drive the tip of deeply it into one of the front tires, and feel the immediate hiss of escaping air. You are just giving the same treatment to the back tire when the skidding glass door whooshes open again. Without waiting to see who is exiting the building, you scamper back to the corner of the station and duck down behind an ice machine to watch the result of your efforts.

Immediately afterward, the woman secures a helmet on her head and throws a leg over the powerful scooter. When she disengages the wheel lock and hits the ignition, the MP3 suddenly lurches to one side. Cursing, the woman attempts to lift her legs and place her feet on the footboards. This, of course, results in an immediate disaster as the front wheels are unable to maintain balance due to the sudden air pressure differential. At least, that is what you are hoping for.

Whatever the case may be, the scooter wobbles and crashes to the ground, taking the shrieking woman with it.

It really hurts to see a gorgeous and spirited creature lose her dignity like that.
Also, you feel bad for the woman.

A station employee, alerted to the disaster by her loud and insistent cries of rage, sprints out the sliding glass doors and just stands there, looking shocked.
The woman wriggles out from under the machine, cursing in French and accusing the man of allowing her tires to be punctured by sharp objects.

“I don’t know how it happened,” he squeaks. “We sweep the parking lot every night –“

“It is the fault of zis store zat I am to miss an appointment tomorrow! You will arrange for me a car! You will pay for ze car!” she yells, pointing a finger into his face.

“I’ll have to call the manager –“

“Oh, zen I will come with you and speak to zis manager!”

The pair struggle to right the MP3 together, and then, after pushing it back to the dark corner of the lot again, return in a tense silence to the store in a whoosh of sliding doors.

You waste no time in scuttling back out of your hiding place, unzipping the roll bag, and fishing out the manila envelope. On the way back to Kathy, you pause just long enough to pull out the single sheet of paper inside and read the phrase printed on it:

3 Clockwise to 12.
5 Counterclockwise to 4.
1 Clockwise to 13.

Sub-basement. Graceland.
Pry under K. strs.

The key to the Secret is yours, if you’ve got the courage to see it through.

Your story continues here.

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