Aisha froze and dropped her phone. The screen cracked on the concrete floor as it bounced at her feet.
Across the large, concrete-walled room was Silas, the aged and insensitively tall butler. He was no longer dressed in his servant togs, having changed to a white lab coat and matching trousers, and accessorising with a .38 snub-nosed revolver. Pointing right at Aisha.
Being only partly cowardly, I rushed in front to shield her. Having done so I realised perhaps it wasn’t the wisest course of action.
“What the f*&%?” I said.
“Indeed, John,” said Silas, smiling like a James Bond villain. “No need for subterfuge, now. Welcome to my laboratory.” He swept his arm theatrically. Behind him, tables with assorted test tubes and other devices; some impressive looking metal tables with restraints, angled at forty five degrees (for easy access, I assume); various nasty looking serrated tools (for easy torture, I assume). The air smelled faintly of antiseptic.
“S&*%, ” said Aisha.
“You’re probably wondering what all this is about,” said Silas.
Aisha smacked her forehead with her open palm. “Don’t tell me he’s going to soliloquise.”
“Every good villain needs to outline their plan,” said Silas, smiling broadly.
“Screw that,” said Aisha. She ran back into the store room to the other metal door. I stood there stupidly with my hands up. Silas removed a clicker from his pocket and hit the button.
There was a buzz from the handle-less storeroom door we’d checked out earlier and a mechanical whirring of gears. The door slowly opened.
“My mother was killed by a vacuum cleaner.”
Wild-haired and wilder-eyed Junifer Vasilikov stood in the open doorway, the gleaming butcher’s knife extending from her white-knuckled grip. Aisha backed up until she bumped into me from behind.
“I’m open to ideas at this point,” she said.
To be continued…
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