Turn Around!

It's Short Story time again folks! Below you'll find another new piece in which Jodi is leaving the office to attend a meeting with a client, but something prevents her from getting to the meeting. Has a client found out about her evasion tactics? Could an unhappy client be trying to get back at her? Or is her new boyfriend involved in something underhand? Find out in Turn Around.

Turn Around!


“Hang on a minute Sam,” Jodi said, reaching out her hand while gripping her phone she used three fingers to pull on the shiny chrome door handle to get to the parking garage. She would’ve used her left hand but with her handbag slung over her left shoulder, a briefcase full of case files in her left hand, as well as her coat draped over her left arm, she didn’t have the strength.

As she pulled open the door the lacklustre lights flickered on in the parking garage. She started towards her car, still talking to Sam on the phone, ignoring a young man dressed in a smart suit who smiled at her as he passed by.

“I don’t know what else I can do!” Jodi said, “He won’t accept the deal.”

“You’ve gotta find a way Jode, John says he wants a win on this one.” Sam said.

Jodi rolled her eyes, John always wanted a win. It’s what brought in the money. He’d been that way for a long time, but Sam didn’t know that. He was just getting used to John’s ways, like how he demanded updates every day on every open case, or how he hovered when you were updating client invoices. Jodi had dealt with John’s quirks on every case she’d handled for him. 

Her heels clicked on the concrete floor and she glanced down to see cigarette buts in a pile by a grey concrete pillar. She scrunched her nose as the stench of stale cigarettes filled her nose. Walking through the parking lot she passed row after row of carefully parked cars, sitting neatly between the white lines of designated parking bays. 

“I’ll talk to him again, see if I can bring him around - but if not John might have to accept we’re not winning this one.”

“I don’t think he’ll like that.”

“Well he’ll just have to lump it won’t he?!” Jodi snapped.

“You know what he’s like Jode, he’s been on this case for ages and wants it done - his way…”

Sam began ranting, again, about John’s opinions and Jodi let him. His drivel drifted into the background and Jodi let her mind wander noting the different coloured cars, red, blue, even yellow, as she passed. The contrast to the bland garage, plain walls flecked with scuffs and scrapes where people had parked badly, made her smirk. 

Jodi jumped as a car’s engine revved and echoed around the lot, her heart pounded the inside of her chest. The car’s headlights flashed on in front of her. She scurried out of the way, her heels click-clacking on the floor, and the car inched out of its parking space. Exhaust fumes filled the air and she coughed as the car sped towards the exit behind her, the screech of tyres reverberated through the garage and the raising metal rolling doors rattled to allow the car to leave the garage. Jodi flicked her hair over her shoulder as she picked up the pace towards her car. 

“You coming back to the office later?” Sam asked, his rant obviously over.

“Yes, but not til later this afternoon. I’ve got to meet with a client and it could take a while.” Jodi said.

“Ah fair enough.” Sam said, “I can’t wait to see you!” he whispered.

“Sam!” Jodi chided, “You need to stop that! C’mon, we discussed this. You need to keep schtum. The last thing we need right now is anyone finding out about us.”

There was silence at the other end of the line and Jodi pulled her phone from her ear and looked at the screen. The call was still going. 

“You’re right, I’m sorry.” he cooed.

Jodi shook her head and huffed.

She stopped at the rear of her car and carefully put the briefcase on the polished navy paintwork. She pulled her coat off her arm and threw it on top of the briefcase, then did the same with her handbag. She rested her hand on her hip.

“Look, I’m at my car now and I want to get on.” she said.

“Okay, see you later then.” he said, sounding defeated.

“Yep, see you in a bit.”

Jodi tapped End on her phone, unzipped her handbag and dropped the phone into its pocket in her bag. She rummaged around inside for her keys. She could hear them jingling in the bottom of her bag but she couldn’t find them. 

A shuffle of flat shoes on gravelly concrete made her jump and she looked around while continuing to search for her keys. She scanned the parking garage but saw no one, just shadowy corners of the lot where the light didn’t reach. “No one’s there.” she told herself and, shaking her head, got back to looking for her keys. 

With her bag sitting on the back of the car Jodi pulled open the sides and peered in but in the limited light she still couldn’t see her keys. Plunging her hands into the bag she poked around and felt the cold sharp metal of one of her keys. She gripped it. She yanked and tugged them free from the tangle in the bottom of her bag. 

Jodi hauled the briefcase, and her coat, from on top of her car and placed them on the ground in front of her. Shoes scraped on the concrete again. She was bent over, still holding the briefcase handle. She looked around as much as she could from her vantage point. Out of the corner of her eye she thought she saw a pair of shoes moving out of sight. She stood up straight, letting go of the briefcase, and strained her eyes but still there was nothing to see. She huffed, “Ugh! I haven’t got time for this!” she said. Jodi turned her back to the parking lot, bent down, picked up the briefcase and dropped it into the car boot. It landed with a thunk. She threw her coat inside, slung her handbag back over her shoulder, and reached up to close the boot door.

Everything went black. She shrieked. A heavy shroud had been thrown over her head. One hand went over her mouth to muffle her screaming as another grasped her throat. Jodi took short sharp breaths in through her nose as her heart thumped inside her chest. She clenched her fists and frantically lashed out with her arms and legs. The hand gripping her throat shoved her backwards and she lost a shoe as she stumbled. They slammed her body against a concrete pillar. Pain shot through her body. She was squashed against the pillar, her attacker so close she could smell the sweat oozing from his pores and the rancid beer stench on his breath. 

She didn’t stop fighting, thrashing her arms and legs, but her attacker pinned her to the pillar with his body. Someone grasped her wrists, pulled them together, and snapped something around them. They pulled it tight and she whimpered as the restraints dug into her skin. They did the same to her ankles and she lost her other shoe in the process. 

Jodi flinched as tape was ripped. Still choking her with one hand the attackers lifted the shroud on her head just enough to slap the tape over her mouth. They smacked it onto her face and jabbed hard. She tried to scream again but the hand on her throat constricted, stifling the scream. 

With her hands and legs now tied she couldn’t fight back. She couldn’t see her attackers. Tears streamed down her face, she felt them trickle over her cheeks and seep around the tape over her mouth. Spots danced in front of her eyes, she wasn’t getting enough air.

“This is it…” she thought, “this is how I’m going to die.”

The next thing she knew she was floating. She thudded down hard onto her right side, the scratchy carpet scraped painfully against her arm. The car door slammed above her and Jodi flinched. Everything went quiet. Her heart hammered in her chest. She tentatively lifted her arms and touched grooved cold plastic.

Muffled voices came from outside and she retreated her hands and listened intently. The voices moved away and two car doors opened and banged closed. The car engine roared to life and the car vibrated underneath her. She swayed on her side as it started to move. Jodi strained to hear her attackers over the rumble of the car engine. She could hear the muffled voices but couldn’t make out what they were saying, until one of them spoke more clearly.

“Boss? Got her.”

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