PT Thomas woke up naked with his right arm tied to the barrel of a shotgun. The sunlight coming through the window made his eyes burn. The covers were off the bed but he was sweating. The bed smelled of citrus, sex and tequila. The bottom sheet was stuck to his legs and it felt like there was sand in the bed. He turned his head carefully to get a better look at the shotgun.
Squinting to keep the sun out of his eyes he recognized the shotgun, a Remington Model 11-87 twelve gauge semi-automatic. Normally the shotgun leaned up against the wall in the corner of the bedroom. Just an instant away in case he heard strange noises in the night and needed to run off the boogie man. Now, the shotgun was lying on top of a round pine table, just big enough to fit four people for dinner as long as they filled their plates buffet style.
PT recognized the table. He had found it at the transfer station a couple of years ago. He had brought it home, wiped it down with dish soap, and put it in the open area next to his kitchen. Thereafter he had referred to the spot as his breakfast nook. Not that he ate breakfast there but it sounded cool when you offered to fix a young lady breakfast. The table was usually filled with whatever had been in his hands when he came in the back door. Now the table just held the shotgun, a blue handled hammer, and some nails.
The hammer was from his garage, it was supposed to be on the peg board, center, left behind his workbench. The 60 penny nails were from a brown bag with Sentry Hardware printed on the side that he kept in a cardboard box with other assorted nails and screws under the left side of his workbench. A nail had been hammered into the center of the table and the shotgun was lying with the nail sticking up through the trigger guard. Two more nails had been driven into the edge of the table with the barrel of the shotgun between them pointing at PT.
The rope around his hand was jump cord from his hunting pack that he kept in the spare bedroom. The cord was laced around his right wrist, through his fingers and then back around his wrist then it ran over to the barrel of the shotgun where it was tied by a series of half hitches. If he pulled his hand toward him, the slack would go out of the cord and he would pull the shotgun towards him, and the trigger into the nail. The shotgun would go off and at this range the birdshot would put a hole through him big enough for a little birdie to fly through. There was even a good chance that the recoil would rattle the shotgun on the nail enough to pull the trigger again when the next shell was loaded.
His fingers on his right hand were swollen and red from loss of circulation. His head ached, and he had to piss. PT breathed in deep, closed his eyes, and tried to clear the cobwebs from his brain. It was hard to think with John Bonham playing Whole Lotta Love on the back of his eyeballs. Ok, just untie the damn cord with your other hand. He brought his left hand around but it refused to follow his brain’s command. Turning his head PT could see more jump cord looped around his left wrist and running across the bed. Not seeing any other traps he tugged gently on the cord. As he pulled the slack out of the cord, he saw it ran across the bed past where his nightstand had been into the corner of the wall. The sheet rock was crushed and the jump cord was somehow tied into the wall studs.
Bonham decided to repeat the drum solo section but at an increased tempo and his headache severity increased proportionately. He felt like he was going to throw up, the air going in and out of his lungs tasted like Arandas tequila. How much did he drink last night? Let’s see, a couple of beers at the Midway waiting for a ride home. He’d had another beer with Kate at the Boatel. He’d grabbed a beer from the fridge by the back door on the way in. So three beers, no four.
How much tequila? A couple of shots, then he had done some body shots. A couple from her belly button, those were small drinks, barely half a shot. A couple of drinks from the hollow at the base of her throat then one from the back of each knee. He had even tried one from her cleavage but that hadn’t worked out so well. Then he had done several shots from that wonderful little place between her back and the start of that unbelievable ass.
He brought his head up looking in the mirrored doors of the closet. He spotted the empty tequila bottle on the floor by his tipped over clothes hamper. In the reflection of the mirrors he could see a wedge of lime stuck to the bottom of his foot.
Ok, so he hadn’t had enough to drink to cause a hangover, so she must have drugged him again. How else would he have slept through being tied up and the hammering of the nails? Through the clouds of his headache a short memory from the night before broke through. He smiled, ok, so maybe he had been tied up before she drugged him.
From the living room he could hear his TV. He concentrated and listened for a minute. It was a NASCAR race. PT lay his head back down on the bed and shouted. “Anybody there? Jokes over, you can untie me now.”
Nothing. His breath started tasting like tequila again and his small intestine twisted like a Copper River red in a dipnet. He kept his breathing slow and even, rolling carefully onto his side without moving his right arm. When the nausea passed he lay still, trying to concentrate. Ok, he could try yelling. His nearest neighbor was about three hundred yards away. Eventually someone might hear him.
His bladder felt like it was going to burst. He contemplated rolling on his side and relieving himself into the mattress. That would be great, lying in a puddle of piss, yelling for somebody to come save you. He yelled for what felt like forever but was only about two minutes, and then he started to gag. He buried his face in the salt dusted sheets and tried not to move his right hand. The coughing fit subsided and Bonham started playing Moby Dick, using his left ear for his bass drum. Yes he definitely had the old time rock and roll headache this morning. He really had to piss or he was going to cause irreparable damage to his plumbing.
He twisted face down in bed stretching his left arm and sliding his feet off the bed. Good, his feet hadn’t been tied to the bed. He stretched, pulling on the cord with his left hand until it hurt, reaching with his right hand for the barrel of the shotgun. If he could just reach it, he could at least move the barrel until it pointed away from him.
He gave up when his left wrist started to bleed from pulling on the cord. Maybe he could move enough to get out of the birdshot pattern and then just pull the cord setting off the shotgun. Once the gun was empty he could just yank the table over and free himself.
He moved as far as he could toward the foot of the bed and then slowly pulled on the cord. The nails in the table that kept the barrel pointing at the bed were a good six inches either side of the barrel. When he pulled on the cord the barrel slowly swung towards him. Sonofabitch. The trigger of the shotgun nestled against the nail, the barrel pointed right at him. He took some deep breaths trying to think of another way out of the trap. He stretched his right hand towards his teeth. It was close but the cord went taunt pulling the shotgun trigger into the nail before he could get his teeth on the cord. Genius trap.
He twisted now, facing the bed with his neck curled so he could still look at the table and putting his right leg against the bed, he slowly reached out with his left big toe towards the shotgun barrel. If he could push the shotgun back away and then lift the barrel over one of the guide nails. He stretched farther. His shoulder felt like it was going to pull out of the socket. He could feel more blood on the left hand. His big toe moved slowly to the front of the barrel. He gently pushed backwards on the end of the barrel.
His leg cramped and it came back down on its own, his bladder screaming at him that it was now or never. PT gritted his teeth and suffered through the leg cramp while pissing all over the side of his bed. The urine soaked into the sheet then bounced back spattering on his legs. The stench of morning tequila urine filled the room. PT huddled at the edge of the bed, waiting to see if his calf was going to cramp again.
He laughed out loud and said to himself, “Ok, that’s it, next time someone wants me to go track down Bigfoot, I’m going to tell them to fuck off.” He laughed again, because he knew he was lying.