It had taken awhile but Charlene Collins finally managed to carve out a makeshift shim. She inserted the shim into the handcuff keyhole and slowly attempted to flip the lock. Nothing!

‘Damn!’ she thought, but she knew she had to keep trying, as this was the only chance she had.

She tried a second time. No go.

‘Well, they say the third times the charm!’ she hoped. Still nothing!

She decided to take the shim and work clockwise. However, all that seemed to do was wear down the shim. If she ruined or broke it, she would have to start all over and time was running out!

Finally, with one last effort, she worked the shim counterclockwise and slightly pushed up.


Charlene had never heard a more sweeter sound! The cuff unlatched.

‘Thank you, fake jewelry girl!’ she thought, as she immediately slipped the cuff off her wrist.

Suddenly, outside the door, she heard a voice yell “HEY!” and something about a gun!

It was Megan!!!

She started to yell out Megan's name but held off! It would be pointless. However, she did decide, right then and there, the first chance she got, she was going to make her move. What she didn’t realize was that first chance was about to quickly present itself.

She heard the lock to the door unbolt. Charlene immediately placed the unlocked cuff back on her wrist to make it look like she was still cuffed to the bed. She reached into her pocket for the Zap gun, flipped the switch to half charge and waited.

The door slowly opened. The room was immediately bathed in light. Charlene blinked her eyes, adjusting to the brightness. She could see a figure standing at the doorway.

“Wake up, Miss Charlene! Welcome to your Nightmare!” the figure said.

It was Lysergic!

“Wha…what is it??!!” Charlene mumbled, pretending she had been asleep.

Lysergic smiled her psychopathic smile, as she held a tranquilizer gun in one hand and a large syringe in the other.

“I’m here to give you bliss!” Lysergic giggled.

“What are you talking about now, little girl?!” Charlene asked.

“You've been chosen to participate in a great adventure!!” Lysergic gleefully replied, “and I’m NOT a little girl!!!”

“And who chose me?!” Charlene reluctantly asked.

“I did!” Lysergic answered, “So be like a cucumber and keep your cool, while I inject you with something that will make you forget all your troubles. Permently!!”

“I kinda like to remember all my troubles, thank you very much!” Charlene replied, as she tightly held onto the Zapper.

Lysergic cautiously approached, keeping the Tranquilizer gun pointed at Charlene.

“Now, just hold real still,” Lysergic ordered, as she held up the syringe.

There was a moment when Lysergic slightly lowered her Tranquilizer gun, as she started to insert the needle into Charlene’s arm.

Suddenly, Charlene pulled the Zapper out of her pocket and pushed the gun’s prods hard against Lysergic’s neck and pulled the trigger!

“OWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!” Lysergic cried out in pain, dropping the Tranquilizer gun and syringe, as she fell to the floor.

Charlene quickly jumped out of bed, picked up the Tranquilizer gun and headed for the door. She hesitated at the doorway, just to make sure no one else was outside. The hallway appeared empty.

She glanced back to see Lysergic sprawled out on the floor, flipping and flopping about like a fish out of water!

“ARRGHH!!!! ARRGHH!!!! ARRGHH!!!!!” Lysergic gargled, as she continued to suffer the effects of Charlene’s Zapper.

“Have a nice trip, little girl!!” Charlene said, as she cautiously stepped out into the hallway then shut and bolted the door locking Lysergic in!

‘Now which way?!’ she wondered, when she suddenly heard a “chiming” sound and an elevator door closing. She ran down the hallway to the elevator. She thought she could still hear Megan’s voice from the other side of the door, but it quickly faded away!

Charlene watched the digital floor display. It stopped at the 23rd floor! She immediately pressed the return button. A few seconds later the elevator was on its way down.

Suddenly from behind her, she heard someone cry out!

“Hey!!! Hold it right there!!!”

Charlene quickly turned to see one of the “creepy” guys, she remembered outside the library the night she had been nabbed, running towards her!

Without hesitation, she took aim with Tranquilizer gun and squeezed the trigger three times!

Two darts flew wild but the third embedded itself into Creepy guy’s forehead! He immediately slumped to the floor!

‘Psycho girl was right,’ Charlene thought, ‘this gun is kinda cool!’

Charlene heard “chiming” once again, indicating the elevator had arrived. As the door opened, she immediately spun around, still holding the Tranquilizer gun at arm’s length.

The elevator was empty.

Charlene quickly entered and pushed 23. Up she went!

‘Megan has to be up there somewhere!’ Charlene thought, as she checked the Tranquilizer gun but didn’t know how many darts were left.

Either way, she still had her Zap gun and she knew it was good for at least one more Zap!

Next: Chap. Forty “Shock, Rock, and Ducts”

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