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Challenge: tehuti’s 100 Sentence Prompts

Prompt: He would just have to stick it in the washing machine.


Washing Optimism


He would just have to stick it in the washing machine. Blood seemed like a tough stain but with the right detergent, it was easy enough to wash out. Nobody would be the wiser if he did it right and from what she knew, the “safe house” was  a house. There had to be a washer somewhere.

Adison watched her captor a pace from one wall to the next. His hands moved faster than he did, ringing together as he muttered incoherently to himself. When she was first dropped into the chair and chained to it, she had no intention to help anybody. It was her helping hand that landed her in trouble in the first place. Her eyes bounced along with him. She really didn’t mean to feel bad for the guy but he looked miserable. He didn’t seem to know more than his task of babysitting.

Her mouth twisted in thought. If she was right, he didn’t know the full plan at all. He didn’t know that she was some unlucky mogul’s daughter who happened to like helping the poor. It put her in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended with her being held hostage for who knew how much they planned to extort out of her father.

The man stumbled over his feet and cursed. Adison winced from the sudden shouting. If she knew spitting on him would drive him that crazy, she would have reconsidered. “Wash it.” Her small voice surprised them both. He stopped mid step. He was back to holding out the part of his shirt that covered the right side of his chest but he wasn’t staring at it anymore; he was staring at her. Looking away, she repeated the simple suggestion.

He walked closer, causing her to draw into the chair the best she could to no avail. His face came down to hers and she could smell a mix of soap, mint, and musty cologne. Definitely a clean freak. With the fear of germs running through him, he wouldn’t touch her, not badly anyway. He’d be too paranoid to get her dead skin on him.

“What’s your name?”

Adison tried not to roll her eyes when a heavy scent of mouthwash hit her. He had to drink the stuff for it to smell that strong. “Nina,” she lied smoothly, “and I can help get that out if you let me up.” Though his face was inches from hers, and her stomach fluttered nervously, she turned her head to meet his gaze. It was strong yet distant. Maybe he’ll do it. The little voice of hope whispered. Except he didn’t. He stood and backed away from her. Whatever he was thinking of doing, it didn’t look in her favor.

Sighing, Adison hung her head, muttering an apology to her obsessively clean babysitter. If nothing else, she could garner some kindness by being a nice hostage. She tried the rebellious route. All that got her was a bloody lip, an aching jaw, sore limbs, and a pounding headache.

“Can you really get it out?”

Her eyes snapped up before her head could. “I’d actually need to run it under water first.” His eyes narrowed. Feeling her chance slipping with it, she quickly rambled off the directions. No heat was the key thing to remember for each step. So long as he understood that, he could do it himself, but she made sure to speak faster than he could pick up on what she was saying. With any luck, he’d be more confused than relieved and then he’d have to let her go.

He looked down at the spot again. “What about set stains?”

“Uh,” set stains were harder but a question meant he considered freeing her so she nodded, “yea. I can do set stains. They’ll take longer though.” And the longer they took to get out, the longer she could plot her escape or, at the very least, her rescue. “I swear. I can do it.”

He eyed her warily for what felt like a year till finally he strode forward, pulled a key out of his pocket, and undid three of the four locks. The last one kept the chains around her wrists tethered to the chair. Unsure what to do, Adison looked up at him. It was one more lock, just one more, and then she’d be free.

“No running.” The order got a curt nod from her. “Or screaming.” Another nod. “I’ll let them come get you again if you try anything sneaky.”

“I won’t.” Adison could hear the strain to keep the tears at bay in her voice. “Please. I’ll be good. I swear.”

His eyes searched her then dropped to the chain. Adison held her breath as he undid the last lock and she was able to stand.

“Thank you.” She let out the breath she was holding but quickly groaned when she saw him secure the end of the chain to his belt.

“Now I know you’ll put your all into helping and not escaping.” He smiled despite her growing glower. “I’m Tanner. I think we’ll be good friends, Nina.”

Sure, she thought, resisting the urge to roll her eyes. They’d be great friends when she was back in the comforts of her bed and he was withering on a cell floor. But first, she had to clean his stupid shirt. One good deed at a time. He’d eventually trust her, and when he did, she’d be able to really plan her escape. It couldn’t take too long. She hoped.