“MAGGIE'S IMAGE” – book excerpt

Maggie and Allie sat side by side on the edge of the bed. “If this were the movies we’d pull out a hairpin, work some mechanical magic and escape,” Allie said dejectedly. “Women don’t use hairpins much these days.”

Maggie mused, “What do we have to work with? A bed with bed linens. Two night stands with lamps. Two really heavy chairs. A room lined with mirrors—even the ceiling! My God, it makes you think!” She broke into a soft chuckle.

“Mom, back to business. We can analyze the owner later.”

“Okay. Okay. I read a novel once where the prisoners wired the doorknob so that when the villains opened the door they were electrocuted. What do you think? We could use the lamp cord.” Maggie whispered hopefully.

“Great. But what if we screw it up and electrocute ourselves?”

“What if we don’t?” Maggie responded.

“You sound just like Pooh!”

“I know.” Maggie grinned in the dark. “But Pooh never let himself feel scared.”

Allie whispered, “Yeah. I guess we can use some of that. Okay. Let’s check out a lamp. This would be easier if we could see.”

“But then they might know we’re up and about.”

“Yeah, I know.” Allie picked up the nearest lamp and followed its cord to the socket. She unplugged it and lifted the lamp. “Ugh. This sucker is heavy. Let’s see if we can find an outlet near the door.” They crawled again examining by touch the walls on either side of the door.

“Psst. Found one. Bring the lamp.” Maggie held the cord near the outlet while Allie carried the lamp toward the door, stretching the cord out.

“Rats.” The cord was at least eighteen inches too short to reach.

“Now what?”

Maggie sighed and took another deep breath. “Well, Sweetie, I have only one other thought right now. I really liked the electrocution idea. It had so much style!”

Allie whispered impatiently, “Who cares about style. What’s the idea? We just need to get out of here.”

“We could push the chairs behind the door and bash them with a lamp when they come through the door. No style at all, but probably effective,” Maggie said glumly.

Allie smiled. “Sounds perfect to me, Mom. Let’s do it!”

With much quiet grunting and panting they pushed the two chairs across the deep carpet to the door and placed one on either side of it. They placed the bed pillows lengthwise on the bed to give what they hoped would give a momentary impression of their two bodies still incapacitated. Finally they each took a heavy lamp and climbed onto a chair to wait.

“If there are two of them, I’ll take the first one. You get the second. Okay?” Allie asked.

“Right. You get the first. I’ll get the second. Boy, I sure wish I knew karate or something,” Maggie whispered.
 

Maggie's Image, a Maggie McGill Mystery Series book by Sharon Burch Toner
 
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