Strange Places by Janin Wise
Margery woke up disoriented, lost, in a cheap motel room. She didn't recognize the trashy, sweat soaked clothes on her body. Her mascara was run and her lipstick smudged. The air smelled of mildew and urine. And the bed beneath her was both lumpy and hard.
How did she get here?!?
She opened bleary eyes to a too bright sun filtering through threadbare curtains that were never in fashion.
A flutter out of the corner of her eye caught her attention: a piece of crumpled paper was her only companion on that miserable bed. Thank God!
When she opened it, all it said was, "This is your first warning. $25,000 in small bills, behind Maria's, tomorrow at five, or you'll never see home again. No cops."
She had been kidnapped!!
She staggered from the bed, slipping into the horrendous leopard print hooker heels that fit her feet, stumbled to the closet that serviced as a restroom in this dive, and put herself in order... Or at least as much as could be, considering.
On the end table by the bed were the car keys to her Porsche.
She stepped out of the motel into the scum side of the city...not that she'd ever been there before. She pressed the button on the key and her car flashed twice like a firefly to tell her where it was. She climbed behind the wheel and listened to the familiar purr of the engine.
As she drove home towards the upper east side, she shook her head like it was just some horrible dream. Soon, she'd be home, burn this horrendous outfit, shower and wash it all from her memories.
As she pulled into the gated driveway of her mansion, she really wanted a cigarette to settle her nerves and reached into the glove box.
Inside was another crumpled piece of paper that simply said, "Second warning. $25,000, behind Maria's, 5 pm. Or else."
Spooked, she crumpled it and threw it into the bushes on her way up the drive.
When she got home, she peeled the the filth from her skin, and burned it on the marble floor of the foyer. She stood naked and watched it smolder.
When it was naught but a black smudge on her white floor, she turned and walked upstairs.
In her shower, she thought and planned.
She had $20,000 in the safe in her shoe closet. And could easily get the remaining $5,000 from a quick trip to the bank.
It was only 2 pm. Plenty of time.
But as she stood in her own shower, in her own home, and the stench washed away down the drain, she felt safe.
She could just as easily hire a body guard to keep her safe!
Some snot nosed kid probably spiked her drink at the party....dancing and drinking too much were her last clear memories.
She'd be damned if she kowtowed to a coward leaving notes!
Stepping from the shower, smiling to herself, she dried her hair... Then noticed the writing in the steam of the mirror: "Third and final warning."
In a panic, she quickly dressed, rushed to the bank and withdrew $5,000, then drove home and opened her safe.
She put the cash in a black Hermès handbag, then glanced at her watch....It was already 4:00!
...And she had no idea where "Maria's" was!
Before she could panic, her body relaxed, and a sly smile crossed her lips.
She looked at herself in the mirror and smoothly, coldly, coyly said, "Thank you, Margery. I couldn't remember the combination... and we never wrote that sort of thing down. You had our body for the first thirty years. Now it's MY turn!... Looks like you got to see 'home' again after all."
And Maria walked out with the ransom money firmly in hand. Her first purchase would be another pair of those fabulous leopard heels.