May 6 09 3:08 PM

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Self-confidence is almost never a bad thing, and Elissa Jones had self-confidence in spades. She was a rising young detective at the local police department. Smart and tough, she had won many friends within the division, and, of course, many enemies in the criminals of the city. She had already put a handful of violent criminals behind bars, and was on her way to a promotion. This would be impressive for any detective, but Elissa was on 29 years old, and had only been with the police force for a couple of years. Her promotion to detective had come quickly, after a highly-publicized arrest, and the next step up the organization ladder was within view. The other detectives, in their honest moments, would also admit that she was the best shot among all of the police. Her expertise with a revolver was well-known.

Of course, there were other reasons for her to be self-confident. In a word, Elissa was beautiful. She stood 5 foot 8, and athletically built, what with her rather thin waist and powerful shoulders. Her fingernails were short and always unpainted, as she often found that police work would disrupt her manicure. However, she almost always had her toenails painted a deep red; it was an indulgence of hers that she would rarely deny.

Of course, self-confidence can get a person in trouble. As Elissa was about to find out, it can sometimes get a person into much danger. So it was that on this Thursday night, Elissa was relaxing at her house on the outskirts of downtown. She was in a white tank top, with a cute miniskirt. She would be wearing flip flops when she went out, but was in her bare feet as she walked around her house. She had just finished getting ready for a night out on the town with some friends. It had been a stressful week for her, to be sure. She had just found out that Janet Smith, a notorious criminal around the area, had been released on parole. Janet was one of the first criminals who Elissa had put away, and it had been assumed that Janet would be in jail for many years. Tall, tanned and blond, with beautiful features, Janet had used her good looks to victimize men and women around the area for a number of years. She had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars over that time, and had been involved in some nasty assaults as well. She looked like a model, but was strong like a common thug. Now, she was out of prison, free to roam the streets.

As Elissa was looking for something in her purse in the kitchen area, she heard her door open, slowly, creaking as it opened. She felt the adrenaline surge through her, and her mood turned from fun to all business. She reached into her purse and took out her gun, and tossed the purse under the table. She thought briefly about calling the police from her cell phone (she did not have a house line), but thought better of it. She didn’t need any help to deal with some common burglar.

As she slowly walked towards the front door, with her gun drawn, Elissa was caught by an incredible sight. It was Janet Smith, her old nemesis, standing at the door. Janet was in a pink tank top and jeans, with sneakers. She was holding an ominous-looking bag, and had a look of surprise on her own face when she saw Elissa standing there, pointing her gun at her.

“Wait, what are you doing here?” asked Janet, surprised. “You were supposed to be going out for the night.”

“You caught me a bit early,” said Elissa, smiling. “Now drop the bag and kick it over to me.”

“I don’t think so,” said Janet, grinning back at her. “I have some nice surprises in her for you.”

With that, Elissa immediately fired off 6 bullets from her gun, and the bullets whizzed by both of Janet’s ears, coming within inches of hitting her. Janet stood there, the smile wiped off her face in a flurry of gunfire; she just stared back at Elissa, shocked. “Now, I’m a great shot, and that was on purpose; the next one won’t be. Drop the bag, and get on the ground with your hands behind your head!” Elissa stood with both hands on her gun, pointed at Janet, with a look of utter concentration on her face. She had made the right choice not calling for back-up, and now she would get all the credit for the arrest.

Suddenly, she heard something hit the window towards the back of the house. Thinking it could be an accomplice to Janet, Elissa dropped her gun hand a bit and turned ever so slightly. Unfortunately, this gave Janet the chance she needed.

“You’re mine now!” Janet yelled, as she ran towards Elissa. Shocked, Elissa tried to turn her gun hand towards Janet to fire, but Janet rammed into her before Elissa could pull the trigger. The two women hit the ground, hard, and Elissa’s right hand hit the ground, jarring her weapon from her grasp. The gun skittered a short distance away.

"Oh no, my gun!" she exclaimed, and started to scramble wildly for her trusty weapon. She did not get far, though, and Janet grabbed her right ankle, pulling her back. She tried to claw at the floor with her left hand, to gain some traction, and strained out with her right arm for the revolver. Her fingers were spread wide, and her fingertips were about 6 inches away from her trusty revolver. It lay, taunting her from just beyond her struggling grasp.

“You’re not getting away from me this time,” said Janet, smirking, as she pulled Elissa back and started to climb over her back. Elissa was struggling with all her might, all her power, to get to the gun. Janet was stronger than Elissa had remembered; time in prison had obviously put her in much stronger condition.

Elissa’s fingers on her right hand were straining out mightily, spread wide, inches away from the gun handle. Elissa was such a good shot, that all she needed was to reach it to make this a fair fight. All she needed was the touch of the hot plastic and metal against her grasp, and everything would be ok. The light shone off the gun, as it sat there, mocking her from just beyond her fingertips. As she strained and struggled, her thoughts escaped her lips as words.

“Must…reach…my…revolver…” she grunted. “Need…it…more…than..ever…” She was straining with all her might, and it was quite a struggle.

Janet was able to climb on top of her back, and she too was straining out to reach the gun before Elissa. The two women were each struggling their hardest; Elissa with her right hand, as her left hand was held behind her, and Janet with her right hand. It was an interesting contrast; Elissa’s short fingernails straining out, just as Janet’s perfectly-manicured fingernails were also struggling. Both women’s hands were inches away from the gun. Elissa realized she needed to get it, if for no other reason than to keep it from Janet.

“Not so tough without your trusty gun,” said Janet, with a sneer, and, to Elissa’s horror, she snatched up her gun before Elissa could grasp it. Janet stood up and pointed the gun at Elissa, saying “I’m a good shot too – why don’t you walk over to that table and sit down in the chair for me. Elissa let out a little cry as she realized that her trusty weapon was now being used against her; it was almost like the gun itself had betrayed her.
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May 6 09 3:11 PM

Chapter 2.

Elissa, defeated, walked over to the table, and sat in the chair. Janet, keeping the gun pointed at Elissa, walked over to where she had dropped the bag, and took out some rope and a knife.

“You realize you’re not going to get away with this, I’m a cop,” said Elissa, desperately trying to keep some semblance of power. “

Well, without your gun, you’re just an annoyance,” said Janet, smiling, as she wrapped the rope around Elissa’s torso. “I’m going to make you as miserable as you made me, sending me off to prison like that.”

“But you deserved it,” said Elissa, and the fear was evident in her voice. "That's the way criminal justice goes...and you'll get yours now too!"

“Well, you deserve it too,” said Janet, adding “I guess we just have a different definition of how things should go.”

Janet finished wrapping the rope around Elissa’s torso, then set to wrapping it around her ankles. When the torso and ankles were bound, she walked behind the chair and set to wrapping Elissa’s wrists; she crossed them behind the chair, and tied them off. When she was done, Elissa was effectively immobilized; she couldn’t get off of the chair, and the chair was a heavy oak chair, quite difficult to move.

To finish off the package, so to speak, Janet took a piece of cloth out of her pocket and fashioned it into a gag, stuffing it in Elissa's mouth and tying it off. "This way, we won't have any pedestrians trying to be heroes," she said.

Janet then put her face in front of Elissa, and smiled. “Here’s what I’m going to do,” she said. “I’m going to leave for a couple of minutes and get some friends I met in jail. Then, we’re going to come back here and make an example out of you. Just don’t try anything funny, remember, I still have your weapon.” With that, and with Elissa’s gun, she walked out the front door.

Elissa, exhausted and sweating from her earlier struggle, didn’t know what to do. The ropes that bound her were quite tight, and extremely coarse. They chafed against her shoulders and her entire torso, even through the tank top. The same was true of the ropes binding her hands and ankles. The gag made her mouth extremely uncomfortable, and made it impossible for her to attempt to call to any passers-by on the street.

Additionally, Janet had pushed the chair right up against the table, so there was little room for movement. She had been so stupid; why hadn’t she just called for back-up when she was with her purse before…

Then the idea hit her like a ton of bricks – her purse! She had thrown it under the table after she got her revolver. It was somewhere under the table; if she could reach it she could call for help from her cell phone. Even if she couldn't talk, when they saw her phone number come up on the caller ID, and heard her muffled cries, they would come out to her house right away. But, what would her co-workers think? She had mocked them for their lack of toughness at times, and now she had to call on them to help her. It gave her reason to pause – couldn’t she get out of this herself? Why suffer the embarrassment of being the one who needed help?

She realized, with hesitation, that she had little choice at this point. She tried to crane her neck, but it was extremely difficult to see under the table. She would have to grope around with her bare feet, somehow grasp the strap, and bring it closer to her. The cell phone was inside, in a pocket of the purse. She stretched out her legs, and started madly groping the floor with her feet and toes, hoping to somehow come across the purse or purse strap. All she could feel was the cold floor beneath her toes and soles…where was the thing? She was groping madly,

After about 10 minutes, she realized that she would need some perspective on the location of the purse. She tried tilting her head back and looking out of the corner of her eye. With some great effort, she was able to see the purse, out of the corner of her eye, a little ways under the table. With another great effort, she tried moving herself back a bit in the chair, more specifically, moving the chair a fraction of an inch back. It would take her farther from her goal, but at least then she could see. With much effort, she was able to slide the chair just far enough so that she could see under the table.

Then, she stretched out both her legs for the purse. Predictably, the purse strap sat about 4 inches beyond her outstretched feet and toes. She realized, though, that time was not on her side. She needed the purse and cell phone, and needed it now! She strained out her legs further, feeling the burn in her quads and calves as she struggled. Her freshly-pedicured toes danced and wiggled from just beyond the purse strap, a couple of inches away. She was struggling with all her might, and letting out groans and grunts as she did so.

“Must…reach…my…purse…” she thought to herself, through labored breathing. “Cell phone….is….my…only..hope…” “But…my…reach….betrays….my…grasp!” She was struggling so hard, and the ropes were scratching her so badly. Her feet and legs were taut with the strain, and her toes were so close. With a loud grunt, she tried to throw out her toes and feet, when….

Success! Her toes wrapped around the purse strap! She could feel the cloth of the strap in her toes, and it felt good, like salvation. Slowly, she pulled the purse closer, so that it was in front of her. Then, reaching her feet into it, she dug out the cell phone with her toes, and positioned it in front of her. She hit the speed dial for the police station with her big toe on her right foot, and was able to summon help.

When the police arrived, one of the detectives looked at her and suppressed a laugh. “So, big tough Elissa can’t fight off a woman; how’s that for irony!” he stated, taking the gag out of her mouth.

Elissa glared at him, saying “Just untie me, I’m still tougher than you!” “Well, don’t get your skirt up in a bunch,” he said, and despite trying to hold it in, he laughed. Elissa turned quite red from embarrassment, and realized that, sometimes, even the toughest people need a little help.

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