A criminal finds himself stuck in an empty white room with four idiots and a handgun.
|When the police finally managed to track Matt Tipton to the half bent, wobbly face of his wood apartment door, with the lopsidedly hanging '16' to the right of the middle and directly north of the rusted knocker, they tried the loose doorknob first. Then they started knocking.
There are countless fashions of which to knock on a person's front door that would have made this act somewhat non-suspicious and similar to the hard knock of apartment staff, but the two policemen announced themselves authoritatively through the wood, demanding that Tipton undo the chain lock. Because of the fact that they had conveniently not yet decided to kick down the wood plank that was his front door, Tipton had exactly eleven seconds to collect himself and his things.
Wheat thins. An absolute must.
His trombone. Naturally. And a handgun was stored somewhere in the interior of the case, for safety precautions, not making the thing any more portable but much more handy.
And his hat.
He unceremoniously stuffed himself out the cramped window at the back of the rental apartment, feet first, shoving his arms out behind him for extra push, to tumble onto the roof of a separate storage shack eight feet down from his apartment, which faced outward towards the thick of the town. Catching himself, he heaved himself down the last couple yards to the cement street and ducked hurriedly into the side alley. He stationed his black hat on his head with his left hand, with his right fishing around in his pockets for matches to kindle his crooked pipe, trombone case and wheat thins tucked under arm. The police had officially started to sabotage his apartment, ruffling through his things and wrapping unnecessarily thick lines of police tape 'do not cross' across the empty space that his now kicked down door previously occupied.
There were three black and formidable police cars lined up professionally out back. Waiting for affirmation that Tipton was in fact missing from his ramshackle apartment, a couple of stout officers headed off for the alleys, trotting along in the mannerism of a pack of dogs, clutching their radios.
Tipton casually walked off through the back door into the closest possible building, aiming to avoid the horde of flocking policemen. He prayed for some sort of crowd to hide in without attracting unwanted attention. With a wary tilt to his stance, shoulders tense and back arched, he peered around.
The local newspaper had made its home in the lower parts of the building Tipton had strolled into. Grey cubicles. Work phones rang relentlessly from box to box. Copying machines and printers chugged and hacked. Writers and editors and reporters abandoned their laptops to top up their coffee mugs two cubicles to Tipton's right. He thought he noticed a squirrel dart across the ceiling boards but firmly told himself that he was hallucinating. When a paper airplane air-cartwheeled passed his nose Tipton started to ponder how seriously the occupants of the office took their work.
He thought he heard footsteps from behind him.
He kept going.
While this workstation provided him with a crowd, it wasn't the sort of particular crowd that he'd wanted. It was a roomy, fat place, stuffed with occupants. The people here would know the difference between a work partner and a total stranger - unlike some street fair or bar get-together, total strangers could get booted out with the help of security.
A map next to the elevator informed him that only floors one and two were for office-folk. A notice thumb-tacked to the goliath bulletin board two yards from that included information on a public assembly upstairs. Open to anyone. Floor four. Today. At 5:20.
He consulted his rollex watch.
A policeman scanned the newsroom, having strutted through the back door.
Tipton adjusted the position of his trombone case and wheat thins beneath his right arm and attempted to snatch his pipe out of his mouth. He mercilessly punched the 'up' button for the fifth time.
The policeman noticed him. He muttered something quickly into his radio.
The doors inched open a millimeter. Tipton continued to hit the 'up' button repeatedly. His fist hurt.
The policeman walked forward a couple steps. Back-up was at the back and front doors.
The parting in the elevator door was six inches across. Tipton cussed. Eight inches.
It would do.
Tipton flattened himself against the doors, preventing exit for the four unfortunate people in the elevator.
A hand clutched his coat hood and held firm, dragging him back. "Peter Runner." The policeman huffed. "You're under arrest-"
Tipton whirled around and caught the rooky officer straight in the nose with a clenched fist, thumb tucked to one side of the fingers for maximum
force. He kicked forward into the elevator. The doors clicked closed.
A general chaotic drone escaped from the other side of the metal door.
No one talked momentarily in the elevator. Six seconds.
It was about the oddest scenario that Tipton had ever previously encountered, and when he automatically brought up the notion to himself that it would help to think up some sort of plan, pulled a blank and worriedly observed his knuckles. Tipton hit the 'floor four' button. With the awkward pause stretching out, he checked his watch.
The police were most inevitably going to be waiting for him on the other end of the doors on floor four. Crowd or no crowd there would be technical difficulties. His only chance of escape probably focused around somehow getting around the police and mingling into the crowd. Causing panic would suit the situation. Panic meant scurrying and yelling. Panic meant a hiding place for a fugitive. Just holler and flail your arms around and you're about as noticeable or significant as anyone else.
The elevator people weren't talking. They simply stared impolitely and didn't blink.
He checked his watch again.
"Hello." He started off roughly.
"You're Peter Runner?" The question, or observation, was directed at him from a tall, sturdy-looking old lady. Her tone was oddly low and somehow masculine. She sported different colored socks and a coat lengthy enough to completely cover a truck of considerable size.
"No." He responded shortly.
"That was a policeman."
"Not a very good one."
"What about his nose?"
"You could have done some considerable damage."
The man off to her close right took out his phone. He looked rather formidable with his grey work clothes on and pressed tie, which had a crease in it from being folded one too many times. Tipton turned.
"What are you doing?"
"Not calling anyone, are you?"
"We're in an enclosed, white elevator with a mass murderer. The police are already here, waiting for you on both floors. I don't particularly need to call anyone. I'm checking the time." His manner of chatter provoked the idea that he was very calm and collected with the situation at hand. He tapped the phone.
"I'm not Peter White. I'm no terrorist. I'm a middle-school band teacher. Matt Tipton. I'm not going to kill anyone."
"Your name and face is all over the news, 24-7. Tell that to the police. We're nearly at your floor."
It was at that point that the elevator made an abrupt stop two-thirds of the way to floor four.
The elevator issued out an unhealthy wheeze. The mechanism strained.
Then resigned from its tasks of transporting them to the next floor and shuddered once before dying off.
He was trapped in a minuscule white box with four strangers with the police on all ends.
Matt Tipton kicked out at the walls.
Then took out his wheat thins.
( While this chapter's most probably done considering length, it's also probably covered in typos and troublesome sentences that I'll end up editing )