This is the third instalment of the "Take-away" tale.
Dave lay in the darkness. He couldn’t get his legs to work, but he’d managed to drag himself away from the steps using his arms, in a different take on the “commando crawl”. He could feel a soft, damp dust on his skin. It was how he imagined the colour grey would feel. Every now and then, Dave flicked on the lighter to try to get an idea of where he was, and then he’d crawl in the direction that seemed most promising. He was wary of using up all the fluid. Lighters generally didn’t last too long, and he had no idea how long he would be down there.
He thought over his last hour of freedom. He had not used it wisely. He had used it up shutting out the words Jo was trying to get him to hear. He had closed his eyes to her and mouthed ShutupShutupShutupShutupShutup over and over again, until she’d screamed at him and pushed him out into the street. He’d walked around for a while, smiling to himself, before stopping in at work to see if he was needed that night. He’d delivered to two other houses before he got to this one. He wished he’d done this one first, and then maybe when their food didn’t show up, the other customers would’ve raised the alarm. The records would trace him to this house, and the police would come and rescue him. It’d been a good few hours now, though. Surely when he didn’t return with the money, they would have reported him missing?
He’d fallen on cardboard. If it had just been concrete then Dave knew he’d be in a lot worse shape. His legs had hit a stack of hundreds of tins of paint, though. Maybe not hundreds, but lots. They’d crashed down on him; metal, cylindrical and heavy. Most were full. Hence the non-working legs.
He illuminated the cellar again. He realised it was not one room, but a series of rooms, connected by doorless openings. From one he heard the whirr of meters, of numbers falling down on counters. Ahead of him he could see a corner that had been tiled white, floor to ceiling. And then he spotted the hooks.