Rayanna sucked in a wheezing gasp as she cringed away from the lifeless hand. Her gut roiled, threatening to sumersault its contents onto the ceiling. Muffled jargon blurped through the communicator, requesting the officer’s status. Offering assistance.
Someone’s coming to look for this car. I’ve got to get out of here.
Just past her blood-streaked sleeves, the handcuffs glinted from her wrists from the dim lights on the dashboard. She gimped closer to the steering wheel. Rust-colored muck smeared the surface. Her knee squished and she recoiled from a bit of human tissue. A dry retch clamored up her gullet and torqued her body.
Focus. Or this will get pinned on you. Whether you’re guilty of murder or not.
With trembling hands, she reached up and wrenched the keys from the ignition. A small, bit-bearing rod dangled from the ring–the handcuff key. Shaky fingers added to the awkwardness of the restraints. Several fumbled jabs proved freeing herself would take time. And she didn’t have that luxury here in the patrol car.
She threaded a finger through the ring and gazed at her only escape. Most of the windshield had burst inward to spangle the inverted interior. Jagged, crimson-stained shards framed the cockeyed hole, making the exit seem to sneer. Tongue-like reeds curled away from the lip of the roof, into what must be a ditch.
As Rayanna made her way to the hole, her foot swept something across the stubbled glass. She squinted at the evidence bag.
The SUV’s vehicle registration. The only possible clue to my identity.
She stuffed it inside her shirt and crept through the jaws which once served as a window.
*** TO BE CONTINUED ***