He was still in the box.
How long had he been in here? No way to know. Whoever the hell had put him in the thing clearly didn’t mean to kill him. At least, not yet. He’d slept twice since first waking up in the box and, except for the occasional bout of panic and claustrophobia, he wasn’t having any trouble breathing.
At first, he had banged on the wood of the box, hoping someone would hear and get him out of the damn thing. Now his hands hurt and it didn’t seem worth the trouble. He hadn’t heard a damn thing but the rattle of his own breathing the whole damn time.
It had been inevitable that something like this would happen. He’d pissed enough people off in his time. Hadn’t really expected the box, though. A gun in the face, yes. The shit kicked out of him in a bar, sure. A box, no.
The box was what he thought of as coffin sized but it clearly wasn’t a coffin. There was no padding for one. Nothing inside but him and bare wood. It was big enough to hold him comfortably but not what you would call spacious.
The last thing he could remember before waking up in the box was getting into his car and heading off to meet his latest client. He felt like he had been hit by a truck. That would explain the aches and tender spots that were throbbing painfully as he lay there, unable to move more than a few inches in any direction. But that wouldn’t explain the box. He had put up a fight. Of course he had, he was nobody’s pushover. I bet it took at least three of them to get me in here, he thought.
What about the client who he had been scheduled to meet? Had she set him up? Or was it a coincidence that he had been on his way to meet her when he had made an unscheduled and unwelcomed detour to this pine purgatory? He didn’t believe in coincidences.
He never advertised his services, his clients were all referrals from satisfied customers. He didn’t know much about this latest prospect, Lisa Racine was the name she had given him. He had been on his way to meet her for the first time when instead he had woken up in this damned box.
He lay motionless, barely breathing, ears pinned back listening for any sound that might give a clue to his location.
Hours passed. He’d tried kicking and punching against the top and bottom, but nothing was working.
Out of anger and frustration, he began to flail about in a temper tantrum. Arms, legs, shoulders, knees, all slamming into the sides, top, ends, and bottom of the box.
The box moved.
It moved, and he felt it move. Did it slide? Did it rock back and forth?
He started slamming his shoulders into either side of the box. He was sliding back and forth like a windshield wiper, and he could hear the box rubbing against the surface it was on.
He could only estimate it as more hours passing. His shoulders were bruised and aching. Was he getting anywhere? What the hell was this getting him besides busted shoulders? He gave another shove, and the next thing he knew, his faced was pressed against the top of the box.
A split second later, he crash landed. The box cracked on all sides, but didn’t shatter. How far had he fallen? He kicked through the weakened side of the box and started to climb out when he heard the loud screech of tires on asphalt.