The knife was trapped under my feet. I began to nudge it towards George. `Can you reach it?’ I asked.
George stretched out his fingers and his nails touched the knife’s handle. By the tips* of his nails, millimetre-by-millimetre, he dragged the knife closer to him. The shopkeeper on the floor groaned again. ‘Hurry!’ I hissed. George had a good hold of the knife’s handle now. I slipped my hands down the pipe to the knife’s blade and together we began to cut through the rope that held us. I don’t know how long it took, but suddenly our hands were free.
We sat there for a moment, neither of us moving. I picked up the knife and stood. The room was eerily* silent. `I’m going to call the police,’ I said.
‘We should tie him first,’ said George. I nodded. With the rope that he had used on us, we bound* the shopkeeper’s hands behind his back.
When we finished, I stepped over the shopkeeper and went into the other room. The mobile phone was on a table. I walked over to it and picked it up. The screen was blank. I tried to switch it on, but nothing happened. I removed the back. No battery. It was a ruse* to get me back here. I wondered how many times he had done this. How many people had he tricked and killed? I put the phone down on the table and turned. I froze when I saw the scene in the storeroom next door.
George was sitting on top of the shopkeeper with his hands around the shopkeeper’s neck. The shopkeeper was awake. Eyes bulging*, his face tortured, he was kicking and thrashing his legs, trying to break free of George’s grip.
But the more he struggled, the tighter George’s grip became.
*tips – ends of
*eerily – strangely, frighteningly
*bound – tied
*ruse – trick
*bulging – sticking out