Disclaimer: I don't own Kim Possible or any of the other characters.
In order to understand this, you should probably have read my Rewritten History.
This story told from Miriam Possible's point of view. Bartholomew Lipski and Miss Go have just captured her, and this is her escape.
Well-furnished, but draughty.
That was what the detached, muckraking bit of my mind said when I woke up, tied and gagged. After that, it took some doing to stay calm and collected.
Taking as deep a breath as I could through the gag, I steadied myself. I looked at my surroundings, forcing myself to analyze and memorize every detail of the room.
I was in a parlor. Beneath my chair lay an intricate rug, no doubt imported from Asia. The walls were a deeply stained teak, paneled, and with crown moldings. The window was graced my thick burgundy curtains. The furniture was all done in the same rich, deep mahogany. On the wall opposite the room's only window was an upright piano, sheet music open on the stand.
I squirmed a bit against my ropes, testing them. They were fairly tight, but with time I could loosen them considerably.
I heard voices below me, then came the sound of footsteps on the stairs. I was on the second floor of the building, then. That also meant I was probably in an apartment because no sane person would have their parlor on the second floor. Then again, my captor's weren't exactly sane people.
The door swung open. "Good morning, my dear!" enthused the small, pale man. "I trust you slept well?"
I glowered at him. He merely smiled at me and stepped to the window, taking in the sunshine.
"You do know what day it is, don't you?" He almost giggled the words. Inhibited from saying anything, I could only continue to stare at him. I did not, however, test my ropes further. If I looked overly eager, he might have me tied tighter, and then I'd have no hope at all.
"Oh! Of course! Silly me, you're still gagged – you can't answer!" He laughed maliciously and crossed the room to stand before me. "I'd really prefer not to have to gagged, but I can't help you unless you promise to stay quiet."
I nodded carefully, and he untied the gag that held me silent. I worked my jaw a bit, getting used to the freedom.
"Now," he began, pacing the room, "do you know the date?"
"Possibly the eighteenth of June?" I tried.
"Twentieth, actually," he said, regarding me. "I had you drugged. No lasting effects, of course," he held up his hands as if to mollify me. "But you do know what that means, don't you?"
"Drugging me, or the fact that it's the twentieth of June?" I asked, striving to maintain my nonchalance.
"The date, my dear, the date! Honestly, I thought you were intelligent."
I turned my head to see Miss Go enter the room.
"Fancy meeting you here," I spat.
"Trust me, Princess, I'd hoped I'd seen the last of you," she drawled sarcastically.
"The feeling's mutual." I frowned as I watched her cross the room to Lipski.
"I just got back from Upperton," she reported. " 'Katie' doesn't live there anymore. I happened to find one last letter in the box, though." She turned to watch me with a wicked grin. She produced the letter. Lipski grabbed it as if it were candy and read aloud:
I must confess I don't have a clue where the Electrostatic Illuminator is, or where Mim is. I have searched everywhere for the Electrostatic Illuminator, but I haven't found it. Mim doesn't know where it is either. She is of no use to you; let her go. Let Mim go!
"Ahh! You see, Miss Possible, my plan to cause you as much grief as I possibly can is coming along quite well. I sent your dear friend a letter on the seventeenth just after I drugged you. I gave him an ultimatum. In two days: the Electrostatic Illuminator for your life." He came up to me and leaned into my face. "It's the twentieth. He really has no idea where the invention is, does he?" His voice left off its teasing inflection and took on a threatening one. "He gave up on you. He thinks…that you're dead!" There was triumph in his voice as he began to laugh maniacally.
"John would never abandon me!" I shouted, my heart beginning to race.
"Didn't you hear, Princess? To him you're dead! And by this time tomorrow, you'll be as good as!" Miss Go turned to leave the room, then turned back. "And you know what else? He doesn't even have a clue where you are now. He'll never find you, except in your grave."
Cackling together, they left the room, slamming the door behind them. I turned to the window, breathing deeply. Lipski had left me ungagged, but still breathless.
My mind struggled to make sense of the situation. John would have received my letter the same day he did Lipski's. Apparently he'd written back frantically, and was no doubt turning Upperton inside out searching it.
I could escape. I would meet him in Upperton and we would hunt down Lipski and Go. I hung my head. No. We couldn't pin anything on them. Miss Go would just tell the police that she and Lipski had found me and were making arrangements to bring me in for the reward money. I was wanted, after all.
Crippling helplessness washed over me and I broke down into sobs. Even if I did escape, I could never let John see me again. Awful as it was, it was better if he thought I was dead. It was the only way I could protect him.
Tears slipped quickly down my cheeks, one after another. If only I had just gone to jail….
According to the clock on the piano, it was 3:30 in the morning by the time I had managed to get my bands off. The process had taken all of the evening, with frequent interruptions. I hadn't really gone at it hard until after midnight, because the effort had made me sweat badly. Even now, I was hot and could feel tendrils of hair clinging to my forehead and neck. It was annoying.
Bending over in my chair, I unlaced my boots and slid my feet out of them. Even though it was the dead of night, I was willing to bet that Miss Go was at the foot of the stairs listening for me.
I stood up and crept to the window. Below in the street was a lamp, illuminating the dingy street on which the apartment was. I took a good look at the window. There was a wide sill outside… I was fairly certain I could get it open without making too much noise, but how to get down….
The curtains. I felt them. They were thick. If I ripped them, they might hold long enough for me to get to the street. Working silently and quickly, I slid the curtains off their bar and began ripping.
My heart nearly stopped, the noise seemed so loud. I stopped, sitting dead-still against the wall, my heart thudding. I didn't hear Miss Go. Taking a deep breath, I rose and tiptoed to the door and leaned against it, holding my breath. Nothing. Not a sigh, not a cough, a rustle….
I hurried back to the window and ripped the curtain once more and began tying the two pieces together. I felt sweat trickle down my neck as I worked. Annoyed, I wiped at my face and neck with my sleeve. On impulse, I reached up and removed the pin from my bun, letting my hair tumble down around my back and shoulders before returning to my work.
It was odd how something as small as letting my hair down could have such an affect on my spirits. It was something feminine, something under my control, and it comforted me.
Finished, I took hold of the window and began to ease it upwards. It moved silently, for which I was very grateful. I picked the heavy curtain strips off the floor and began to slide them out the window. I watched them disappear below the windowsill and belatedly hoped that no one was looking out the front window, watching for just such an escape attempt.
When I reached the end of my makeshift rope, I tied it to window latch on the outside. Creeping across the room, I grabbed my boots and tied them together by the laces and strung them over my shoulder. Taking a deep breath, I climbed out the window, holding the rope and balancing myself on the sill. I closed the window and crouched down, praying the rope would hold. I jumped.
The street rushed up to meet me awfully fast. Luckily, the rope had not reached the street all the way, and I was able to jump the last foot and a half to the pavement. I hurriedly threw my shoes on and began running up the street as fast as I could go.
I must have looked funny, sprinting up the street in the dead of night, my hair blowing out behind me, having just repelled out a window. I didn't stop running until I reached the edge of town. Not sure where I was exactly, I cast around for a sign. The faint moonlight illuminated a cracked signboard above the general store. NORTH SUMMERVILLE GENERAL STORE.
North Summerville? I was a lot farther from Middleton than I thought. I sat down on the bench outside the window, wondering where I was going. I couldn't stay here; Summerville wasn't possible anymore because 'Katie had moved'. Lowerton was a possibility, but still too close…
"Why do I even care!?" I fumed, stamping my boots into the boardwalk. "This morning I was almost ready to turn myself in!"
I was confused inside. I wanted justice to prevail. I wanted the proper thieves in jail. I wanted John. I wanted to go home. But those things could never coincide. If I went home, I went to jail. If I went to jail, I couldn't be with John. I also couldn't catch the thieves. Though I had to admit, it seemed that the thieves had caught me.
There was nothing else for it. I would have to leave the area entirely. Find Miss Go and Lipski later. Something inside me was crying out that they be caught. But catching them would be difficult, I knew. Miss Go was terribly clever. Lipski was just rotten. Probably very stupid, but still rotten to the core.
I made up my mind. I would go back to Middleton one more time, just to catch a glimpse of my family and John, then I would turn my back on it forever.
It was early in the morning when I approached the Middleton City Hall where John's office was. Admittedly, I had spied on him before, so I knew there was a tree in the park I could hide in and still see him working in his office.
The door to the Hall swung open and I heard Chief Barkin's voice.
"Stoppable, you've been here all night again! I want you to go home and get cleaned up before you come back this afternoon."
I gasped and ducked into an alley before Barkin could turn and see me. I watched him stride up the street and into the local café. Taking a deep breath, I looked around to see if anyone was about, and, as no one was, I hurried up the street to side of the Hall, not bothering with ensconcing myself in the tree.
I crawled beneath the window where his office was. I found it was slightly ajar, so I peeked inside.
He was sitting with his back to me, pushing an opened mailing box around on his desk with a pen. " 'You've been here all night, Stoppable. Go home. Quite pining over that girl. Stoppable, Mim was a thief. Stoppable, don't talk back to me. Stoppable this, Stoppable that'…Well I'm sick of it!"
I pinched my nose to stifle a laugh. He sounded so irritated. John and Barkin had always made me laugh, even when it wasn't entirely appropriate.
John stood up, staring down at the box on his desk. "I guess you'll never get this, Mim," I heard him say. "And I still don't have the guts to open that letter of yours. Not after what happened." He inhaled deeply, then turned and slumped out the office door.
Flattening myself against the wall, I watched him amble up the street, hands in pockets and head down. "Oh, John…quit beating yourself up." Looking back at the window, I had a sudden thought and pried it open further and climbed inside.
There was no one else in the building, but I still moved quietly to his desk. My curiosity brimming, I looked in the box he'd been pushing around.
I pulled out a small cloth bag. Fishing around inside of it, I discovered a small silver locket. I gasped in delight before opening it. When I saw the pictures John had put in it, tears threatened my eyes. On the left side was a picture of my family, taken several years before. On the right was a picture of John and myself. It, too, was several years old, but was one of the only pictures I'd had of us together.
I held the locket to my cheek for a moment before looking down at his desk again. Seeing his pen, I snatched it up and, finding a spare scrap of paper, scribbled thank you, and put it inside the locket's bag and replace it in the box.
That's when I saw my letter to him, my last letter, my answer, lying on his desk, unopened. "Oh, John, no…"
I was about to reach down and rip it open for him when I heard the doorknob to the main door turning. Gasping, I grabbed the locket and jumped out the window. Once outside, I watched as Barkin came in the office, mumbling about something. I would have to leave now, before he caught me. I hesitated, seeing the unopened letter on his desk. Maybe it was okay that I didn't open it. Maybe he would see my note in the bag and open it. There was nothing else I could do. I turned and ran through the park, hoping no one saw me.
I spent the day hiding in the park's bushes. It was an odd sensation, watching people I once knew well, walking past. I was really alone in the world now. As night came on in full force, I left the bushes and walked down all the back roads, keeping out of sight.
My home, clean and well kept, standing on 2nd street in the moonlight, was definitely a sight for sore eyes. I opened the front gate and crept through the darkness to the back, where I could see my family. Crouching down contentedly below the window, I was tempted to simply knock on the door and walk right back into my old life, if only for one night. I shook my head sharply to clear my mind. I was hungry, that's why I couldn't think straight. Then again, it didn't seem I could think straight at all these days. I needed to get out of town and move on again before Lipski and Go could find my trail.
Just then, my family's attention directed itself to the front door. I watched my father open the door, only to see John step in, carrying the box from his office. I smiled. He knew I was alive.
I watched as he talked to my family and showed them the note I'd scribbled. My mother and sister hugged each other, laughing, and my brother jumped up from the sofa and clapped John on the back. Then, my mother held her hands up for silence. Everyone watched her intently as she spoke. I couldn't read her lips, but everyone seemed to agree with her.
My sister and brother disappeared into the kitchen, only to return a minute later with a plate of food. More talking, then my sister started towards the back door, the plate in hand. I gasped and scrambled up from my place and hid behind the side of the house.
I heard the back door open and her set the plate down. I waited until behind the house until I heard my family go to bed. The minute there was no more noise, I crept back to the door, where my sister had left the food. I grinned as I ate it, even though it was cold as ice. When I had finished, I automatically stood up and tried the doorknob. To my surprise, my father had left it unlocked.
Silently, I slipped off my boots again and took the plate into the house. After I washed the plate, I tiptoed into my old bedroom I had shared with my younger sister. I stood in the doorway, watching her sleep for a moment. I did the same thing to my brother and parents, and then I walked back down the stairs and into the parlor, where the door was.
I stopped dead. John was fast asleep on the sofa. I hadn't seen him when I'd come in. A smile pulled at my lips as I moved toward him. As I knelt down beside him, a feeling of great happiness, and yet utter sorrow, suffused me. This was my last chance to wake him up, tell him I loved him, tell him I wanted to marry him…but I couldn't, somehow. Reverently, I bent over him and kissed his lips softly. My eyes stung and I clenched them shut, feeling a single tear slip off my cheek and onto his. I pulled away, watching him. "Mim…"
"Goodbye John," I murmured.
I left the house and didn't look back. I wasn't sure what was ahead of me, but I was almost positive it wasn't as good as what I was leaving behind.