-1Steve squinted her eyes as the door to the shed creaked open. The light seemed so bright compared to the darkness she had grown used to.
She heard Fiona's unmistakable voice ordering someone "Get in there!", as she tried to adjust her eyes to make out what was happening. She saw Fiona holding the rifle, and someone else being pushed to the ground.
"Up against the wall, now" Fiona ordered her. The stranger wasted no time in obeying her. Stevie sensed this persons fear from across the room.
"There must be some mistake. I was just on my way to visit someone, my car broke down…" The trembling voice spoke. It was then Stevie realized it was a woman. And that voice so familiar. She cast her mind back trying to think.
"Shut up." Fiona told her. "Who are you?"
"Regan. Regan McLeod." Came the reply, and then sounding more confident Regan asked her. "And you are?"
Regan McLeod, Stevie thought to herself. Tess' annoying cousin who tried to destroy Drovers Run. What the hell was she doing here?
"McLeod, hey? How unfortunate for you." Fiona replied.
Fiona stood for a moment, deep in thought. "Well, you're just going to have to stay here now. Can't have you running around opening your big mouth to all those other do-good McLeods. Stevie could do with some company I'm sure. She gets a bit crazy in here on her own." Fiona said sweety, motioning to Stevie sitting on the ground in the far corner of the shed.
It was then Regan noticed for the first time the other figure in the room. As she turned to look towards Stevie, Fiona took the opportunity to run out of the shed, slamming and bolting the door behind her.
Regan stood for a moment, trying to decide whether to run for the door and break it down, or to run towards Stevie to find out what was going on. She headed first for the door.
"It's no use" Stevie tried to tell her, but she wouldn't listen until she had tried banging and shaking the door trying to push it open.
"It's locked." Regan announced. Dark confined spaced frightened her and she was beginning to panic.
"I know." Stevie answered "I just told you that didn't I?"
"Are you ok?" Regan asked her.
"Yeah I'm ok, but my hands are tied." Stevie told her.
"What are we going to do?" Regan asked urgently "That woman is crazy!"
"You could start by untying this rope from my hands." Stevie suggested, feeling frustrated with Regan, but at the same time hopeful at the prospect of escape.
Regan nodded and tried several times to loosen the ropes.
"I can't. They are too tight." She announced after several long minutes of trying.
"City princess" Stevie mumbled under her breath.
"What?" Regan asked.
"Nothing. Look try again, Don't be scared to break your fingernails."
"I told you, it's too tight, I can't undo it. And would you mind telling me what is going on? What are we doing here?"
"Oh, I'm just enjoying a quiet day in the shed before you came along spoiling my peace, what does it look like? That crazy woman locked me in here. What are you doing here? Looking for gold?"
"I came to see Tess if you must know." Regan answered defensively. She was trying to help and resented the way Stevie spoke to her.
"Bring your bulldozer?" Stevie asked. There were more immediate things for her to worry about, but somehow bickering with Regan took her mind off things, and she really couldn't help it. The girl was asking for it. If someone had to come along to rescue, couldn't it be someone who could actually help her get out? or at least un do the ropes? or at least shut up and give Stevie some peace to think?
"I can't believe you're still upset about that." Regan declared sitting besides Stevie, resigning herself to the fact they would be here for a while.
"Oh why would I be, you just tried to destroy my home." Stevie shot back at her.
"I told you I was sorry about that. Haven't you ever made a mistake in your life?" Regan asked.
"Yeah, Alright." Stevie mumbled. She'd certainly made plenty. And all this arguing was getting nowhere fast. "Did Tess know you were coming?" Stevie asked hoping Tess might come looking for Regan.
"Nope" Regan said.
"Well excuse me I didn't realize I was going to be abducted by a mad woman. She has a gun. She could have killed me. She still might kill us." Regan stated, a hint of panic in her voice.
Stevie felt suddenly bad that Regan had been dragged into her mess, and tried to reassure her. "I think I remember shooting at you once. It's country thing. Don't let it bother you."
Regan couldn't help but laugh. She did remember being shot at by the Drovers girls. And she supposed she deserved it that time.
"So what is going on? Who is that crazy woman?" Regan asked.
"Fiona." Stevie answered as if that explained everything.
This did little to answer the question. "Why did she tie you up in a shed?"
"I don't know. She's crazy, like you said" Stevie answered, not wanting to get into the details.
Regan nodded, still not understanding. And they sat in silence contemplating what to do next.