Donovan looked over his tools a final time, taking little mental photographs of everything contained inside his big leather bag. He frankly wasn’t sure what all of them did, not in their original situations anyway, but he did test them for what he intended to use them for. Yes, this one’s sharp, yes that one’s blunt… Perfect.
The constant sound of screams and shouts permeated the small room he stood in as he examined his utensils and let out a last sigh to himself. He was not nervous about what he was about to do, only that he may do it wrong.
Donovan opened the door behind him and stepped into the main room of the dimly lit warehouse, his big bag of tools in hand. In the center of the room sat a woman, bound to a chair tightly bolted into the ground. She was wearing a business suit and modest skirt, dark brown hair reaching the bottom of her neck and a blindfold covering her eyes.
This woman did not know how she got there, what had intercepted her on her way home from work, where she even was. She just kept screaming, hoping against hope for a response.
“You can calm down now,” Donovan said softly, as he set his collection of tools on the chair.
“What… Who—Who are you?!” she cried. “Are… are you with the police?”
“No,” Donovan said. “I am not.”
“Are… are you the one that somehow brought me here?!” she demanded.
“No,” he said. “I am just here to do what I am supposed to do.”
“Lo- Look,” she said, trying to catch her breath. “I- I don’t know what it is you people want but… But I’m a lawyer and so is my husband! We’ve got a lot of money… I don’t know why you just picked me but if this is a ransom case he’ll pay it! I swear he’ll pay it!”
“A fair guess… but that’s not quite it either.”
Donovan slowly untied the blindfold and pulled it from the woman’s face. Her breaths were still heavy and she remained horrified.
“Who… who are you?”
“My name is Donovan,” he said simply.
“If… if it isn’t money what is it you want with me?!” she cried, now more desperate than ever.
“It’s not even so much what I want,” Donovan said. “As what I must do.” He gave a long look into her eyes, a gesture which only left her more confused than ever.
“What the fuck are you even talking about?” she demanded. “Look I- I have to get home to my kids! My husband is out of town and I- Look I said I’d pay you didn’t I?! Untie me and no one has to even know! I swear it!”
“Money won’t mean anything to me,” Donovan said simply. “Frankly, it doesn’t mean anything to you either… You may not realize this ma’am, but today is the most important day of your life.”
“I… what is any of that supposed to mean?!”
“Where do you think you are right now?”
“I… some old warehouse! I don’t even know how I got here! I was driving home from work and-”
"I guess a warehouse is one answer,” Donovan said, still emotionless.
“Then you tell me! Where the hell are we?!”
Donovan smiled a little. “We’re in the opening pages.”
“The… the what?!”
“The opening pages ma’am. The beginning of the story.”