Lee Lynch’s most recent book, An American Queer, a collection of “The Amazon Trail” columns, was presented with the 2015 Golden Crown Literary Society Award in Anthology/Collection Creative Non-Fiction.
This, and her award-winning fiction, including The Raid, The Swashbuckler, and Beggar of Love, can be found at:
A woman in a remote town in Oregon suffered a harrowing ninety minutes before her rescue by three brave public servants.
The woman, who wishes to remain unnamed for “professional” reasons, reports pounding on the hollow core washroom door and adjacent walls for at least three minutes to alert her Lesbian “wife” about the ongoing crime.
The crestfallen wife, who also declined to give her name due to her humiliating failure to rescue the hostage, said she was elsewhere in the home, running water, hearing aids off. When the sounds of distress eventually reached her, she tore through the house in search of her damsel in distress.
The hostage complained she’d, “Never locked the stupid door in the first place.”
Her wife confessed, “There was no simple fix from the mistress bedroom side. That d-m entryway might as well have been cemented shut.”
Close inspection revealed an unusual door closure. Eerily, instead of the emergency mechanism in normal doorknobs, this one merely offered a dummy device that could be turned manually but had no function.
“It was decorative only,” was the wife’s amiable comment when the crisis was later resolved. “Bless their hearts, you know how some male designers like their deco.”
The suspect, a slim six-footer, had planned well; the windows in that room are arched and tinted but do not open.
“Decorative again,” said the wife, later, with a wink.
She reported that her job during the calamity was to run back and forth to the garage, ferrying tools from a well-appointed toolbox. Together, with little ingenuity and much blunt force, wife and wife wriggled screwdrivers and other small tools under the door, but they were no match for the rugged culprit.
The suspect showed no mercy. As the desperate hostage struggled to escape, she was injured. Trying to staunch the outpouring of blood, she cried out for the wife to fetch a weapon, stipulating their heaviest claw hammer. The wife, so armed, swung ruthlessly at the suspect, swung, again and again, battering the offender beyond recognition.
The hostage attempted every available solution to defeat her restraints. “I was sweating and bleeding and in great pain.” The offender did not relent.
Despondent, the hostage managed a weak, vanquished plea to call the authorities. She dressed as she waited. About ten minutes later, three uniformed men confronted the perpetrator. There was to be no negotiation, no swat team, no bullhorns or crowd control.
But it wasn’t over yet. This was a wily miscreant. The men plied and prodded with screwdrivers, flashlights, and penknives. They were as stymied as the occupants had been. The door remained closed. The officers had no choice but to storm the bastion.
One courageous man returned to the truck for a newly issued battery-operated weapon, surplus from the military, he said. Once in hand, the siege was over in no time. The latch apparatus, a spring-loaded cylinder used to open and close the door, had malfunctioned. In other words, the spring had sprung. The door was intact; the offending mechanism marched out to the metal bin for recycling.
At her release, the hostage was asked if she planned to press charges. “No. We fundraised for that electric saw and look at how it’s come in handy.”
“You can’t beat a rural fire department,” the wife remarked, “for their bravado and know-how.”
Leaving, one of the firefighters agreed. “Because who keeps screwdrivers and saws in their bathroom?”
The freed hostage jerry-rigged a door handle with a thick washcloth that had no possibility of locking whatsoever and therefore no probability of going haywire. The couple plans to buy more.
“This one’s white for surrender. Next will be Red for Valentine’s Day,” said the freedwoman.
“And green for St. Patrick’s.”
“Most importantly, rainbow for Pride.”