“Drat it all to Hades-!”
“No go on the handcuff key?” Alan shivered in the water, trying not to listen too hard to Won’t work, won’t work, you’ll never get free, suffer with us forever! “Figured.”
Oh, he knew that ragged catch of Sarah’s breath. That was someone digging into anger to keep from crying. “If you think I was going to settle for playing with light instead of a key-!”
“Easy. Easy,” Alan soothed, holding onto the light in his heart like a life preserver. Morg. Aladdin. Master Tiburon. I will get out of here. “It was a good idea. Key tucked into your bracelet with the rest of the charms – your husband’s a great guy, I like him already. I just mean they look shiny, but they’re old manacles. Not cut to standard.”
“…There’s a standard.”
Oof, flat fury. Not good. “Since the sixties, I think?” Alan ventured. “I, um… when Mom knew I really liked locks, well… we went out and bought some of the old ones?”
“Who wants old locks?” Matt piped up, glancing between them.
Poor kid. He knows we’re in trouble. He knows it’s bad. “I did?” Alan tried to put the shrug into his voice, given the water was leeching movement away. “’Course, Mom always said I had to keep them put away when I wasn’t playing. People get all freaked out about the craziest things, right, Matt? I bet your teachers would have a heart attack if you built a gun out of Legos. Wimps.”
Sarah groaned. “When we get out of here, young man, we’re going to have a long talk.”
When. She said when. Yes! Alan flicked his thumb at some of the more depressing rukh. And if they didn’t get the ancient flip-off for what it was, that was their problem.