1. Pull the Release
Before opening the trunk, consider the world outside of it. Think of the miles of hot asphalt rolling underneath you. Think of the many men in the many other cars who might leave you roadkill flat and sizzling on the side of it. Imagine being caught in their wheels. Are you prepared to jump out of here and into the heat of their engines? If the answer is yes, pull the release. All cars made after 2002 are required to have a release located inside of the trunk.
Most often, it will appear as a glow-in-the-dark handle. If the trunk that you find yourself in follows this convention, the release will be easily found near the trunk’s latch. However, it is crucial to be prepared for the unconventional trunk. The release may not always glow. It may appear as a handle, button, cord, cable or toggle. It may be located on the driver’s side of the trunk, or it may not be. It may be black, red or green. On some occasions, it might be entirely absent of color. It might not be eager to share its shape with you, and this is something you are going to need to respect.
If the car was made before 2002 or if you are unable to locate the release inside of the trunk, you may be able to pry the latch of the trunk open with the help of some tools. Feel around you. Is there a tire-iron? Crowbar? Hammer? Screwdriver? Carjack? Long steel blade? Spatula? Metal baton? Serving spoon?
If you should find any of these items, try not to give too much thought to the idea that your captor likely uses them to solve the same sort of problems that you have every day. Flat tires. Crooked frames. If you start to sink into the quicksand of wondering if there are really any profound differences between you and your captor at all, simply try to sit up. Hit your head. Remember the difference: you are the one in the trunk.
If you are able to locate one or more of these tools, use every ounce of strength at your disposal to wedge the instrument between the trunk’s opening and its latch. Throw all of your weight and will to live in a downward motion. If you succeed, you might hear a pop or crack. Listen for it and wait for what opens.
3. Brake Lights
Take a deep breath. If the above strategies have failed, remind yourself that you have feet and nails like every other wild animal. Take a moment to dream up every violent thing you’ve never done with them. Locate the brake lights. If there is a panel, claw it off and tear at the wires like they are the hair of the person who put you in this trunk. For inspiration, imagine your captor is the man who petted your head at work or the boyfriend who always used that word you didn’t like. Kick at the brake lights until your big toe is bleeding and what’s left is an empty hole for you to finally breathe out of.
When it’s done, stick your hand or bloody sock out of the hole to signal for help. If you hear sirens, scream. If the car slows or pulls to the side of the road, scream. Try to remember the way you sounded when you were born, before you were taught to sit still in desks and smile at strangers who ask for directions. Don’t stop. Not even when your guts rattle. And if, when someone finally rescues you, that officer or good Samaritan should try to take you home or pet your hair, remember what you know how to do.