The Exile: Episode 13

Surprised by the Jeep speeding toward us, I quickly turned and pushed Carmen back into the shelter of the trees. When I heard bullets punch into the tree trunks around us, I motioned for her to get low and pressed against the base of the tree trying to peer out toward the Jeep.

“Stay down!” I whispered.

“I have to find a way out of these woods, a way that doesn’t get us killed,” I told myself.

As I looked between the low hanging branches, I saw that the Jeep had come to a full stop and a small, wiry man was standing in the passenger’s seat firing in our direction. Glancing at Carmen, I noticed that her eyes were darting back and forth as she gripped the pistol in her trembling hands.

“Give me that,” I said and reached for the weapon.

When she hesitated, not wanting to release the pistol, I gently placed my hand over it and said with as much confidence as I could muster,

“I’ll keep you safe, I promise.”

We locked eyes for what felt like forever before she slowly let the pistol slip into my hand.

Rising to my feet, I moved around to the front of the tree and carefully took aim on the gunman, lining up the front and rear sights as I ran over the steps in my head.

“Aim for center mass. Compensate for wind.”

I pulled the trigger but the gun clicked.

I ducked back behind the tree just as the man fired in my direction. It was a wild shot, and I knew the thick foliage was not allowing good visibility.

“Empty? Seriously?” I snapped in frustration.

“Did you check the safety?” Carmen asked.

When I checked, I discovered that the safety was still on.

“Sorry,” I apologized before turning and taking aim.

A pull on the trigger and the pistol popped and bucked as the gunman dropped his rifle and grabbed his leg.

“Let’s go,” I ordered, grabbing Carmen’s hand. Quickly, we ran through the woods and dashed out the other side. When we reached the edge of the park, we leapt the fence and cut through traffic, horns blaring. Ducking into the alley, Carmen stopped and leaned against a brick wall as she gasped for air.

“Take only a moment to catch your breath. We need to keep moving,” I said.

“Where did you learn to fire a gun?” Carmen asked panting.

“My brother was in the military. When he got out, he taught me a few things,” I explained.

“How can you do all this running and dodging bullets yet stay calm?” Carmen asked.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” I answered. “I’m just running on instinct.”

Looking back towards the park, I suddenly felt a cold shiver run down my spine.

“We need to move and get to the hospital. Your grandfather is in danger.”

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Published in: on February 12, 2011 at 1:41 am  Leave a Comment  

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