The Exile: Episode 23

“We’ve got to get out of here!” I told Carmen, a wild look in her eyes.

Springing from the chair, I raced to the door, Carmen at my heels.

At the door, I paused to listen and hearing no sound, I tried the handle. Not locked.

“Good. Maybe we can find our way to the front door and slip out unnoticed,” I thought.

I was rattled, unsure of our chances, but I knew I had to keep my fear to myself. The last thing I wanted was for Carmen to panic.

Quietly easing the door open, I cautiously peered out and looked up and down the hall. No guards. Probably hightailed it out of there without so much as a thought for Jackson.

Just as I stepped out into the hall, one of Jackson’s guards finally showed up, rushing down the hall towards us.

“Back inside!” I snapped, pushing Carmen into the room and quickly closing the door.

“What’s wrong?” she asked in confusion.
“Shhh! Someone’s coming this way. Get over there by that wall,” I warned her.

Pressing my ear against the closed door, I waited and listened hard for the approaching footsteps of the guard. When I heard a hand on the door, I stepped back.

Just as the guard entered the room, I grabbed his jacket and twisted with all my strength, using the man’s momentum to run him into the wall where Carmen was standing. She jumped out of the way as the guard fell back dazed.

I grabbed the man’s gun and told Carmen, “Come on.”

Glancing into the hallway, I saw that it was empty.

“Okay. Now’s our chance,” I said as I stepped out cautiously.

“What’s the plan?” Carmen asked.

“To get out alive,” I said.

“That’s it?” she protested.

“I’ll think up something more elaborate later. For now, we just need to escape the death squad sent here to clean up the place,” I explained.

“Who do you figure sent them?” Carmen asked as we slipped down the hall.

“Either Jackson’s superiors or a rival. This isn’t the first time my captors were killed by a completely different team. At least this time, I’m not waking up in a pile of dead bodies,” I answered.

With an astonished look on her face, Carmen opened her mouth to say something but stopped when someone turned the corner and saw us. We had almost reached the end of the hallway.

“You there, freeze!” the man shouted at us.

With no hesitation, I raised the pistol I had slipped out of the guard’s hand and fired off a shot, hitting the man in the leg. When he dropped to the floor, I ran toward him and knocked him out with the butt of the gun.

Carmen bent over and checked his pulse.

“He’s okay. Just unconscious. I had to be sure,” she said as she grabbed the man’s gun.

“We’re not far from the front door,” I said. “If we can just get out of this house, we’ll stand a better chance.”

“You sure?” Carmen asked.

“No. Not really,” I replied.

“That’s not terribly reassuring,” she said with a sad look.

“I’m sorry, Carmen. To tell you the truth, I’m just making this up as we go.”

When we entered the main room, I noticed that the twin staircases stretched down the walls to the bottom floor like two large arms reaching for an embrace. Dead bodies were strewn in every direction creating a blood-soaked scene.

Carmen stopped and gasped, bringing her hand up to her mouth. I grabbed her hand and squeezed it.

“We’re almost there, Carmen. Come on,” I encouraged her.

She brought her hand away from her mouth and nodded her head in agreement.

Quickly descending one of the staircases, we headed straight for the front door. Just as we reached the door, a gunshot rang out, and Carmen’s body twisted when the bullet hit her shoulder. She cried out and collapsed. Catching her as she went down, my eyes moved from the bullet wound to the dying man lying on the floor as he gripped a pistol in his shaking bloody hand. Just then a rifle fired, and the man suddenly jerked then lay still. A member of the death squad stepped into the room, looked at the dead man, and lowered his rifle. Then he slowly turned toward Carmen and me, raised the rifle and pointed it straight at my head.

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Published in: on December 7, 2011 at 11:50 am  Leave a Comment  

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