The Exile: Episode 53

I followed Cazonetti off the roof back down into one of the hallways.

“What do we do now?” I asked.

“This way,” Cazonetti said running to the nearest elevator.

He pressed the call button, and we slipped around the corner to wait for the elevator to reach our floor. When the doors opened, Cazonetti slowly peered out and saw that the elevator was empty.

“C’mon,” he instructed.

Holding the elevator door open with one hand, Cazonetti shoved me in with the other.

“What?” I asked in confusion.

“Here’s the deal. Crack open the emergency hatch, climb up into the elevator shaft and wait there. I’ll find you.”

“I’m not ditching you,” I protested.

“That’s right. You’re not,” Cazonetti said. “What you’re doing is hiding until I can come back for you. I can’t focus on them and you at the same time, man.”

Not knowing what else to do, I stood still while the doors closed.



*          *          *



Turning away from the elevator, Cazonetti took a deep breath then slowly let it out as he went back around the corner to wait.

Just as he had positioned himself, the second elevator doors opened and three men dressed in suits stepped out. Cazonetti saw them look up and down the empty hall before pulling out their weapons.

He let four knives slip out from his sleeves into his palms then slowly stepped out in front of the men.

“Hey guys,” he said with a smile. “Before you try to kill me, I’ve got one request.”

Cazonetti paused to let it sit in the air for a moment then said, “Please be gentle.”



*          *          *



I hit the button for the lobby then looked up to the elevator emergency hatch.

“Oh brother,” I thought. “This is going to be some trick.”

I jumped up onto the handrails, precariously balancing myself, and struggled with the hatch until I finally got it open.

Planting my hands firmly on the metal, and using what meager upper body strength I had, I  climbed up into the elevator shaft and closed the hatch.

“Stay calm,” I told myself. “You can do this.”

I hated leaving Cazonetti out there fighting on his own while I hid in the elevator shaft like a coward. But Cazonetti was right about one thing. Trying to keep me safe would have been a distraction that might have caused him to make a mistake.

Voices coming from a small air vent behind the lights below interrupted my thoughts, and I strained to listen.

“I know I saw him come in here,” one man said.

“Well there’s no one in here now, is there?” the second man responded sarcastically.

“He must have gotten out,” said the first man. “Did you see anyone exit?”

“No,” came the brisk reply of the second man.

“Then he must still be here somewhere,” the first responded.

I held my breath. One noise and everything was lost.

Published in: on September 19, 2014 at 2:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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