After leaving the rest of the group behind, our hero goes to rescue Jamie... Alone...
I put out what may have been my last ever cigarette, and stalked down to the grass embankment that lead to the river, and as I did I noticed that the sky had lightened, just a shade, since I left the hangar. I felt bad for not letting the others know, and I reached for my phone, toying with the idea of telling them where I was. Now it was too late. They had two options. Come and help me or leave me be. Knowing that if I did get caught, the killers would see my birthmark and do whatever it took to make sure I didn’t come back. I’d be stuck wherever I ended up, and all I could hope is that my efforts here would be enough to ‘balance my check-book’, as Iggy put it.
I pulled out my phone, but I didn’t call one of the guys. My heart thudded in my ears as the monotonous dial tone buzzed.
“Hello, I’d like to report an emergency. I’m down on the waterfront, and there’s a big green warehouse. I just heard shots fired.”
The operator asked for my name and I hung up. The cops would come, and I knew for a fact that the ones who did come, knew exactly what the fuck was going on here. They wouldn’t risk sending anyone who wasn’t in the know, and anyone they did send wasn’t going to be going home tonight. Not if I had anything to do with it.
I opened a text message, set the send option to Dax, Sadie and Iggy.
“I’m at the warehouse. I’m rescuing the kid. Come if you want. If you don’t I’ll understand. Cops are on their way.”
I watched it send and threw the phone into the river before heading to the tall, grey, rusted fence surrounding the compound. It was twelve feet of corrugated steel and before I went over the top I checked I had everything. Gun in my belt, knife in my sock, and I patted my pocket like I was frisking myself, just to reassure myself that the piece of paper I’d printed was still in there. I toyed with the idea of one last cigarette before making a move. Now or never. Get on with it.
A palette up against the fence helped me see into the compound. I counted the guards. One by the gate, one walking along the east wall, and another keeping sentry along the rear wall closest to me. I can be pretty certain there’s another along the west wall, and I can be damn sure that, just like the others, he’s carrying an Uzi. I looked below and there was a set of three oil drums. The only place to hide once I was inside, but I couldn’t hide for long. The guard along the east wall would see me once he was heading back this way. The window of opportunity was short.
Before the thought really could settle in that I’d never killed anyone, and that I was a lousy shot, that window of opportunity opened. I had to go. The guard walking the east wall was about halfway along, and the one closest was walking away.
I climbed over and dropped, landing behind the barrels. And I knew it wasn’t silent.
“Who’s there?” The guard shouted.
‘The fucking Avon lady’ is what I wanted to reply, but this wasn’t the time. I reached into the belt to grab the Glock. It had gone.
This can’t be happening.
I heard the thud of boots on asphalt as the guard neared and the horror set in that if I was to kill anyone, I’d have to do it up close and personal. I grabbed the knife out of my sock and gripped it just like Dax showed me.
Just as the guard’s head appeared around the corner, before I had time to think, my training kicked in. I launched. I felt the blade go in, under the rib cage. I felt the sickening scrape against bone and knew that however long I survived past tonight, that feeling was one I’d always remember.
He coughed, sighed and slumped, dead. Unfortunately for me, he’d already squeezed the trigger. The bullets missed, but his pals were heading for me right now. So much for surprise.
I grabbed the dead guard’s Uzi and pointed it at the west corner. I fired before the guy realised what was going on, and despite the range, I hit him in the gut and he went down. I ran at him, waiting to get closer before firing again. He stopped writhing.
I threw the Uzi I was holding and exchanged it for his. I peered along the west side and saw nothing. Everyone else had taken the shortest route to the action. I waited for them to appear, heart thudding in my ears, adrenaline coursing through me, acutely aware that I’d killed two people. What surprised me – what scared me – was how little remorse I felt. I walked calmly towards the other corner, able to hear the rumble of another freight train drifting over the water. Then I heard the approaching guards and waited. The first ran around the corner, and straight into a bullet. Headshot. I was close enough to see the light in his eyes go out. Before I could react another guard appeared. He fired. I heard the bullets cutting through the air.
I felt the now familiar burn of a bullet ripping through the flesh of my upper arm. I opened fire. Bullets ate up the ground before him. One hit his leg. Another his gut. He fell as another guard appeared. I was fifteen feet away and I shot. Two rounds. The first hit him in the shoulder, spinning him like a top, making the second completely miss. I squeezed the trigger. Nothing. I ran and scooped up the Uzi of one of his fallen comrades. The wound in my arm burned. The sleeve of my hoodie was soaked with blood, but the gash was now a graze, already on the way to healing.
I peeked around the corner expecting to see more coming, but there were none; just the long shadows cast by the rising sun and the groans of the mortally wounded behind me. As I neared the entrance to the warehouse, I wondered if my own comrades were on their way, or even if they’d got my message. The police would surely now be on the way, alerted by those left inside, if not by me.
As I rounded the corner, I saw that the door to the warehouse was open. Not wide, just enough for me to stare past the cracked and peeling red paint and into the black abyss that lay beyond. The square chicken-wired window smashed into a spider-web revealing nothing of what lay within. I heard hushed, harried voices. Barked orders and tactics. The scurrying of feet on concrete. The minute I entered it would be into a barrage of bullets. I took a few steps back; then ran.
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In this blog I'll be bringing to you short tales of things that go bump in the night, true stories of weird and unexplained events, and the real-life news of all things odd and macabre, and entertain you along the way.