Chapter 7

Written by: Ray Stone

Marty grabbed my wrist and yanked me along in the semi-darkness. Droplets of water fell from the lichen-covered red brick roof. Some landed on our heads and shoulders while others splattered and ran down the walls or made little plopping sounds as they fell into puddles that littered the floor. The odour of dampness and decaying vegetation filled the narrow passage. Up ahead I could make out the faint light of the tunnel entrance.

It felt like an eternity but eventually we stumbled out and into the coppice. My hair and shoulders were soaked through. Steam from our hot bodies, caused by the exertion, drifted up and around us into the clear air spiced with the scent of pine and cedar. 

Marty doubled over with hands on knees, coughing and gasping for breath. I leant against him as he stood up and looked into his dark eyes. Despite the immediate danger we were in, the magical magnetism between us flowed once more. His fingers gently raised my chin as he pressed his lips to mine with gentle passion. In that moment I knew we loved each other and could make things work out. 

“We must run,” he said, pulling away from me. “If he catches us I want you to promise you will keep running while I hold him back.” He held my arm. “No matter what, promise me Sarah.”

“Yes, I promise.”

We turned and started to run past the coppice and into the forest preserve. After several minutes we stopped again. The distinct sound of a diesel engine was approaching.

“Over here,” shouted Marty, pulling me sideways.

Two fallen large pines lay across an old track. We dropped behind them as a Land Rover appeared. Mario was driving. I pulled Marty’s shirt sleeve anxiously and pointed to Mario as he wrestled with the steering wheel while bumping over a line of potholes. Propped next to him was the barrel of a rifle. 

“We need to get to the main highway and flag someone down. That’s the quickest way back to town and the cops.” Marty looked around him as the diesel suddenly stopped. “He’s ahead of us and he knows we are back here somewhere. He’ll sweep in an arc. We have to move back the way we came. Come on!”

As we stood a shot rang out. 

“Stay right where you are! You move and you’re full of lead!”

Too late, we realised Mario had an accomplice bringing up the rear.

It took Mario seconds to reach us, a sly frightening grimace across his face. Panting, he growled, “Now, you bitch, I want the Osmosis program. If I don’t get it Mr. Goody-be-good here is gonna’ get one in the knee – and then another in the other knee.” He raised the rifle and aimed.

The program was on a memory stick at home. I couldn’t give it up. My heart was pounding. 

“I’m sorry, darling.” I turned to Marty. “I love you but…”



OMG! That last word, 'but' made me shiver. Surely Sarah wouldn't do that to Marty... or maybe she does. Look forward to next chapter.
I really enjoyed this chapter, Ray, so full of tension and the gripping ending. I loved the phrase 'with gentle passion'. Very nice.
Thank you Roseyn. I am hopeless at romance. You should see my last attempt. I'd rather write about anything else than two people snogging although we should all be having a go at subjects that are alien to us. All good practice.
Well you wrote it in a believable way Ray....Like Roseyn that 'but' is full of dread/menace. Loved it! Now I am full of dread. How will I ever give these people a way forward? Hmmm.