Chapter 9

Written by: Suraya Dewing

Claude turned, slumped down behind a tree. John could see him, gun pointed at them through a low lying bush thicket. The sound of the Das Festival filled the air. Young people, shouting to one another and calling out burst into the cleared grove between them.

This was their chance and they took it. John caught Sabine by the elbow and ducking ran towards the lake. They ducked down under the Abbey Bridge and crouched there. A crowd of revellers jostled past. The aroma of Keilbasa Biala and lager drifted to them.

Sabine check her watch. ‘We’ve got two minutes.’

John pulled out his iPhone and dialled. His breath was coming out in loud, anxious gasps. A voice at the other end said, ‘Your bid.’

‘Four million,’ John he barked.

‘Registered.’

Night was falling. Lights strung across the bridge and threaded through the trees turned the lake into a night-time rainbow. This was an event they would have enjoyed another time. The beat of a rock band made the earth rumble. They slid in beside the laughter and jaunty singing of the festival-goers. The island of Insel der Jurgend had woken from its sleepy existence for the two days of the festival . . . perfect for anonymity.

A crowd of young people, giving each other high fives, holding hands and dancing skipped past. Holding hands, Sabine and John lifted themselves from their crouched and cramped hiding place and slipped into the crowd. A reveller gave him a stein of beer. John lifted it to acknowledge the gift and through the golden bubbles he caught the fleeting figure of Claude.

‘Time to go,’ he whispered to Sabine. They peeled off at Trep Towers and slipped inside. Darkness wrapped around them as John put his hand on a fake stone and pulled it towards himself. A heavy door glided away from them and they felt their way down the deep stair case with fumbling feet. The narrow passage opened to a tiny room where a small group of people were gathered around electronic equipment.

Jerry looked up. ‘Add your code,’ he snapped, pointing to the computer.

John was surprised. ‘I’ve done the bid.’

‘The Chinese have put in a bigger bid. Five.’

John cast a quick glance to Sabine who gave a tiny nod.

He punched numbers into the keyboard. Flashing green numerals whipped across the screen and wiped out the ones that were already there. A gasp filled the room.

John relaxed. His four million dollar bid was now the one in place with one minute to go.

 

A loud crash lifted above the muted sounds of the Festival. At first no one took any notice as a stranger entered the room. Then a hush settled over everyone.

A strange man stood before them, gun trained on John.

‘You tell them you are my agent,’ Peter Kranz growled. ‘That last bid is ours.’

Suraya Dewing (NZ)

Comments

Just when I thought Chapter 10 might be a nice little wrap-up - with maybe a relationship restart for the two heroes . . . nice work, Suraya, bringing it back into the crosshairs of mayhem!
The more guns there are the better this story gets.