They raced down dark alleys, turning every which way. Gunshots rang out in the air behind them. With every shot Amanda was certain she’d been hit. Her rubbery legs propelled her forward whilst she kept her eyes glued to the back of her saviour.

“In here, quick!” he whispered harshly through ragged breaths. She ducked into a dark doorway after him. They stopped. The only sounds were their heavy breaths.

The faint light illuminated what could only be described as an old antique shop that had been hit by a bomb. There were broken bits of art, tables and chairs everywhere.

They hid behind an old desk, and waited.

Amanda peered at her rescuer. He was about 20, not much younger than her 25 years, and had dark features. 

All she knew was that as soon as two gunmen began shooting in the restaurant, he had grabbed her and hustled her out the back door. It had happened so fast. As tears stung her eyes, she dared not think of what had happened to her best friend, Maggie. 

With her heart hammering relentlessly and sweat pouring down her back in rivulets, Amanda did her best to control herself.

The shouts and screams from the street had all but faded, to be replaced by the wail of sirens.

He turned to look at her.

“You’re safe now. You must go.”

Amanda began to protest but he put a finger to her lips, silencing her.

“I’m a coward,” silent tears streamed down his cheeks, “I must pay the price.” And with that he opened his jacket for her to see the wires.

Her eyes widened as his thumb inched towards a red button, in the centre of  his chest, labelled “Detonate” 

“GO NOW!” he screamed.

Needing no further incentive, Amanda scrabbled backwards, tripping over tables and chairs. 

Somehow, she made it outside and ran for her life. The sounds that followed her, she realised were her own piercing scream – and another fading one. 

The blast, when it came, lit up the night sky. The world was suddenly silent, except for bright white light filled with shattered glass.

Amanda was vaguely aware of the ground meeting her forehead, but felt no pain.

She was also aware of running feet, then helping hands dusting shards of glass off her face. The wail of sirens were coming ever closer.

Her world was still silent 

but she was alive.

Copyright © 2017
Vivian Zems
All rights reserved