08 June, 2011

Girl, On The Run: A Story


They say to take the alleyways when you need to get away. You know them, but the soldiers don’t, that’s the idea.
   Trouble is, I’m not one of those scrawny kids I see every day when I pass this junkyard. I don’t know the streets as well as I have to, to ditch the soldier chasing me, but I’ve got to get out. I’ve got to find a way to hide.
   I stop. There’s a corner ahead of me, and the gravel beneath my feet has turned to damp dirt. Think there’s someone around that corner? Think a soldier’s just waiting to pounce, satisfaction written across his face as his quarry stumbles straight into his hand? My heart beats faster, by breath comes quick, but my brain is still in a quandary.
   Nothing to do about it now. He’ll have heard my heart thumping like a piston by now, even though I hadn’t moved.
   I power out of the corner, gasping, sure I’m going to be shot the second I set foot into the wider alley.
   No one. Just a fat rat in the corner.
   I’m scaring myself silly.
   Silly. Haha.
   Shut up, I tell myself. No time for jokes, even if you still remember the days when they could be told without getting a beating.
   More turns in the junkyard. The pound of the soldier’s feet seems to come from all directions, echoing off this metal wall, thudding against the wall nearby, behind me, in front of me, even clambering across the top of the rusted scaffolding I pass.
   My face is red and burning. My legs are about to collapse under me, and my knee gives out as I take a corner too sharply.
   I slam against the wall, skull crashing into its hard, cold surface.
   The pounding footsteps stop.
   He’s heard me.
   I bite my lip to hold in the scream of fear. I stand up, brush the dirt off my clothes, and dash into a dark, abandoned building. Inside, there are barrels. There is old furniture. There are old, discarded cans of something that smells like gas. I step forward and my foot crunches something, but I don’t look down to find out what.
   “Come on, now,” the soldier says. “I might go easy on you if you come out.”
   I’m just sure he’s got his gun out and is ready to shoot me if come within view. That’s the easy way, isn’t it?
   “You haven’t committed a crime yet. Just come out, and we’ll get this sorted.”
   He sounds so rational, don’t he?
   Rational, reasonable, logical. Like there’s justice behind him, when everyone knows the soldiers and their commanders are the corrupt ones who don’t give a hoot who gets hurt, so long as they have their money and power and control.
   I ignore him. I march toward the back row of barrels and look at the rim. It’s up to my shoulders.
   I can’t get in one of those without making the whole row tumble.
   “You’re in here, aren’t you, boy?”
   Boy. Another haha. I’m no boy. Might look like one, but they always judge people on appearances only.
   “You can’t hid in here, you know. I might even flick on the light.”
   I panic.
   There’s no light. I know this. There’s no electricity. But he might have a flashlight, see?
   “But who needs a light when I can just look with my own two eyes, eh, boy? And you won’t know where I am until I’ve got you in my grasp.”
   Gun sights, you mean.
   But I don’t respond.
   Instead, I wait.
   He marches toward me, loud and clear, and my hands jump around of their own accord, brushing on another, fretting like an old woman’s. I try to think, but his footsteps are the only thing in my head. The thing carrying my capture and death toward me.
   “I won’t hurt you if you come out, boy.”
   I laugh.
   Out loud.
   Oops.
   “Are you laughing, boy? Have you gone crazy? Because if you have, it makes my job easier.”
   Yeah. No red tape to shoot a loony.
   “I ain’t crazy!” I shout, adding a drawl to my words to make it sound like I’m one of those kids from up in the North, where, they say, bears are their friends and the coyotes guard their camps.
   “I can see you, you know.”
   He steps close to the line of barrels, and I finally get a glimpse of the soldier. He’s youngish, a little roguish, his smile friendly-ish.
   But I know better.
   I lurch against the row of barrels and they go tumbling down on his head, all that metal coming down on one person.
   Can’t leave them conscious for long, can it?
   I run along with a rolling barrel, both of us, it seems, heading for the exit. Only I make it farther out the door, and then I’m pelting around corners, careless in my abandon, grinning like the loony he thought I was.
   I have escaped.

**********

This story is an entry in Icewolf's writing contest. It isn't actually part of a WIP or a current project; just something I wrote up today because of a dream I had.

What do you think?

And have dreams ever caused you to write something?


-----The Golden Eagle

32 comments:

Carolyn Abiad said...

Nice scene! Lots of great details. :)

Margo Benson said...

Wonderful opening line that had me gripped straight away. The tension and fear are really well portrayed along with a great sense of the time taken in the scene.

I know you say this isn't part of anything bigger....but it could be!

I've only been inspired with my jewellery making after a dream, never writing - yet.

N. R. Williams said...

Dreams can sometimes define you. It is rare. I like your story. I found a few spelling errors but the overall story is good with a lot of tension.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

Jules said...

Wonderful story Eagle. And dreams are what cause me to write :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Old Kitty said...

Lovely!! Yay for this girl on the run! I love her voice - it strong and cheeky and brave!! Yay!!! Go Girl!! Thanks for sharing!

I never remember my dreams in detail, just the feelings I have when having them!! But yay that they inspire you!

Take care
x

Charles Gramlich said...

Good. I liked this. I write stuff out of dreams all the time.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Excellent, holds the attention throughout!

Flying high in the sky.... said...

very good expression...

Brian said...

I really liked it right away too...and didn't know you wrote it until the end. Bravo!!!

Angela Felsted said...

This is awesome! And I know I read too much romance when I'm waiting for the twist where the soldier discovers she's a girl and decides to let her go.

Guess it's a thriller.

anthony stemke said...

A gripping story, I could feel the tension with each new sentence.
Loved that: "I powered out of a corner, gasping"
Very exciting.

Elena Solodow said...

This has got a very poetic flow to it, nice job! The threat is very palpable.

Heather said...

I love it! This had my pulse pounding. Bravo! Many of my stories, and more than a few novels have come from my dreams.

Sangu said...

This was excellent - it completely caught and hooked my attention! Love the little details interspersed throughout.

It's great to be back on your blog after so many weeks away from blogland!

Lydia K said...

That was a fun read! Very suspenseful!

Alleged Author said...

This is great. I love your use of all the senses. If only I had dreams that inspired stories,

Susan Kane said...

This gripped me from the beginning. It could go onto more, become a book, even.
Yes, my dreams inspire me. However, lately, I have been having teacher dreams. Last night I had to drive a student home, after the bus left him behind. Turned out his mother was visiting an aunt in Tijuana, man miles away...it didn't go well.

Laila Knight said...

That must have been some dream. I was out of breath and scared by the fourth sentence. I had a zombie dream once that I've been playing with. Might query a magazine with it.

laughingwolf said...

so far so pretty good... got me caught up in the tale :)

M Pax said...

It's very intense. I enjoyed the story a lot. You did a great job.

I sometimes write dreams down in my idea journal.

Nicki T. said...

I love what you've posted!!! I love it when a story starts with a fight or a chase or something exciting.

Jennie Bailey said...

Wow - this was great! It kept me on the edge of my seat. I think you need to explore the character further and see if you might have more than a short story there. I often write from dreams - some of my best stories have come from them!

Rachel said...

I love this story. It was very compelling from the start. Most of my stories come from putting myself or someone I know in the place of a character and it comes into place. Good luck in the writing contest.

Josh Hoyt said...

THis is a great story I like how you bring us into the setting naturally with the metal walls and the no electricity even though there must have been at one time. Great job.

Jayne said...

I really liked this! It was an intriguing glimpse into a different world and I really think it has potential to be a fab novel, should you wish to expand. :)

Tony Benson said...

Great story! Wow, I'm glad I don't have dreams like yours. It's a very tense and gripping scene. I love the imagary and the way you describe the soldiers. I was there.

❉βrooke said...

That. Was. Fantastic.

The Golden Eagle said...

Carolyn: Thank you!

Margo: Thank you--I'm glad you liked it! :)

I'm going to put this one on hold. I don't have any ideas for a story for it yet, but I might add onto it later.

I didn't know you made jewelry!

Nancy: They can define my mood for the day, I know that; if I have a disturbing dream I'll usually be quieter during the day than I would have been otherwise.

Thank you! :)

And thanks for pointing out that I have spelling errors. It helps!

Jules: Thank you!

I hope they were good dreams. :)

Old Kitty: I'm glad you enjoyed the voice! I don't usually write in that kind of tone--but I had the urge to this time. :D

Sometimes I do, and sometimes they just slip away; the ones that stick have inspired other stories, too.

Charles: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.

Carole: Thanks! :)

Flying high in the sky: Thank you!

Brian: I don't usually start my stories off like that--but this time I decided to try it differently. :)

Thanks!

Angela: Thank you!

I was aiming for a more thriller-like story than a romance. It's interesting how certain genres can influence the way you expect things to turn out, isn't it? Sometimes I read a book and I think a SF-style plot twist is going to happen. :P

Anthony: Thank you!

I had hoped to bring out the tension in this; not for any particular reason, except to see if I could.

The Golden Eagle said...

Elena: Thanks! :)

Heather: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Mine too; although I haven't actually finished any of the stories I started that came from dreams.

Sangu: Thank you!

I'm glad you liked the detail.

It's great to see you, Sangu! :)

Lydia: Glad you enjoyed it!

Alleged: Thanks!

You've never had a dream that at least influenced your writing?

Susan: I've stored this one for the future; I might go back to it and expand on this Girl sometime. :)

That doesn't sound good. I hope things worked out somehow!

Laila: I don't think I've ever dreamed of zombies! That sounds like a scary dream. :P

Laughingwolf: Thank you! :)

M: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.

I should keep an idea journal--I keep forgetting details that I wish I could recall later.

Nicki: I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

Me, too. Brings out the tension!

Jennie: Thanks!

I've stored this one away for when I'm ready to work on another project; I didn't plan on anything bigger, but I like the potential . . .

Awesome!

Rachel: Thanks!

I've never tried putting someone else in the place of the character--interesting idea!

Thank you. :)

Josh: Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.

Jayne: Thanks!

I might expand it sometime; not immediately, since I've got rewrites already, but I've decided I really like her voice.

Tony: Thank you!

LOL. I do have strange dreams sometimes. :P

That's what I was hoping to do--to put the reader into the scene.

Brooke: Thank you! :D

Scezzle said...

That's so good! I love it! I wish it was longer. :( I'd love to read what happens next!

Edith F. said...

My dreams are usually life-related or incoherent, but once or twice my mind has somehow turned out a story while I'm sleeping. Once it was a sort of dark fairy tale with me in the middle of it - rather disconcerting, and took me awhile to come free of it after I woke up.

~Edith

The Golden Eagle said...

Scezzle: Thank you! :)

I'm planning to go back to her story sometime in the future--maybe when I'm done with rewrites of the novel I'm working on now.

Edith: That does sound disturbing.

Sometimes I have dreams that I find are hard to wake up from; there's always that sense that something from the dream will crop up, isn't there?