There was nothing I could do. His body blocked the door. His arm extended, hand reaching deep into the footwell. I paused, thoughts of kicking out flashed through my head, propelling myself forward, smashing my head against his. None of the glimpsed ideas ended well, only in pain with the cuffs still tight around my wrists.
“Mine,” I said as he pulled the pistol up, turning it in his hands as he swapped his view between me and the black handgun. He mouthed a word I didn’t quite catch, his face stretched with surprise, eyebrows high on his face. He stepped back, turned away, but something made him stop and stare along the road. My heart sank as I thought of the creatures coming our way, the thought of having to run again, this time without the gun.
“Help me out,” I said as I struggled in the seat, twisting to get my feet to the road with the memories of my previous plans to escape coming back to ridicule me.
He turned and seemed to remember, came back to a long-forgotten part of the night. He snapped around in a hurry, bounding over in two long steps, pushing the muzzle of the gun into the waistband of his jeans before taking both my shoulders and hoisting me up.
I was out into the night and saw flashing blue lights at the far end of the village and let him hurry me along after slamming the car door shut. Let him escort me, his hand on my wrists as he ushered me to a door, his grip never releasing as he pushed in the key, guiding me over the step, almost not waiting for me to get inside the darkness before he pushed the door up, letting go for the first time to lean against the wood.
We waited, both slowing our breath, watching the floor as the flash of blue grew between the gap under the door. Together we watched it grow so intense I could see my legs in the eerie blue while listening to the growl of the engine before it died back. He turned his back and I listened again as he pushed his key, twisting the lock into place.
“They’ve gone,” he said, his voice still quiet and I felt his hands reach out, but with a firm touch they were at my forearms, guiding me around, urging my back to the wall as he slid past. “Wait here,” he said and I heard his footsteps place with care on the carpet, stopping in a room nearby where I listened to him rifle through the contents of a drawer. I urged my night-vision to improve, but the concentration did nothing for my pounding headache centred on what felt, without being able to touch, was a melon-sized bruise reaching out from my forehead.
A heard friction from a match striking out of sight and watched the doorway off the hall build with an eerie light, growing brighter to the sound of footsteps. He was at the doorway with a burning candle resting in a glass tumbler in one hand, a bunch of unlit candles in the other, the pistol still tucked into his jeans and his mouth in a wide smile looking very pleased for himself.
“Follow me,” he said and he stepped into the hall holding the candle out in front. It felt like I was about to follow a priest to my execution, but what choice did I have? I took one slow step and then another, keeping my eyes forward, not noticing my foot snag until it was too late. I fell forward, stumbling over whatever was in my path, the object skittering across the floor until I stepped on it a second time, taking my feet from the floor.
The fall felt like it took an age. The carpet lit as the guy turned, the flickering light revealing the stacks of metal boxes with multicoloured wires coming out of the back, the home electronics with their black cords wrapped around their middles, the stack I’d knocked still collapsing. As my shoulder hit the carpet, I watched DVD players, Sky boxes, games consoles cascade down around me to thoughts of the hand tools littering the footwell of his car and his fear of the roadblock, of the blue flashing lights and with my wrists scraping hard against the cuffs, I caught his wide-eyed look, his eyes following me down, his features shadowed in the candle light, before I felt his hand push against my arm, turning my view down to the carpet. I’d been right all along. I’d stepped out of the frying pan and jumped, hands bound, into the witch’s oven.
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Reading out of sequence, here’s the rest of Season Two.
Not read Season One? Here it is.