Catch up with Chapter 1: Night Games now!
What the hell was that?
I wake with a start to a very familiar sound, and yet it’s completely out of place. Am I still asleep? It’s still dark. I can’t have been asleep for long and a quick look at my phone tells me I haven’t. It’s not even three yet.
The sound comes again and it makes my heart pound. The sound of a scream follows shortly after. I jump up out of bed; heading immediately for the window.
What I see I simply cannot believe.
There’s a swarm of men dressed head to toe in black heading down the street and, from the looks of things, they’ve already broken into some of the surrounding houses. I immediately think of the news and the TDN. No, surely not!? Then I see a flash from inside one of the houses followed immediately by the ‘rat-tat-tat’ sound that woke me.
Oh my god! This is actually happening!
My first thought is to secure the door. I’m in a third floor flat and the downstairs door can only be opened with a special fob. That’ll only protect us for so long. I flip my bed up onto its side and struggle to push the mattress through the door and down the hall to the entrance of my flat. I then follow that up by throwing whatever else I can find in front of it too. That should be enough to hold them off for a while.
Now what? I’m barricaded in as much as they’re barricaded out. It’s only a matter of time before they break through.
I quickly throw on some clothes and make my way to the back balcony of my flat. There’s nobody on the street down there. That’s my only way; it’s a long way down. Holy crap is it a long way down!
A loud bang. They’re trying to get in through the downstairs door. What the hell is going on? Who are these guys and what are they doing this for? I wish I’d paid more attention to the news so I had some vague idea of what I was dealing with. Even knowing what TDN stood for would be nice.
I have no time to lose. I’d better prepare myself to get out of here. I’d love to say I’ve got a weapon hiding somewhere in here; the simple fact is I haven’t. A kitchen knife it is! Where am I going to go? Does the question even need to be answered? I’m going to Caroline’s mum’s house and I’m rescuing her and Eloise. I have to get to them before TDN do and hope it isn’t too late already.
I pack a couple of essentials into my backpack: a bit of food and water as well as batteries for the torch I’m taking. You never know if and when they’ll be needed.
Another loud bang and I think the door into the block has finally been breached; my cue to leave. I still don’t quite know how I’m going to climb down from here. I’d sooner die trying to escape than let them kick the door in and shoot me in the face. I can hear the shouting from them now. More pertinently, I can hear their guns firing. Are they going to kill everybody? What good is it going to do them to kill normal working-class citizens? I’m too pumped with adrenaline to start cogitating over the details. I have to get out of here.
I head out to the rear balcony again. The street below is still clear. It makes sense really as there are no house fronts here. It’s more a kind of service road if anything else. I lock the balcony door behind me and take a look down. There are things that can be used as footholds before I should be able to drop down onto a conveniently parked curtain sided van. I wonder for a moment if I might be able to sneak round to the front and get to my car; I doubt I’d even get to it before I’m filled with bullets. I’ll have to do this on foot. It makes more sense.
The fear of climbing down is almost crippling. I’m scared of falling. Shut up Andy; you’re being stupid. Get your leg over the side and climb down. In a minute it’ll all be over. Here I go.
There’s a little ledge for me to perch my toes on and I take a deep breath before lowering myself down to the next foothold. The problem is it’s only big enough for one foot. I really don’t know how I’m going to do this without falling, but I’m committed now. I’ll be another step closer once I get down to the balcony below.
I stretch down with my other leg and touch the wall that surrounds it. It’s actually not as far down as I thought and I bring my other leg down with ease before lowering my hands down to the foothold I’d just been perched on.
It’s not going to be as easy as just climbing onto the balcony. I’ll need to let go of what I’m holding onto and that means I’m unsteady. My choices are limited at this stage though. I take another deep breath, let go, and quickly bend my knees. I’m off-balance and it seems like I could fall either way. I manage to force myself forwards onto the balcony and land on it with a thud.
Ouch! My hands, arms, and body took most of the impact; it still hurts like mad! I don’t rest on my laurels and get back up onto my feet.
Next thing, there’s a scream from inside the flat shortly followed by a sound of gunfire. The windows of the door leading inside crack as bullets pass through and I throw myself back to the floor.
Holy shit! I know that woman!
The scariness of this whole thing just got turned up to eleven. Despite the danger I can’t help looking up. If these guys come out here then I’m dead; it’s that simple.
I need to get off this balcony and down to the next. I’ll have time to mourn Sharon later, the poor woman.
Okay, up and over again. Don’t worry about being seen. I climb over onto the adjacent side of the balcony wall and luckily there are more places to grab and put my feet on this one. Once I’m down to that first-floor balcony I can jump onto the roof of the van and then down to the floor. I need to be quick before any of these scumbags decide to head out onto the street at the back.
Scaling this wall is a lot easier and I’m soon onto the first-floor balcony.
I hope Caroline and Eloise are alright.
One last look around; still nobody on the street below. The van is just over there. I’ll need to jump a short distance to land on the roof. I’m not even going to think about it. Just jump, Andy.
I climb up onto the balcony wall and duly leap across to land on the flat roof of the van’s curtained box. There’s a noise as I land on it. It’s here I wish I’d got into parkour or something when I was younger. Once again, I chance a quick look around; there’s still nobody, not even on the balconies above.
I wonder for a fleeting moment if they’ve broken into my flat yet. I hope they don’t steal my console! I still need to finish that game yet. What on earth am I thinking? A terrorist group is killing people for God only knows what reason and I’m thinking about my stupid video game! Concentrate man!
I scurry over the top of the box onto the roof of the van’s cabin and slide down onto the ground. I’ve made it; I’ve actually just climbed down from my balcony. And television has us believing nothing is achievable without a perfectly cut six-pack and defined muscles. A victory for the beer gut!
I know exactly where I need to go; what lies between here and there is anybody’s guess at this stage.
TO BE CONTINUED
Image header from in5d.com
Read Chapter 3: The Dark Night now!