Story-a-Day May returns! And I’m revisiting last year’s characters in medias res. It may take a few days to get more comfortably back into that world, but here’s the start. Or rather, the middle.
Hannah decided not to think about the dead man. They needed to run. She hoped the old woman was as good at running as she was at wielding a knife.
“The way is clear,” the old woman said. “We should have only three more security guards to worry about.”
Hannah resisted the impulse to look back at the body of the dead man. Her plan had gotten far away from her. What if this old woman were her grandmother? Was she related to a killer? That would’ve been cool an hour ago. But being in a dark room with a dead body unsettled her ideas about what she thought she wished. “Only three?” she asked the old woman. “It seemed like there were more than that.”
“That’s a trick. There are only three.” The old woman gestured for Hannah to step out into the hall. “There’s the staff too of course. But I’ve got my knife.”
“Right,” Hannah said moving into the hall. “I’d like to keep knife work to a minimum.”
“Smart girl. It would just low us down and leave a trail.”
Hannah didn’t argue with the old woman’s reasons. Why the old woman kept her knife hidden away didn’t matter. She tilted her head slightly to pinpoint where all the noise came from. The roof seemed like a dead end, but the commotion seemed below them. “Maybe we can find a place to hide until things blow over.”
“Nothing blows over, sweetheart. They just lie in wait.” The old woman stepped further away from the relative safety of her room. “We need to get to the basement. That’s where everything important is and the cameras aren’t.”
“But we’ll be seen. Caught. Everyone is between us and the basement.”
“You broke into this place and you wait until now to be afraid?” the old woman asked.
A scream came from downstairs. “Everyone’s got to afraid some time,” Hannah answered.
“Haven’t you ever been afraid?”
The old woman shrugged. “I’ll be afraid if we keep wasting time here debating fear and escape plans. Move, girl. Move.” The woman took off down the hall.
The old woman’s speed surprised Hannah, and she had to sprint to catch up.
At the stairwell door the old woman stopped. She wasn’t out of breath. “When I open this door,” she said, “you run. Run to the bottom of the stairs. The stairs to the basement are on the other side of the building, so we’ll have to run down the main hall. Listen to me and don’t stop. If someone grabs you, fight enough to get away, then keep going. Don’t listen to their threats. Understood?”
Hannah nodded. She had her lock pick in her hand. It had already proven a useful weapon though she hoped she wouldn’t need like that again.