Happy Monday, everyone! 🙂
This week’s prompt was given to me by Mahriya, who blogs over at My Bookish Life.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that my routine was about to be turned upside down? For the most part my routine has been fine, but it did mean that I had a lot less time for this prompt! So, for once, I’m releasing it in its first draft state. Apologies for any mistakes up ahead 🙂
If you’d like to submit a prompt, you still can! Comment here with the prompt you’d like me to do, and take a look here for the original call for submissions.
Happy writing, everyone!
Clinging on to her last hope.
Gwynn didn’t look back, even when the sound of nearby gunfire made her want to dive into the nearest shrub and stay there until her world was back to normal again. If she stopped now, it would all have been for nothing, and then Mandy and Jona’s deaths would have been pointless.
The thorns and branches of the bushes she was crawling through stung the bare skin on her arms and legs. At least down here they wouldn’t see her if they ran past now – unless they stepped on her. Gwynn really hoped they wouldn’t step on her.
Just a few more steps… It’s right there, across that large exposed patch of grass.
Did they really stand a chance? They needed to get into the shed, without being seen, and either call for help or activate the automatic defence system. If Jona were here with her, he could have done all that.
Wishful thinking wouldn’t bring him back.
Gwynn could see the abandoned, unassuming shed at the other end of the meadow. It was old, overgrown with vines and god-knows-what. The sounds of gunfire and orders being shouted had ceased a little. Maybe there was a chance, after all.
It was two in the morning, and cloudy. It was about the best cover she would get now.
Gwynn got up, and ran. How had she become the last hope for her little group? Their god – whoever he or she or it was – had a terrible sense of humour. She couldn’t even cook a good spaghetti carbonara properly – how was she supposed to fire up an old space ship and get them all off this planet?
Right by her feet, the soil exploded. They’d found her. Another shot barely missed her legs, and another got so close to her cheeks that she could feel its heat on her skin.
Nothing was as important as getting into that shed, but if she stayed here they would kill her before she even saw the blasted ship. She ran around the crumbling building, feeling her way along its sides as best as she could. If they wanted to shoot her now they would have to catch up with her first. Unless they had a grenade launcher or something. Gwynn really hoped they didn’t have a grenade launcher.
At the back of the shed was a door. It didn’t look to be in great condition and was just as overgrown as the rest of the small building, but it didn’t budge when Gwynn through herself into it.
“Come on!” Was this how it was going to end? They’d been hunted for weeks, chased through the landscape for the last two days, and she’d be defeated by a door?
The night had gone silent once more, but she wouldn’t be fooled twice. They were merely waiting for her to show herself, or they were sneaking around the shed to corner her.
Gwynn threw herself into the wooden door, and it finally gave. She fell through the frame and caught herself just before crashing face first into the ground.
She hated the darkness of night in that moment. She couldn’t see anything. If there were lights in this place they had long since stopped working. She could just about make out a reflective surface ahead of her. If she just reached out-
It was cold, and smooth. Her heart skipped a few excited beats. She had found their ship. Now all the needed to do was activate the defences and-
Gwynn froze. It couldn’t end now. She was too close to freedom to die now!
“Turn around, nice and slow.”
She recognised the voice. It was the same man who had given the orders regarding her torture. Turn up the voltage. Cut her thigh. Beat her up. Her body was still aching from his methods.
Gwynn didn’t have much of a choice, and she doubted he was alone. If she tried to run for it now he’d gun her down before she’d left the shed. She had no idea how to even get into the ship; there was no way she’d just hop into it and close the doors on him.
Careful and shaking, she turned around. Her knife felt heavy by her side; a wonderful reminder of how she wouldn’t be able to defend herself. The cut on his face hadn’t healed well from the last time she had gotten close enough. She wouldn’t get anywhere near him this time.
He smiled, and she cringed. If she could burn that terrible expression of his smug face, she would.
“That’s it. Down on your knees. Hands behind your head.”
She glared at him, but did as he said. She needed to buy time somehow, but she was out of options. He’d kill her if she as much as twitched her little finger.
“There’s a good girl.” He pulled his radio out of his pocket. “Boss, we-”
The unmistakable sound of wooden plank against back of head sounded through the small shed. It wasn’t a loud crunch by any means, but terror had a way of sharpening your senses.
He went down, and lay in a crumbled heap on the floor.
Gwynn bolted for him, and kicked him in his ribs. “You asshole! You-”
Someone’s wrist grabbed her, and she froze. Of course whoever had taken down her torturer was still there, but he had saved her. She figured he couldn’t be all bad, and kicking her torturer where it hurt had seemed more important.
Gwynn spun around, prepared to headbutt her saviour if he wore the wrong colours. She was surprised that he first moved with her, then let her go completely. She had been prepared for the sudden movement to hurt her wrists. Instead, she was free.
For the third time that night, she froze. “Jona?”
He grinned his wonderful, alive smile at her. “Yup! Alive and kickin’! Faked my own death. Pretty convincing, huh? Come on, let’s get off this rock.”
Gwynn broke into a similar, and slightly manic, grin. It was about time she saw her home again.