It was too heavy to be a knife. Definitely too heavy. I could tell by the droplets of sweat the rolled off his palms, plummeting down to the concrete, slowly melting the winter ice that had blanketed the pavement. He hid his struggle as he moved forward, turning back towards me every now and again, a deathly stare in his eyes. The narrow walls of the pitch black alleyway strangled me as I took cautious steps, positive that, if I slipped, this would all be over. I had to keep calm.
They’d caught me. It was bound to happen sometime, I just wasn’t careful enough. Crowds of them ran in on me, strict voices bouncing off the walls, too many jumbled words to make out. I froze as I looked into the barrels of countless guns, positive that this was my time to die. It was over. I’d tried my hardest – things just hadn’t worked out.
I wasn’t entirely sure why I’d been given a second chance; it was almost as if they were letting me escape. Well, not exactly. No shots were fired, no harsh movements were made -just one burly man dressed in tight black clothes that did nothing to hide his intimidating muscles stepped forward, beckoning me towards him. I took a deep breath and followed, there was nothing more to do. As we were leaving the building, he picked up a single brown case, shaped very much like an average kitchen knife. Without a word, he led me down multiple grimy flights of stairs and out into the chill of the January night.
Despite the negative temperatures, beads of sweat had begun to form on his forehead now as he used both hands to carry the case, grunting every couple of minutes. I avoided eye contact each time he turned back to me, too busy trying to buckle up the courage to run. I had to escape, this was my chance, this was my moment. It’s now or never, I thought to myself. I waited until he’d turned to look at me, and then counted down from 14, my lucky number. If anything, I needed some luck. I whispered the last five numbers, watching my breath drift off as the night captured it, stealing it away from me, leaving me to fend for myself. I ducked into the alleyway and froze, pressing my body up against the wall, using the shadows as shields. There was just enough time for the man’s grunt to break out once more before a deafening thud was heard and ice shattered. He’d dropped the case. Hurried footsteps moved closer towards where I was. I kept my eyes shut tight, relying only on my ears to save me. As the noises faded, I decided that the man must have run back to where we’d come from, desperately searching to find me. I didn’t have much time. I thrust my eyes open and gave them a second to adjust to the darkness. Ready? I asked myself. Ready. I ran.