Running Scared

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Chapter 3

Written by: roseyn

“Shhhh.”

Roger’s utterance is small but enough to alert me that he isn’t bona-fide.

And I wonder… why are they interested in a girl that isn’t their daughter? Who are they really?

Shoes shuffle. Sighs, impatient ones, drip with deception. And I maintain my pretence of someone still asleep.

When enough time passes, when intimate silence rules, I slowly feign waking up, hoping my performance is a level above amateurish. I stretch my arms; refrain from the immediate urge to look to my right… in their direction. When I eventually do, the space is vacant. I don’t know whether to feel relief or disappointment.

Perhaps, an uneasy medley of the two.

“You’re awake.”

I spin to my left.

Roger.

I quickly apologise. For what, I’m not sure. Roger hovers over me; his stretched smile a little too knowing for comfort. Next to him is the pink-dressed woman staring wide-eyed.

Call it paranoia.

But none of it feels right.

Roger’s overly concerned expression is mildly comforting. Not so his rhythmical, controlled finger, now tapping my shoulder.

A fresh round of shivers works  down my spine.

Roger returns to the photo “So, still no memory of this girl?”

I stare at it; remember her well.

Karen Malloy. Right hand assistant to Jean-Pierre.

“I wish I could,” I say.

Roger scrutinises me with cool, unblinking eyes.

Moisture prickles my armpits.

“Very well,” he says, slowly pocketing the photo.

And without another word, they both leave.

I suck in air, hard and sharp, climb out of bed and stride to the bathroom. It is small and smells strongly of pine, the type you associate with rigorous sterility. I clutch onto the hand-basin’s edge as if it were my lifeline and stare into the smudge free mirror.  What stares back is six months of lazy hair growth, a beard neither necessary nor wanted.

Am I really Jean-Pierre?

This revelation, true or otherwise, obviously knocks me. I review what small amounts I remember, the nameless construction company, the Manila envelope, the black BMW, the Asian gunman. I picture Karen frantically snapping photos of the folder’s contents; I see Jean-Pierre jump back into the BMW and drive off, the harsh screech of wheels still resonating vividly in my head.

If I am Jean-Pierre, why has no one looked for me?

I return to my bed, try to watch some ridiculous soapie. It fails in distracting me from the real world.

I close my eyes instead. My first thought is to search the internet; find out more about Jean-Pierre. But without a surname, it would be no easy feat. Maybe check out old newspapers….

“John.”

My eyes fly open. Looking down at me is a pretty, petite woman with strawberry blonde hair and blue-green eyes. I immediately gasp.

“K… Karen?”

She nods. Confusion strikes me dumb. I follow her finger pointing to a set of clothes piled neatly at the foot of the bed.

“Get dressed, John,” she says. “We need to get you out of here… now.”

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Comments

I’ve been noticing a lot of rhetorical questions in people’s writing lately. Rhetorical questions can be irritating for a reader because if the writer doesn’t know what’s going on…who does? Or they can ask obvious questions the reader is already asking and that is like stepping into the reader’s space and telling the reader how to think…what questions to ask. However, the way you do it is very good…because you personalise it and only ask two. Terrific read.

Submitted by Hemali Ajmera on Mon, 2016-01-11 21:56

Brilliant chapter Roseyn. There is so much suspense and tension. You have beautifully integrated all the details of he previous chapter to take the story forward.

Submitted by roseyn on Tue, 2016-01-12 17:45

Thank you Hemali and Suraya!

Submitted by Ray Stone on Fri, 2016-01-15 11:35

Description, description and yet more. A scene that we can see. It is so vividly described I can also smell it. And if that’s not enough, bags of mystery overflowing from Rosyn’s pen. But then we should expect that from one of Story Mint’s published authors. Way to go Roseyn, this is a winner and really gives the next writer a good push forward.
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