"We have to get out of here!"
The thought burned through his head, and tore at his consciousness. He spasmed into a sitting position, threw back the covers, and quickly blinked away the sleep.
Sweeping his head back and forth, he checked the room. He was safe, of course he was. He still had time - minutes perhaps - until he, until it arrived.
The room was already blanched by daylight, diffused through a kind of beige slatted blind, which gave the room a sleepy feel. The bed was a solid wooden affair, 4 posts, sitting on a wooden floor. Tousled in bed-sheets beside him, looking sleepily towards his sudden movement, lay a blonde woman. He grabbed her shoulder, and shook her roughly "come on, we have to go!"
He jumped out of bed, naked expect for a pair of ultramarine blue boxers, and loped to the doorway, floor-boards moaning at his passage. Jerkily, he opened the solid wooden door, and jammed his head into the hallway, checking both ways. Nothing, yet. Of course. It was still too early. Where was Kerry? Jesus! He looked round, to find Kerry standing behind him, in her pants and bra. She was a full foot shorter than he was, and standing, alert now in pink and white underwear.
"He's coming then"? She tilted her head slightly
"come on" he said, and took off into the corridor, leaving the door ajar. The pace he set was answer enough to her question.
They both emerged into a busy street, and started walking. Turn right. Away from the station. They always come by train. Protocol. Got to follow protocol, just get away. Always walk away from the station.
Ignoring the gasps and confused looks from passers by, as two semi-naked pedestrians joined the otherwise normal working throng, he started to navigate towards the end of the street. Forcing himself to breath calm, taking a measured pace, walk natural. His lungs seemed to ache to draw a full breath, while adrenaline pumped round his otherwise calm frame.
Fuck it, he thought. "We've got time - come on, run".
"Fuck it" he said, taking off down the street. All they had to do was get to the corner, and they would be safe.
"Wait, wait, he's..." Kerry began before stuttering to a stop. It hit him a moment later, a disorienting vision, blinding him from the inside, a shining backdrop. Shapes danced across his vision, while rays of light played across the world - everything shone, everything was too colourful... and then from no-where, a face - he knew who to look for now.
with the face, his vision cleared. He looked back over his shoulder, feeling him, it parsing through the crowd behind him - he couldn't see it yet, but he could feel... fuck, how did it get here so fast? The street corner was still too far away. They wouldn't make it.
He paused, and looked round, finding himself standing beside a black door, with flaking paint like a skin-disease. He looked up. "PUB" said the sign. Grabbing the handle, he ducked inside, dragging Kerry behind him.
They found a table at the back, sat by the window, and waited
He tried to keep his head down, but every time the door opened, it would flick up involuntarily, his heart stopping for an involuntary nano-second while he checked the face.
The third time, he got the positive identification he was dreading. A stocky man, with a roughly shaved, heavily jowelled face, and short thick curly black hair, he was wearing a dark green sleeveless bomber jacket over a blue checked shirt. He pushed his way through the bar, head scanning the sparse crowd of patrons.
Kerry’s head went down and he did the same, trying to hide his face, but he was all too obvious.
“Why do you even try to hide? You knew I would always find you. Fuckin’ defective bastard.” The man strode towards their table, somehow producing two unusual knives, one in each hand. Both were pen-knives, one a straight forward 7” leatherman, while the other was an unbranded knife, a pearly white handle sporting a slightly curved 4” blade.
“Alright machine, come on” said the man with a sigh, raising his hands, blades now both horizontal to the ground, his right hand holding the smaller blade down low, closer to the body, and making gentle circular motions, almost hypnotic.
He blinked, and suddenly found that he had hold of the man’s other hand, the one holding the leatherman – he twisted violently, and felt the arm give, folding, pulling the man with it. Wrenching, he threw the man towards the window, and finding that the leatherman was now in his own hand, impaled the man’s hand against the soft wooden frame of the window.
Blood bubbled up to the wound, and ran down his arm.
It was childsplay to press the man’s other hand onto the windowsill, and skewer it with the other blade.
“I’m NOT a machine”