Having a punt at being a “proper” writer. This idea has been brewing in my mind for a while – would anyone like to hear more? Let me know when you have had a read.
He had hard eyes. They were old eyes, definitely not the eyes of a young man or a youth. This was pretty much the only thing she noticed as she made a plea from the bottom of her soul “please, please let us go. My little boy is only two”.
There was a nod, it was so slight that she may have missed it was she not waiting for that nod with every ounce of her being. Then his voice boomed loudly “GO”. With that one word she gathered herself in an instance. She scooped her little boy up in her arms and ran, banging her fists against the pad to call the lift.
The longest thirty seconds of her life passed by, all the time a vulnerableness and a fear she tried to swallow down. The temptation to look over her shoulder and to check at what she had left behind was all consuming. She was acutely aware of Liam crying in her arms but she didn’t have the capacity to raise a word to quiet him. Then the sound of the elevator reaching her floor.
As the doors opened a man and two women attempted to get out but the look of pure horror in her face was enough to make them back straight up, “press for the ground floor now” she bellowed. As soon as the doors closed a man’s voice “ what is going on up there”.
She raised eyes to him but there was no time to explain as the elevator doors opened on the ground floor. There was a siren echo loudly through the store, an unexplained sound breaking the quiet.
She froze with a memory, temporarily unable to move. The silence was too acute, she could hear the footfalls as the man walked towards where they were standing. A deathly silence enveloped the entire of the store, only the crackle of security’s radios. Then screams as people broke out from the horror to realise what was going on. She grabbed Liam to her so hard and so fast that even through the terror she was aware of how that would leave a mark on his soft skin. Instantly he began crying, breaking the silence in her head.
She remembers registering that it wasn’t worth running, he was already too close. Frozen in shock and standing still there was then a shout “nobody move”. The man was dressed all in black, with both a balaclava and a hat on his head. There was nothing that would stand out, no words she could use to describe him.
“We are all going to stay really still and really quiet”, as if to emphasis what he wanted from everyone he lifted up his hand with a gun in it. The intake of breath from the people standing around her was audible in the silence. She stepped forward “please, please let us go. My little boy is only two”. His eyes turned on her, picking her out from the bunch and she sensed she had made a mistake. She stepped further forward and put her hand on his arm briefly, then the nod.
She raced off the elevator now towards the big glass doors into which she had come just half an hour earlier, that now felt like a lifetime. They were locked shut with security guards on both sides. She banged on the windows, shouting in hysteria “please, please let us out, there is a gunman on the first floor. You need to let us out of here NOW”.
“Madam a lockdown procedure has been employed. The Police are here but all entrances and exits must remain sealed until we can identify the gunman”. The security guard had eyes wide with panic and seemed to be making sense. This was not what she wanted to hear and her only thought was for her son. Putting him down and ignoring his cries she ran towards a make up counter two metres back from the glass doors. She tipped the contents onto the floor with minimum effort and began to shake the counter back and forth to get a better hold on it.
She looked up briefly to check for Liam and saw the security guard with another man, this man was in a suit, he looked older, more distinguished, less panicked and a lot more in control that the security guard. They were knocking on the window and gesturing to her. She ran and grabbed Liam, leaving the make up counter tipped on its side and ran towards the window.
“Move back” was the shout from the other man. He had a clear authoritative voice and everyone already standing at the window listened to what he said and began to disperse backwards letting her and Liam pass. Almost as soon as her hand hit the glass door at the front a little hiss, a tiny opening and her and her son were free.
The doors were sealed closely behind her and she could almost hear the rush of people coming back towards the doors from the inside of the store. Their initial shock had obviously worn off and they were aware that someone had escaped the nightmare. She could hear the security guard trying to calm the crowd she had left behind. A feeling of guilt enveloped her but only for a brief second. She pulled her son a little closer , being led forward by the older man with his arm around her shoulder.