Part EIGHT of the ‘FEAR’ saga.
The previous episode can be found here.
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It was only nine o’clock. John had only been living his nightmare for less than four hours yet he felt like he had been fighting off demons for days. He’d received that nightmare call, almost been run-down and shot at, all in the space of such a short time.
Seeing the gun pointing at him through the windscreen from close quarters, with little possibility of scoring a miss, his resolve began to falter. Something deep inside crumbled slightly as he could see no way to saving Karen from whatever her fate might be. Was it all over?
“I’m not through yet!” John shouted venomously at the windscreen, and at the gunman in his way. He had no idea where the sudden reserve of fortitude came from but was grateful for it. In a split second he made a heartfelt decision to continue the fight. There was no way he was going to let Karen down. He couldn’t just leave her to her fate, a fate that could mean her death. He pushed his foot down on the accelerator and drove straight at the lone gunman. He knew it was probably a foolhardy thing he was doing, and one that may get him killed, but all the same he didn’t doubt his decision one iota.
The gunman looked shocked that John wasn’t slowing down, but was actually increasing his speed as he headed straight at him. John could see the man’s resolve to stand his ground crumbling, just as his had started to do so a minute earlier. The gunman saw that John had no intention of stopping and ran for cover at the near side of the road in the trees. At exactly the same moment as the gunman moved John swerved hard to the other side of the vehicle in front of which the gunman had been standing. He had calculated that he may just be able to get by on that side and escape.
John’s swerving manoeuvre caused his car to skid dramatically on the snow covered road, and for a moment he thought he might lose control of the vehicle. With careful use of the accelerator and brakes he managed to straighten the car enough to squeeze past the other one. Unluckily the rear bumper of John’s car caught the front fender of the other sending him into a spin on the frost encrusted surface. It took all John’s strength to keep the car upright, let alone pointing in the right direction.
Knowing that he had little time before the gunman came round to this side of the road and started firing John fought hard with the steering wheel, using all his driving training and might. Despite the cold night he was sweating heavily now, panting a little and the muscles in his upper arms were beginning to strain and hurt. He was headed for the bank of snow that had built up on the roadside, and when the car eventually ended its skid against it John thought it was all over. The engine stopped as the car hit the bank. John was relieved the car was still upright, and perversely still facing the way he had wanted to go, and held onto hope that he still had a slim chance of getting away. He prayed that his car wouldn’t let him down at this juncture.
Taking the car out of gear John turned the keys to the off position, and then back on again. Miraculously the engine jumped into life without problem. Checking in the rear-view mirror John could see the gunman slowly approaching him, gun still drawn and pointing directly at him. He revved the engine and slammed the gear-lever forward. At that moment, if he could have crossed his fingers he would have done. The engine engaged and the wheels spun, but the car didn’t move. Snow was being thrown up behind, hiding the gunman from view. The car suddenly shuddered and shot forward. John was back on the road and speeding away. He checked in the rear-view mirror one more time to see the gunman on the floor, gun-less. He had obviously been caught out by the snow flurry caused by the spinning wheels and had lost his footing and gun.
John cheered as he sped down the road. He wasn’t worrying about the poor condition of the snow hindered roads as increased the distance between him and the gunman. He almost gleefully felt his luck could be holding. He was getting away and for the first time in ages that night felt slightly more positive about his, and in turn Karen’s, chances.
“Hold on, Karen, hold on. I’m coming to get you,” He shouted.