It’s so dark outside right now, it’s almost unbelievable. The clouds cover all the light from the stars and there is absolutely no moonlight to be seen. I’ve spent a lot of time outside in my life and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it so dark. It’s eerie.
Death by Dignity by Sufjan Stevens starts up. Like a lullaby, it beckons me to stop here. To simply rest.
I could, couldn’t I? Just for a bit? It’s not like it’ll make much difference at this point. Especially in the dark. I mean, it couldn’t hurt, right?
I have been running for hours now. I would normally have taken two breaks by this point.
It might not be a bad idea to take a break right now.
You know, if you ignore how I have to keep running until I find some place to hide out for the rest of my obviously short life. If you ignore how I’m holding the one thing which I have to keep out of the hands of anyone and everyone…
But sleep sounds so perfect.
And I’ve been running so long.
And I feel so terribly alone.
“Time to wake up, kids. We’re about to land.”
The sun is high in the sky. I look out the windows to see we’re flying along a river. We quickly approach land and an imposing concrete building appears, taking up a great portion of a rather large island. We fly over the building and land on a helipad in the center of it. The Geek and Eve look at me in question.
I wish I had some answers.
Charlie looks back at us as the helicopter winds down. He sees our confused looks and works to reassure us.
“Don’t worry. We’re just stopping here at Grand Island to drop off Miss Nile. We’ll need to refuel a bit and such, so why don’t you three head off and enjoy the view. You might be able to just make out Niagara Falls off in the distance if you squint hard enough.”
“Grand Island?” Eve asks with a shudder.
“Isn’t that where they held you prisoner?” I ask.
“One and the same,” The Geek answers. “I think it might be best if we stay on the helicopter.”
“Why’s that?” I ask. “Don’t we trust these guys?”
“Do you trust anyone?” Eve asks me.
“No, but I thought I’d let the two of you take the lead on that type of thing now.”
“Then trust me when I say I don’t want to trust them,” The Geek whispers conspiratorially.
“Gotcha. Consider this butt holstered in this seat.”
“Come along,” Alvin says, peeking his head in through the door at us. “This could take Charlie some time. Refreshments are on me!”
“Actually,” Eve says with a defiant air, “I’d really rather never step foot back inside that building if it’s all the same to you.”
“Ah yes,” Alvin says with a grin. “I had forgotten this was the place you were imprisoned such a short time ago. I promise you things are not nearly as terrifying from our position.”
“She said she doesn’t want to go inside,” I state firmly.
“Yes, but, I would really rather prefer the three of you to join me inside.”
The three of us look at him silently.
Alvin sighs disappointedly. “I was really hoping to do this without any sort of fuss. Alright, as you wish. Maxine,” he yells across the helipad to where Maxine is standing in wait. “Would you be so kind as to escort the three of them inside?”
“What?” I shout. “We said we’re staying here!”
Maxine storms to the helicopter, reaches in, and grabs The Geek firmly by the wrist, pulling him out.
“Hey!” Eve and I yell, pulling him back in.
Charlie jumps out of the chopper and runs around to Alvin. “The kids said they don’t want to go in!” he screams.
Alvin brushes him off and Maxine pulls harder on my brother. Alvin waves Grant over, who grins devilishly at his new task. He rushes to the other side of the helicopter to pull Eve out.
Charlie’s fist lands square on Alvin’s jaw and lays him flat. Charlie runs to Maxine and pulls her away from the helicopter, but she already has The Geek in her grasp, meaning my brother is pulled down from his seat. He hits the ground roughly. I jump out of the helicopter onto Maxine’s back, swinging wildly at her head while she drags my brother toward the door.
Eve screams as Grant finally manages to pull her out of the helicopter. Charlie rushes to assist her. Alvin, now revived, trips him and pulls a gun out of his suit jacket. Everything stops as he aims it at Charlie’s head.
“Whoa,” I shout, dropping from Maxine’s back and lifting my hands above my head. “Look, we’ll go quietly. Just don’t hurt anyone, okay.”
“Dontcha’ worry yourself about an old coot like me, Cyrus,” Charlie says sadly. “If you have a chance to escape, get out of here.”
“I really can’t see a single way we can get out of here, regardless of whether or not you get shot in the head,” I reply.
“I’m glad we’ve become able to see things eye to eye again, Mr. Rhodes,” Alvin says, gesturing to Maxine and Grant to direct us inside.
As we are led through the door, I see the bound Miss Nile at the doorway, looking as though she may have an evil grin hiding under the duct tape which is keeping her mouth shut.
“Yeah, like you’re having a much better day yourself,” The Geek scowls.
A loud explosion sounds from the far end of the building and I hear a plane fly by overhead.
I don’t see anything, which causes a huge smile to cross my face.
Go to Chapter Five