So here's Part 2 of this special free short story mini-series.

If you haven't read part 1 yet, then where have you been and what have you been mucking about at?

Oh – OK.  That is a good excuse.  Well, sorry I'm sure.  There's no need to get all huffy.

Here's a link to part 1: Part 1 of Safety

I hope you enjoy today's bite-sized chunk of story.  A link at the end will help you navigate to all the parts.

Here's the next part of your free short story mini-series:

Safety – Part 2

Mark left the railing and felt along the wall for the light switch.  He clicked the switch.  And again.  But the landing light wasn't working.  They've cut the power, he thought.  He'd seen it in movies.  When the police knew where the suspect was, they would cut the lights to confuse him.  And then they'd move in; special teams pounding up the stairs, kicking in the doors, scanning every room with their night vision goggles.  Unless… Unless the terrorists had cut the power.  They'd do that if they wanted to seize control of the building, take hostages.

Mark swallowed hard.  What the hell should he do?  And then he heard it.  Below him, in the darkness, someone stumbled and crashed into the metal railing.  And when they let out a curse, the harsh words were foreign.

The prisoner.  Mark's eyes went wide and the floor swayed beneath his feet.  He clamped his hand over his mouth to keep from crying out.  He mustn't make a sound – his life depended on it.  Slowly, he took a shaky breath.  At least now, he knew what he had to do.

He crept across the landing and opened the door to his flat, easing the door handle down slowly so that it wouldn't squeak.  Inside, he didn't try the lights; there wasn't any point.  He headed straight for his bedroom without hesitation, without even pausing outside his parents' bedroom.  He'd explain everything later, but right now, every second counted.  He had to make a phone call, and his phone was in his bedroom.

He crept into his room and grabbed his phone, his fingers moving quickly over the screen.

The call took forever to connect.

“Yes,” he said, “I've seen the prisoner…  Yes, I'm sure… Come quickly, he's got a gun… No I don't know what sort… Just come quickly.  He's coming up the stairs.  I think he saw me.”  The operator told him to calm down and give his address.  Mark even gave her his postcode.  But when she asked him to stay on the line, he shook his head and put his phone on the bedside table.  “No,” he murmured.  And he sat on his bed and pulled his knees up to his chest.  He stared into space.  “Please,” he whispered into the darkness.  “Please come quickly.”

Mark sat still and listened to the hoarse rasp of his breath.  It was too fast, too shallow to do him any good, but he couldn't make it slow down, couldn't stop himself from shaking.  We'll be all right, he told himself.  As long as they come soon, we'll all be safe.

And suddenly the silence was sliced open by a barrage of sound.  The dull thudding clatter of helicopter blades battered against Mark's bedroom window.  The deafening vibrations pounded through his skull and resonated in his chest.  He put his hands over his ears but it didn't make any difference.  “Help!” he shouted.  The searchlight flashed across his window.  Footsteps in the hall, outside his room.  His bedroom door burst open.  Mark shut his eyes and screamed.  And someone shouted his name.

“Mark.  What the hell is going on?”

Mark opened his eyes.  His dad stood wild-eyed in the doorway, a flashlight in his hand.  “Mark, are you all right?” he said.  But he didn't wait for an answer.  He crossed the room, wrapped his arms around his sobbing son and rubbed his back.  “Did the helicopter scare you?”

Mark held onto his dad, clutching tight handfuls of his dad's warm T-shirt.  “They're coming, Dad.  They'll be here soon.”

His dad sighed.  “No, no,” he said.  “It's just a dream.  Just a bad dream.  It's that stupid helicopter flying too low again.  It's nothing to worry about.”

***

Outside, the officer in charge gave the word, and two teams of four CO19 Specialist Firearms Officers snaked into the building.

Team Two, led as always by Sergeant Bentley, raced up the stairs.  Team One began checking the ground floor.  Team Two were tasked with securing the stairwell.

Bentley leaped up the stairs, his team hard on his heels.  They held their weapons ready.  Ready for anything.  In moments, they had the suspect in their sights.  They'd all trained for this.  They knew exactly what to do.  Their orders had been very clear.  “Armed police,” Bentley shouted.  “Do not move.”

** end of part 2 **

Wow!  I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I enjoyed writing it.  And I really did.  I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Don't Miss Part 3 – Come back tomorrow or follow this blog to have it emailed to you via this super form:

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I'm afraid you'll have to wait until tomorrow for Part 3 which I think will be the final episode (unless I feel like keeping you in suspense for just a little bit longer).  Remember that I'm using this tag to help you find all the parts: mini-series safety

I'll also be posting up the audio version and maybe a youtube video soon as well. If you enjoyed this story, then come back soon as I'm sharing my work all the time.  Also, please share with your friends, acquaintances and even your Mother in Law (who isn't all that bad when you get to know her).

Safety will be part of my new collection of dark short stories, which will be coming out soon.  If you'd like to be one of the first to read it, you can get a free Advanced Reader Copy with just a click or two:

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Thanks in advance for sharing, commenting and just being you.

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