Here it is, the first chapter of the remake of Run. I hope it's an improvement over the first!
Chapter 1: Escape and Capture
By: Helena F. Lupin
The prison grounds were vacant and bathed in shadows that played hide and seek with the blaring light of the almost full moon. A chilling breeze cut the air, a chilling presence of the cold winter. The only sounds to be heard were those of the prisoners who happened to snore or who happened to be involved in acts that a lot of the others pretended not to notice.
He laid on his back. His eyes were open but he was not trying to focus on anything in the half shadowed cell he had lived in for the last seven years. That was about to change. He was causing too many problems lately. He had picked one too many fights. He was going to be moved from one set of stone walls to another in the early morning.
In less than an hour he would have one single chance to escape so he could finish what he had started seven years ago. He should have run when the trails had begun. There were a lot of things he should have done. Such as not trusting some of his own closest friends.
The sky outside the window above his cot began to slowly lighten from blackish navy to dark aqua to blazing blue. The tell tale stirring of the other prisoners had begun. He was not going to be eating breakfast in the hall with the rest of them that day.
He rolled to his feet when the guards appeared outside the bars of his cell. He stood up and as commanded he turned his back on them and put his hands flat against the cold stone wall to wait. The clicking of keys and of a lock sounded and the door was slid open to allow two guards in to pat him down. His hands were cuffed behind his back and his ankles were done just the same. The chain between the ankle cuffs was longer to allow him to walk more or less. The steps were small and measured as he was ushered from the cell.
He ignored the stares and the few cat calls that followed him. There were two guards in front of him and two behind. He was watched as if he were something a hawk wanted to snatch and pick clean to the bones.
The air outside was chilled. He thought it was mid-December. He had not paid attention to time too closely in the last few months. He was taken to a police car and a hand was on the back of his head as he slid into the back of it. The door shut with a thunk beside him.
Two officers got into the front seat. The other two got into a second car parked behind the one he was in. Both cars started and the cars pulled away. It was almost laughable how simple the transfer was. He should have been on an armored bus and they should have been better armed. He was deemed dangerous but they did not handle him as dangerous. Not really.
If only they knew how severely dangerous he really was.
But he had expected the loose handling. He had made promises to ensure the strings were pulled.
He sat in calm silence for almost an hour. They were in the middle of nowhere not too far from civilization. He flexed his wrists and flicked his gaze up from his feet to look at the backs of the officers' heads. He looked down again and clenched his fingers into his palms. With a slow, steady pull he felt the metal of the cuffs beginning to give.
When the link popped he paused. The cop in the passenger seat was looking around, asking the other if he had heard that. The cop looked at him and he kept his gaze downcast and passive. He had to wait again for more than ten minutes before the officers were no longer paying him any mind.
His eyes flicked up again and he brought his hands around in front of himself. While they spoke and looked at the road his hands rose and put them flat against the mesh that separated him from them. His fingers curled suddenly and the metal protested a second before he yanked. The mesh ripped free and he dropped it.
The world narrowed down to rapid, blurred seconds. The car swerved slightly when the driver's hands fisted on the wheel. The passenger was lifting a gun. His hand caught the back of the passenger's hair and he smacked the cop's temple against the window with a resounding 'thwack'. The cop was unconscious. He came half way over the back of the seat and his hand came down on the wheel.
The driver was attempting to pull a gun and to fight him for control of the car, a mix that was not an easy thing to multitask. The driver also failed at both.
Disasters could happen faster than a person could blink. The car wavered from the asphalt. What caused the car to flip he was not sure. But the car did flip and it went rolling. Metal crunched and glass shattered, pieces of both materials were left spattered as the car finally skidded to a slow stop on the side of the road. It had managed to land on all four tires.
Warm, slick blood flowed from a cut to his right temple and on his right bicep. Both cops were now unconscious. He ignored the bleeding in favor of snapping the chain connecting his ankles. He relieved both officers of their guns and then let himself settle against the back seat. He hid his hands behind his back to make it look as if he were still cuffed. The guns were now hidden behind himself.
He settled just in time because the other two officers were just coming up to the wrecked car. One of them was calling the accident in and the other was opening doors to first check the officers and then removing them from the car when he found them well enough intact.
He had to wait patiently for the back door to be opened. One of the two able officers leaned over him and he pressed a gun beneath the man's jaw. "Back up slowly," he murmured. The officer was looking at him with blank, calm, dark eyes as he backed out.
He kept the gun on the cop as he slipped from the back of the car.
"Put the gun down!"
He ignored the shout of the second able bodied officer off to his left and kept his eyes on the one he had at gunpoint. A few careful steps and he had the officer that was now his captive between himself and the officer that had a gun pointed at him.
He did not have time for this. Not with help for them on the way. A slight shift of his gun and the pulled the trigger. The bullet passed just behind the head of the officer he had seemingly taken hostage and the second officer let out a shout of pain as the projectile punched into his right shoulder.
He moved quickly and smacked the butt of his gun against the other cop's skull to knock him out and then moved toward the cop he had shot.
He did not have time to waste on them.
The tv was on a low volume so that he did not wake his two apartment roommates. It was somewhere around seven in the morning on a Saturday, which meant everyone else was sleeping in. Ambrose had found that he had never been a late sleeper. He liked the early morning hours too much to miss them. Those were the calmest, quietest hours of the day.
The light of the tv gleamed off a set of hazel green eyes as he laid on his stomach with his head at the foot of his bed with his arms folded so his chin could rest on them. He had to blow upwards a few times to scatter the strands of sandy blond hair that kept wanting to get in the way. His hair was long enough to have a slight curl to it.
He had the early morning news on and the story was intensely interesting in his opinion. The escaped convict had been all anyone could talk about yesterday and this morning was no different. Clips from the press conference that had been held by the New York police chief were being shown.
"What happened?" one reporter asked. "That was not the way to transfer a prisoner like him. Were there others helping in the planning of the escape?"
"At this point..."
Ambrose tuned out on the explanation of the officer in favor of studying the picture in the corner of the screen of the convict in question.
The man had true golden hair in a braid that fell out of sight at the edge of the picture so there was no telling how long it was. His left eye was dark, deep blue while the other was emerald green. His skin was fair with a slight golden edge. He had a straight, elegant nose and a set of sinful lips with a slight cupid's bow to the upper tier. A man too thoroughly handsome by far.
Ambrose pushed the Off button on the remote and rolled off the bed to pad on bare feet to the bathroom. He had a long road trip home. He lived not too far from the college in St. Augustine, Florida where he had only just begun to work toward a major in English and a minor in Creative Writing. It was cheaper to live off campus rather than on it. St. Augustine was riddled with cheap places to live.
St. Augustine itself was intensely interesting. He had lived there for a few months and he loved it already. It was the first time he had been away from home in his short eighteen years of life. The museums, the tours, the old houses and all the small, unique shops. He had a particular love for George Street which seemed to always be busy.
Today, with the freeze of Christmas setting in and with no classes for the week of Christmas, he was driving home to Georgia to see his family.
Ambrose stepped into a hot shower to wake himself up fully before he got dressed in a pair of jeans, a dark red sweater, and a black leather jacket that had been a gift when he had left home. He shoved his fingers through his hair to make it presentable now that it was dry and then snagged his duffle bag. He passed from his room and through the living room, waving at one roommate who had just stumbled up and who barely acknowledged him.
Ambrose was soon sliding into the front of his car after tossing the duffle in the back seat. He turned the key and before long he was lost in the gentle flow of traffic that rose in the early morning of St. Augustine.
The drive went smoothly for a few hours. It was somewhere near the border between Florida and Georgia that he paused at a McDonalds. McDonalds seemed to exist everywhere no matter what. He stepped into the fast food place. He had wanted out of the car for a few minutes to stretch his legs and to use the bathroom. The bathroom was blessedly clean. Then he went to order food.
There were a handful of people in the place scattered among the tables. While he waited for his order he glanced around among those there. His gaze had just passed over one of them. The person looked tall, even sitting down. He had broad shoulders and a lean, powerful build clad in jeans and a white shirt beneath a dark gray hoodie that was zipped up with the hood thrown up.
Ambrose almost missed the face.
Tension coiled in his body and his gaze flicked back to the man who's gaze was focused on his coffee. Ambrose felt his heart clench tightly and his stomach bottomed out. He was not hungry now but he turned back to the counter when his order was handed over and he walked calmly out of the McDonalds.
He slid into his car and shut the door. Then the panic really set in. He was breathing a little hard as he pulled out his cellphone. He barely dialed the 9 for 911 when the passenger side door was yanked open. He barely looked over before the phone was out of his hands. Where it went, he was not sure. All that mattered now was the gun he was looking at.
The man was Valmont Armel. Height six foot four. Age thirty-two. Convicted murderer of more than a dozen people in cold, brutal blood. And he was sitting in Ambrose's passenger seat with one arm resting across his middle so that a gun was aimed at Ambrose.
"I'd have preferred that you didn't recognize me," Valmont murmured. His voice was soft and low, a velvet tone edged in a light accent. French, Ambrose thought idly even as the panic inside of him threatened to make him pass out.
"Start driving," Valmont said softly. "Where are you going?"
With fumbling fingers, Ambrose started the car and pulled out of the parking spot. "Georgia," he said in a voice that shook and for good reason.
"Alright, keep going then," Valmont said. "Go near a police station, try to get the attention of any cop on the road, or cause trouble, and I'm afraid I am going to kill you."
Ambrose kept driving and said nothing. He could not exactly disagree. He was curious as to why the other was in Florida or why he was willing, or wanting, to go to Georgia. Had he killed someone yet since getting loose? His heart was pounding so hard that it hurt his chest. The terror left him blank mentally after a few seconds. There were no real thoughts. There was obey and survive. Those two things he knew how to do.
Worst of all, Ambrose was not sure he was going to see his family ever again. No one was going to miss him anytime soon; he had never called home to say he was coming. He was going home to surprise his mother.
Now he wished he had called.
I almost feel sorry for what I'm doing to Ambrose. Almost.