This is the 27th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
Saviour’s End: Part One, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 26th December 2012
Word count: 997
Theme: action, kids, protector, deceit, assassins, protection
Jackson wished he could leave him, just leave and never look back, but he couldn’t. He had made a promise, “Look after this man, with your life if you have to,” his father as he lay dying in a pool of his own blood.
Now he was shepherding the guy with no usable skills through London’s seedy underside. They couldn’t go to the authorities, they couldn’t rely on friends, only on each other – which amounted to only on Jackson.
Jackson spent the days searching for food, and drink, trying to survive, while he just sat there too out of it to be useful. Occasionally he would come round enough to cook what Jackson brought home, but it was rare.
Jackson didn’t even know why he was protecting him, all he knew was his name was Greg, and he wasn’t meant to be some kind of genius who’d seen or done something the authorities wanted or didn’t want.
It was their nineteenth night in hiding when the alarm went off. It was a rudimentary thing, a trip wire attached to some bells, but Jackson heard it plain as day.
“Come on Greg,” he whispered urgently dragging the so called genius to his feet, “We have to go, just like we planned.”
Greg nodded and followed without protest or query. They went to the window at the back of the room, carefully opened it and Greg creeped out, Jackson followed, carefully closing the window behind him. They were on the second floor, so they edged along a strip of masonry out of sight of the window.They head the door bang open. Greg was looking at him, Jackson put a finger to his lips. Fortunately Greg was gone mentally, there would have been no escape otherwise.
“They’re not here Sir,” Jackson heard someone say. “Not long, there’s warm food and drink,” he there was a pause, “Yes Sir, I think it’s likely Agent Simmons passed the kid on to his son Jackson … I’ve got teams searching the area they can’t have gone far …. I know how important the boy is, we won’t let anything happen to the saviour.”
Jackson nearly fell off the ledge several times, his father an agent? Greg the saviour? He had no idea what to do with either piece of knowledge. Greg put a hand on Jackson’s shoulder to steady him, and then put his finger to his lips.
Jackson nodded dumbly.
An hour later the men that had invaded left the house. Jackson was sure it was a trap, but they couldn’t stay on the ledge forever, so carefully they climbed inside. They drank cold tea, fearful of the heat giving them away, and sat in the dark in silence. Conscious of every creak and scatter the old Victorian house gave.
“What do we do now?” Greg whispered. Jackson was shocked, it was the first time Greg had spoken since had been tragically thrust upon him.
“I don’t know, they’re searching around, might be a while before they check here again. We should get some sleep then slip away, maybe go up North,” Jackson said thinking up the plan as he spoke.
“Ahem,” someone cleared their voice dramatically across the room.
Jackson jumped to his feet, with the first thing that came to hand held before him.
“Calm down kid, I’m not with the goons,” the man said. He was easily six foot four, and well built, dressed in black, with areas of odd padding. Around his waist was a thick webbed belt with various pouches, and a holster with a gun in it.
“Who are you?” Jackson asked brandishing the bottle he’d grabbed.
“I said calm down,” the man said, “I’m Greg’s father, and a friend of your dad’s.” He paused, “Listen kid, I’m sorry about your dad, it wasn’t meant to happen like that,” there was a timbre to his voice, and Jackson felt the bottle lowering.
“What’s going on?” Jackson asked, it seemed the most sensible thing to ask.
“I’m Colin Cartwright,” he looked closely to see if Jackson recognised the name at all, “Well Greg there, against my will was used in some sort of experiment. The agency your Dad and I has betrayed us. So we need to get Greg out of the country and into hiding. You too, I’m afraid. I dont’ yet know what any of this is about myself.”
“I’ve nothing left here anyway,” Jackson said somberly.
“Greg, we need to go now,” the man said lowering himself down.
“Okay dad,” Greg said leaping up suddenly and grabbing hold of his father. As strong as he was, even a fifteen year old boy leaping in to your arms was enough to make you stagger. Jackson without thinking in the commotion of limbs reached in, unbuttoned the holster and pulled free the Barretta .22 calibre hand gun.
Colin suddenly pushed Greg off suddenly, and rose up to face Jackson. Jackson calmly pulled back the hammer and released the safety,proving he knew what to do with a gun.
“You know we don’t have long right?” Colin asked, as if Jackson held nothing more than a toy gun.
“I need more answers,” Jackson said, “How’d you find us? How did they? What happened to my dad?”
“They shot him, that’s all I know. I knew he’d gotten Greg out safely, I was the distraction that allowed him to. I found you, by following them, and they followed you by camera yesterday. You are your father’s son, hiding where they’d already searched. Your dad taught you well,” Colin said. “Now if you believe, me give me the gun and we can get to safety.”
Jackson weighed up his options, gun men roaming the streets, no protection, no escape. He lowered the gun, if it was a trap, it would make little difference in the end.
“Good, come on,” Colin said, helping Greg up and heading out the door.
Outside there was a 4X4 waiting, they piled in, and disappeared into the night.
Okay, I’ve not added commentary for a while. I’m doing so for this one just to say that watch this space for the follow up Short Story this is going to grow into. It’s your typical action-adventure, with shadowy agents, daddy issues, protecting the unlikely target, that kind of thing. I definitely know where I want this to go, so hence a follow up short story (rather than flash fic), the flash fic is just a taster.