Feb 4, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

SHORT STORY: Daring escape to freedom

Read Part I here

Cally had been sad before in her 18 years, but never like this. She had been sad when her father died, she had been sad living with Pierra, her stepmother, but she had never felt a despair so deep that it cut through all logic and she preferred to dig deep , rushing waters wanted to plunge the river she was standing beside.

Only this morning, on the morning of her 18th birthday, Pierra had died in a dispute over her inheritance, though it was not really Cally’s fault, and now her boyfriend Jack, the only person she could rely on, had betrayed her. Standing in a pool of flashing red and blue lights surrounded by a terrifying cacophony of voices, sirens and a mob of police officers brandishing guns and barking a bewildering array of commands: ‘Down!’ ‘Hands up!’ ‘Don’t move!’, all Cally could do was stand frozen in place, unable to truly comprehend the depth of her feelings.

As rough hands tightened on her arms, Cally lost the last trace of her control and sanity. Screaming incoherently, she began fighting and wrestling with two policewomen who were trying to handcuff her.

Cally twisted her torso, trying to wrench her wrench-like handles from her arms, not wanting to move.

As the cuffs snapped cold, hard and snappy at her now injured wrists, Cally searched accusingly for Jack, her desperation turning to fiery hatred as she remembered he was the first person to call her d after Pierra fell and banged her head open, how he assured her everything would be fine and then lured her here to betray her; under that bridge on a rushing river that sparkled and glittered in the daytime sunlight that fell through a canopy of thick-growing trees on the riverbank where they first kissed.

But she couldn’t see him , surrounded and dragged, half blinded by the lights and completely dazed with shock.

Cally slumped as she yielded to desperation and, now docile, was led to a waiting car.

Jack’s palms were sweaty and his heart was beating erratically, beating twice rapidly and then missing a beat as he stood behind a thick tree and watched Cally’s attempt to resist arrest and his nails in clasping his damp palms he stopped himself from rushing to her aid.

His mouth was dry, but even in his panic his thoughts formed clearly and his body moved with precision.

< p>When the group of When the police came nn to gather round his girl, he stood still in the shadows, long forgotten by all but Cally, who jerked her head around in search of him, waiting for the last man to pass; then Jack slipped out like a ghoul, grabbed the man by the throat, cut off his cry and choked him until he passed out.

Quickly Jack put on the man’s uniform and holster and hung one heavy bag over his shoulder and confidently strode out into the chaos of lights, sirens and the excited shouts of men and women.

“You rich kids think you can get away with anything,” was one of the arresting police officers , accompanied by a male colleague who was driving the car.

Cally turned her now tear-stained face to the side and stared blankly out the window.

“We found your mother,” the Frau winced, then stammered when Cally’s soft but fierce whisper cut her off.

“She’s not my mother.”

“Well, we know about the changes to yours Inheritance and you were the only ones there,” the woman continued, “too bad there aren’t cameras inside because we know,” she trailed off when her attention was caught by movement outside her window.

Sitting astride a powerful motorbike, a comrade waved her down as he rode alongside them.

The policewoman rolled down her window when the man started gesturing.

“Top priority!” He yelled over the noise of the street, “She hasn’t been searched yet! She’s got a gun!”

His tone was official, his bearing commanding, his demeanor commanding. And so the car skidded to a stop as the policewoman turned to stare suspiciously at Cally, who seemed to have perked up again, color returning to her face, a twinkle of something in her eyes.

“Nothing.” Jack, who was now dismounted, had his gun drawn and aimed at the front seat of the car as he leaned forward slightly to open the back door so Cally could climb out. “The key to the handcuffs,” he said impatiently while both officers stared in amazement at his unrecognizable face beneath the opaque helmet, “The key!” Jack fired in the air and aimed the gun at her; he had seconds, sirens wailing in the distance as the rest of the police convoy approached.

The shot brought the statues to life and the policewoman shakily pressed a key into Jack’s outstretched hand.

Then, with a move that was as quick as if he had spirited it away, Jack swept Cally onto the back of the bike and started the engine.

“You…” Cally couldn’t find the words.


“We needed money to get out,” he patted the heavy bag at his side, “there was a treat for you, so…”

Cally nudged him painfully in the ribs and leaned her head on his shoulder and breathed in the fresh night air that swept past them.