Mitchell's Mustard Blog

May 18, 2017

What about Charlie – The Chase

Filed under: My Work — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 9:31 am

Oxygen was burning his lungs, he could feel the heat prickle under the skin on his face. This late at night it was harder to navigate down narrow Trinity Street, it was quiet apart from the sound of rushed footsteps and Charlie panting for air, aggression and revenge kept him running. His vision bouncing past the shops and scattered street lights, desperately trying not to trip on uneven patches of cobbled pavement that hid in the shadows, knowing that would end the chase. Up front he could see the silhouette of the man he was pursuing, plunging in and out of light from the shop windows. He was running on the same amount of energy as Charlie, both men were running on fumes and adrenaline. Charlie was grateful for the lack of tourists out late at night, Trinity Street was a haven for tourists but at this late hour it was only the homeless in doorways that could be counted as a witness and that wouldn’t stand up in any court. The man passed an alleyway full of shops on the left, the overhead lights made him easy to see and Charlie was gaining on him, pushing him harder and giving him an extra boost of energy. He was deafened by his own gasps for air, his vision seemed slightly blurred but he knew he needed to catch up, he needed answers. There was music and light coming from the church on the left as he passed, he hoped that no one had noticed these two men pass in a hurry. The street opened out into a wider road and the man stopped for a split second to make a decision on his route, he could carry on straight forward past Kings College but it was a long and straight road which meant there would be more running to do, he could take the dark passage to the right, or take the road on the left onto the Market Square. To Charlie’s delight the man chose to turn left, he was tired and needed to slow, if not stop soon. Going straight on was not an option for Charlie, his body wouldn’t allow it. Going down the passage on his right would have meant little running but pitch black alley ways to lose the chase. Market Square has an island of market stalls in the middle, to the left of Charlie was a row of shops, following his eyesight clockwise the side of the square opposite was also occupied by shops. To the far right of the square was what looked like a big hall which took up a full side on its own, on the last side of the square was St Mary’s church, it was the one way road next to that which Charlie had followed the man down onto the square. Split second decisions felt like minutes passing as Charlie was close on his tail, they both clambered through the empty market stalls of wood and metal. The stalls left derelict by their owners until the following morning. As tired as they both were they battled their way through, under and over metal framework. The man tipped the occasional stall over to cause more work and frustration for Charlie, he knew he was gaining on him which caused his heart to pound. As one stall led onto the next the tarpaulin roof had breaks in which let in the light from the moon, catching the moments of light in the darkness maze of the frame-work made it harder to see what obstacles were in the dark on the next stall. This caught both men out which slowed them both down, catching their shins and arms on loose metal that were hidden in the dark. Charlie needed to get close to him before they reached the other side of the market stalls or he will manage a huge lead that Charlie feared he wouldn’t make up. Catching sight of a metal pole waist height Charlie managed to jump and land without any obstruction just as his target stumbled out of the last stall, Charlie was right on his tail, he could hear him pant for breath as well as hearing his own. The man’s fear was obvious as he scrambled across the road nearly landing on his knees, no time to make a decision on direction, straight forward was the path taken. He fled down a large path between the buildings at the corner of the square leading onto another road behind the huge hall. Charlie was close on his tail but his legs and chest burnt like never before, he had to fight thoughts of giving up by picturing the deathly expression that this man had left on her face. They went through another alleyway next to a pub to come face to face with a group of girls dressed up standing outside a club having a cigarette, they screamed as they flew between them, Charlie shouting his apologies as one fell over. They went up a few steps taking two at a time, past a raised coffee shop on the right and funnelled into a side entrance of Grand Arcade shopping centre. Charlie knew it would be closed off at this time, as he turned the corner into the building there were bars up to prevent entrance. To his right there is parking ticket machines and a bland wall, to his left there is two lifts. The lift furthest away had its doors closed but the closest ones doors had just started to slide closed, It’s the only place he could have gone Charlie thought as he launched towards it. As he entered the lift just in time for the doors to close the man was standing there with fear over his face, they stood for a few seconds staring at each other, they were thinking what to do next. It was deadly silent in the lift whilst both men seemed to hold their breath, Charlie had never really thought about what he would do once he had caught him. Suddenly the lift beeped to say it was heading up, Charlie glanced at the buttons and notice they were going to the top floor. Every wall in the lift was covered in mirrors so it was hard for Charlie to not notice how worn out and old he looked, he could hear his breathing again. Charlie breathed in and it felt like fire, he pictured her smile then launched forward and punched the man in the face.

   He stumbled back and fell to the floor of the lift, cupping his nose as blood trickled down his chin.

   “You’ll learn to regret that” the man said with glazed eyes.

   The lift stopped and the doors slid open behind Charlie, in the split second that Charlie took to turn and look out of the lift door the man had produced a gun from his belt line. Charlie knew nothing about guns but his initial thought was the bigger it is the more dangerous it can be and it wasn’t a small gun. He stared at the gun, noticing the chrome reflect the lift lights, indentations down the side of the barrel, maybe a model number. It looked heavy, maybe that was the reason the man’s hand was shaking.

   “Slowly walk backwards out of the lift, keep your hand where I can see them.”

   Charlie did as he was told, backing out of the lift into the open air top floor where it was empty and quiet, looking over his shoulder he could see that the only other exit was across the other side, too far to run. He held his hands above his head. He hadn’t asked him to do so but that’s what you always see in the movies, it seemed the right thing to do.

   “Turn around, walk over to the edge” Charlie obeyed the mans orders.  

 

The Cambridge skyline was beautiful at night, a show of lights from the cluttered heights of surrounding buildings, church steeples and college towers. Each with their own significance, a reason to be lit up. At this height the wind whipped around his body, trying to pick him up and carry him to safer ground. Pulling and tugging at his clothes, distracting his thoughts. Looking out from the edge of this car park, Charlie remembered visiting these lit up buildings with Abigail. She had wanted to visit them, understand the history of these buildings, look at their beauty, but he never really appreciated them until now, too late. He had turned his back on the man, the gun. He stood at the edge of the car park looking out.

   “I loved her, loved her more than you could ever dream of!” The man’s voice came as a surprise as it broke the silence.

   Charlie took a deep breath, controlled his aggression, he didn’t want to sound emotional or in fear.

   “Clearly, there’s no better way to show a women how much you love them than to . . . . .” he still couldn’t say it. “To do what you did”.    

   “She deserved it, that little prick teasing bitch” He replied through gritted teeth.

Charlie could hear his footsteps as he slowly worked his way toward him, felt the cold of the gun as it touched the back of his neck. Charlie felt numb, his body wanted to give up, his mind slowly starting to agree.  

    “Do you want to know what her last words were?” he said laughing. “Ohh Charlie, Charlie I’m sorry” he teased in a high-pitched female voice. “That’s when I cut her throat because I was sick of hearing your name, Charlie this, and Charlie that . . . That all she used to go on about . . . Stupid bitch didn’t see what was right in front of her!”

   He tapped the gun against the back of Charlie’s head a couple of times.

   “Are you listening to me?” He asked.

   Charlie ignored the question. He stared out across the city, controlling his breathing, trying to save his energy. He looked over the edge, down six floors to the concrete, it could be so easy just to end it all now he thought.

   “Hey!” The man smashed the gun against Charlies head again, this time with force. “What’s wrong with you, I’m trying to tell you about how your girlfriend died, are you not interested?” He yelled. “Some boyfriend you are!!” Nudging Charlie with his gun again.

   The more Charlie ignored the man, the more irate he became. He could hear it in the mans voice, his movement, he was starting to pace back and forth behind Charlie. He had started to mutter to himself, Charlie couldn’t make out what he was saying. The more he paced the more distracted he had become. Charlie was feeling calm, his breathing was back to normal. He now just needed to wait for the man to make a mistake, a moment for him to take control of the situation.

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