The next day, Herbert wakes up and stretches himself in bed with a yawn. Looking around, he sees Eleanor sleeping on the other side of the bed.
He smiles softly. For someone who is always so impatient, shes pretty sweet. A kerosene lamp only illuminates the room, so he can observe her without waking her.
His gaze lingers on her for a few minutes. Shes lying on her back, still snoring softly. Her hair sticks to her sweaty forehead, creating shadows under her eyelids. Her lips parted ever so slightly as she breathed in and out. He feels like a pervert, staring at his friend like this. Herbert and Eleanor walk out of the room with their stuff when a commotion in the city complex occurs.
”Police Officers are everywhere! ” the crowd exclaims in alarm.
”Something must have gone wrong, ” Herbert whispers to himself. He looks at her and notices that she hasn moved yet. People start filling the hallways of the corridors around the place. Some scream loudly, but none of them can hear the commotion.
”Eleanor! Lets go! ” he says, shaking her shoulder.
He grabs her and runs towards the exit, weaving through the crowd. Once at the door, though, they see a mass of police officers standing near the entrance.
”There must be an accident! ” he yells. ”We need to hurry! ”
They push through the police line, making their way to a crowd outside the exit. The group doesn move as far as they would typically expect.
”The damn Irish! ” a police officer yells as a warplane flies overhead.
”Get the ** outta here! ”
People continue to run out of the building with panic written all over their faces.
Eleanor and Herbert grab each others wrists and start running down the sidewalk, trying to stay inconspicuous.
They continue running for several blocks in silence. After they
e sure there is no one following them, they stop.
”Are you okay? ” Herbert asks with concern written all over his face.
She nods in agreement and breathes heavily.
”What is happening? ” He asks himself as he watches a squadron of foreign planes drizzle the city with bombs.
The air fills with smoke and debris. They look at each other in horror. Herbert turns his head to his right and catches a glimpse of something. His eyes widen. He grabs Eleonors arm and drags her away.
The scene unfolds before them: hundreds of civilians running for shelter, the buildings exploding, and a battalion of police officers in blue and white uniforms with spears.
The chaos is unbelievable. The ground shakes continuously with the explosions and gunfire, making breathing difficult.
Several police officers shoot bullets at the crowd, causing many civilian casualties. Many people are screaming in terror. Others are attempting to run away from the fighting. A few people fall to the ground while holding their chests.
Some elements of the crowd start to fire back. The police officers spears start glowing. An officer falls backward from a bullet wound to his chest as blood pours from the injury. The rest of the police officers continue shooting.
”We need to go home, ” Herbert says as he takes her hand.
”But where will we go? ” she asks desperately.
”Lets just keep heading south. ”
They continue running and passing through several streets. Men in green are shooting at the police, and in the flag is what looks like a Lyre. Several people fall to the ground as the police officers attempt to fire back at their attackers. They fall unconscious in a bloody heap.
”This way! ” Herbert shouts as he sprints toward a corner of a street filled with houses. They cross the street, running parallel to the road. As they approach another intersection, a group of soldiers appears. One of them is carrying a flag decorated with the Union Jack.
”Hey! You! ” he shouts angrily.
As soon as he sees the two of them, he throws the banner down and raises his rifle to aim at them. But the gun jams, giving him trouble aiming.
”We are citizens! ” Herbert shouts. The soldier in red stops what hes doing and approaches them. ”Give me your names! ”
”Herbert Kemp and Eleanor McDonald! ” Herbert says.
Hes a soldier, for **s sake. If we
e caught lying, hell shoot us. Shoot us! he looks at Eleanor.
She gives him a nervous expression.
The soldier puts his rifle on his shoulders and raises it slightly.
”McDonald? Are you sure you aren harboring an Irishwoman? Come with me, Mr. Kemp. ” The soldier says, apprehending them both.
”No! I was born here! ” Eleanor screams. The soldier takes his sidearm and shoots Herberts shoulder.
”Ow! What the hell?! ” He clutches his wound and stumbles backward. Blood spills out of the injury and lands on the cement.
”Control your woman! ” the soldier shouts as Eleanor is pushed to Herbert.
”I am not…! ” Eleanor cries.
”Shut up! We
e not going to die! ” Herbert yells.
”Stop crying! This is your fault! ” the soldier roars. He takes out his knife and slices Herberts face. Herbert screams in pain.
”Fuck… ” he groans as he falls to the pavement in agony.
”That should teach you, ” the soldier says, pulling Eleanor by the hair.
They woke up shackled in chains, soldiers outside their prison cell, guarding the perimeter. The only light comes from their burning torches, illuminating their path to the exit and entrance where they were being held captive for nearly a day. Herbert looks to his side and sees Eleanor sulking in the corner. She doesn bother looking at him when he calls her name, not even glancing at the door.
”What did you do? ” She says, barely louder than a whisper. He sighs heavily and tries to figure out what has happened. Where did the planes come from? When did this war start? What exactly is going on?
”I don know! ” Herbert exclaims. The attack came so suddenly that he was surprised when he felt the first explosion.
”Don worry about it, ” she scoffs as she leans over to look at him. ”Just focus on escaping. ”
As soon as that last word left her mouth, a beautiful woman entered the cell, accompanied by her posse of guards. A strange smile on her face. Her hair was dark brown, falling straight and thick down her back, framing an angular, youthful look. Her eyes seemed like they could bore through anything, piercing Herberts soul with an intensity that almost made him believe she was speaking directly to him. ”Enjoy your stay, ” she says with a deep voice.
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