Jack Saker

 

Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're trying to be so quiet? All hed heard for the last 5 minutes was the rhythmic beat of his heart; slightly elevated as he contemplated the severity of his situation. The pounding of the drum in his ear, the pulsating of he veins in his neck slowly keeping time like a synchronized watch. Hed forgotten about his surroundings, the chill wind burning his face, snow eating into his toes like some form of bacteria, and the missing moon unable to illuminate his position.

The rustling in the evergreens nearby had been the first warning. Hed stopped and dropped to the floor, his body reacting on instinct alone. But all hed seen was a small rat scurrying through the undergrowth. Moments later, the shriek of the tawny owl had once again made his inner self jump like a petrified kitten. This was no good. The night was wearing him down, his sleep deprivation driving him to a near state of panic, the cold slowing his blood like the timer had gone off on his central heating system. He had to do something and he had to do it soon. But he knew they were out here, pursuing him, driving him forward. They knew where he was going; they knew exactly where they were going to catch him again. It was all a game to them, they were the hounds and he was the helpless fox being driven until he was unable to run, unable to walk, unable to put up any form of resistance when they would finally catch him, take him down and score him up as the newbies first kill.

Theyd allowed him to escape, that much he was certain of. He thought it had been too easy when he was doing it. At first he considered how clever hed been. The plan was faultless. In fact, hed walked through that last gate upright, proud, and nonchalantly, taunting the surveillance cameras; look, look what Ive done. You cant keep me in here forever, Im too smart. Im not one of those worried children who you managed to keep shut up in those small dark cages of stone. You picked on the wrong person when you kidnapped me buddy. Ill bring your little empire down, just see if I dont. Ill walk out of this forest and bring the might of the law down on you. You played the wrong move messing with me.

That had all been before he found the first sentry, waiting by his campfire, smoking Camels and drinking Bourbon. Jack had been ever so quiet, sneaked close enough to take a look, even managed to grab a view of the centerfold in the sentries magazine; Miss February. Hed contemplated taking him out. Sneak up behind and cut his throat. Take his provisions, the food and the warm clothing. But he decided against it, decided just to move on quickly and get himself out of this god fearing hell-hole as quickly and silently as possible. So he moved on. This would be his second mistake of the night. The first was not realizing that his escape had been planned to perfection, not by him but by his kidnappers. He realized that as he heard the sentry talking on his radio, Panther One, come in Panther One, the fox is heading your way.

That was it. Then he knew. They knew hed escaped, of course they knew, theyd let him, and they knew where he was and where he was going. He wondered how long they would allow him to run for, what was the optimum time before they would send out the dogs? He had to be clever than them, he had to atone to himself for the stupid mistake hed made. So he had to think, think about what they would expect him to do and not do it. Whenever he had to consider an option, decide on a course of action, he would have to scrutinize every solution he came up with. The rule would generally be; the first answer is not the solution. He was running, and they expecting him to run, so he had to stop running, at least for a while, and then think.

He waited for an hour. He had a new plan. By now he figured that the second sentry would have radioed back to base that he had not been seen. Other sentries around the forest would be frantically searching for him. So what he was going to do was now move forward slowly and find that second sentry. The sentry would once again radio in that hed been spotted. They would now calculate his movement speed and direction based on those sightings. If there was to be a third sentry, and he knew that there would be, they would estimate his time of arrival to be much later.

He could now speed up to the third sentry and take this one out before doubling back on himself. He had to get to the sentry unseen and remove him from the equation. His pursuers would not expect a sighting of him for a while which would allow him to make up the time hed wasted, traveling in the opposite direction back to the compound.

So far his plan had worked, the second sentry had spotted him and radioed base. The third sentry had been about where hed expected. He managed to sneak up on him. He had no normal weapon so he had to make do with a log and brute force. Thered been a bit of a scuffle, but jack had won out. Hed been a fighter all his life, brought up on the wrong side of the tracks where you had to be able to handle yourself in order to reach your next birthday. This sentry had been a kid, he wasnt there to fight he was there to spot. And that hed failed at.

He hadnt taken any pleasure in killing the sentry. After a week in captivity he thought he would have felt more anger towards his incarcerators, but he felt nothing but pity as the boys skull cracked, shattered like porcelain dropped on terracotta tiles. He took what clothing he could use, raided the sentries provisions and took his gun and knife. Jack was equipped now. All he had to do was to take the fight back, back to where they least expected him. So that was how he came to be sat in the snow, behind a Yew tree, working out how to get back into the compound that he only just escaped from some 8 hours ago. After a week of fighting and trying to get out, he needed to get back in.

 
Written Without Prejudice
written without prejudice
Stories to go to bed with
stories to go to bed with

home to icemark
home