This story is by Patricia(Trish)Perry and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
Hewitt and I were ready. The President of Romania’s motorcade would reach us any minute. We had the perfect location to make a kill shot. Still, being inside the Soviet Bloc was risky as hell, and my gut was churning from nerves.
I lit a cigarette. Just as I took the first drag, a flurry of bullets exploded through the wall splintering wood and glass everywhere. I hit the floor and began firing at a target I couldn’t see. Romanian soldiers kicked down the door. Hewitt and I picked off every son-of-a-bitch that came through it, killing nine of the bastards before the gunfire stopped.
I was hit in the calf of my left leg, and Hewitt in his right arm.
“Get up. We’ve got to get out of here!” I yelled.
“Go ahead. I’ll be right behind you,” Hewitt replied.
“Somebody screwed us over. If we don’t move quickly, we’re dead. As soon as possible, I’m going to call HQ and see about an evac.” I said.
Hewitt rose to his feet. “I’ll be at my safe house,” he replied.
“I’ll call you at 19:00 hours,” I said. I did a two-finger salute and limped out holding my handgun tightly.
When I reached the lobby, I checked outside to see if it was all clear. A military truck filled with Romanian troops approached the building. My heart started pounding. I ducked down and darted out the front door. Luckily, I reached an alley just as the truck stopped and the soldiers started to unload.
There were roadblocks everywhere. However, as the light of day diminished, I was able to reach the street where my safe house was located by slipping in and out of groups walking along the same route. The street was deserted, but my gut instinct was to get out there immediately.
I turned and limped down another alleyway. It exited on the side of an apartment building. I went inside and knocked on the first door I came to. A young woman answered. I put my hand over her mouth and my gun to her head and forced my way inside.
“Do you speak English?” I whispered.
She nodded. I reassured her that I wouldn’t hurt her as long as she didn’t try to get me hurt.
“I understand,” she said in a thick accent.
“What is your name?” I asked.
“Sir, my name is Elena,” she said.
My leg hurt like hell. I knew if I didn’t do something soon, I would bleed to death. I directed Elena how to use a knife to remove the bullet and she did so with surgical precision. After I was patched up, she brought me some antibiotics, a bowl of stew and some strong coffee. Her kindness made me feel guilty about using such force against her.
I phoned HQ. My superior assured me that a boat would pick Hewitt and I up on Pier 21 at midnight and take us to safety. It would be risky, but it was our only choice.
At 19:00, I phoned Hewitt. I relayed the information from HQ and he told me he could get a car to take us. I gave him the address and hung up.
I slumped into an overstuffed chair and massaged my temples. I was tired and I was troubled. How in hell did this plan go so wrong? I thought. I lit another cigarette. Elena brought more coffee. I wanted some scotch to take the edge off my pain, but I had to stay alert.
Elena kneeled down beside me. I was surprised to see a look of concern in her gray eyes. Acting on impulse, I pulled her to me, and kissed her lightly on her mouth. She returned my kiss and it tasted as fresh and sweet as she looked. For just a moment, my worries disappeared. All I felt was a amazing affection for this beautiful young woman. I traced her mouth with my finger and smiled. She smiled back at me and relaxed into my arms. I held her tenderly. I wanted more, but I was afraid that if we made love, I wouldn’t be able to leave her. But, if I stayed, she would be killed right along with me. If only things were different, I thought.
At 11:15, a car pulled up in front of the building, and blinked its headlights. Knowing that it was Hewitt, I prepared to leave.
Elena walked me to the door and we embraced one more time. She handed me a slip of paper with her address written on it. I slipped it into my pocket.
“I’m sorry that I was so rough on you when I first arrived,” I said.
“I hope that you will be safe,” she said. We kissed once more.
“I’ll write you when I get home,” I said. I went out the front door, my thoughts focused only on Elena and my newfound feelings for her.
The car was running and the front passenger’s side door was open. I climbed inside. The driver was someone I didn’t recognize. Hewitt was in the back seat flanked by men dressed in dark suits. The car sped away down the dark street.
“What’s going on here?” I asked.
Hewitt pointed a gun at me. “Blake, I’d like you to meet my comrades, Mr. Petrushkin, Mr. Mishurin, and Mr. Kozlov. They don’t appreciate the way you tried to kill a President that the Soviet Union wants to stay in power, and have come to witness your death.”
I tried to open the door handle and roll out of the car. But, the noise made by the gunshot was the last sound I heard.