The Chase

on December 1, 2013 in Misc

For the remainder of 2013, my posts will be from Layla Daltry’s perspective.  She’s the hero of The Compass Master, a daring antiquities hunter, and while on the trail of a rare, precious artifact is living undercover in Denver as Helena Soister…

By the time I reached the museum doors, Annie had caught up with me.

“What’s going on?” she asked, panic in her voice.

“That man!” I said. “We’ve got to find him!”

I ran outside and toward one of the stone blocks that bordered the front steps, and did a really cool parkour leap up onto it and then onto its massive stone flower planter.  From there I peered in all directions.

The rottweiler man was just to the north and running into Millennium Park.

I leaped off the planter before a museum guard could grab me and dashed toward the park. Annie’s steps pounded behind me.  The mysterious stranger wasn’t with her or anywhere.

“That way!” I cried to her, my arm pointing the way.  She was fast and caught up with me near a wall and clusters of trees and bushes, where I paused and looked frantically about.  If I lost the rottweiler then I’d lose the scroll, my reputation… Everything.

Annie didn’t slow down. She ran into a cluster of trees and bushes while crying, “He’s in here!”

I sprinted after her—and stumbled to a stop.

The rottweiler man was cornered between high bushes and a wall. And Annie was within inches of him.  As he turned and glared at me he reached into his jacket. Only now did I see suspicious bulge beneath it.  Was that a gun? A hunting knife?

Suddenly he pivoted away from me and toward Annie, but as he moved his foot caught on a tree root and he almost fell but steadied himself by flinging out his free hand and grabbing Annie’s arm.

Annie screamed in shock. Instinctively I jumped toward her – and smack into a big wet pile of dog turds.  Before I knew it I was sliding sideways but somehow stayed upright while inanely exclaiming,“Oh, crap! Stinky mess!”

Annie gaped at me and suddenly whipped the poisoned hatpin out of her pocket and stabbed it into the rottweiler’s neck.

“No!” I cried

The man shouted in shock and pain.  He let go of Annie and reached up to the hatpin that was jutting out of him like a dainty, rather fetching version of Frankenstein’s neck bolt.  But his fingers already seemed to be numb and they only brushed his ear, and his eyes rolled up in his head.

For a heavy man, he fell quietly.  He also fell in the wrong direction and onto the hatpin, which shoved it further into his flesh.

“Ewww!” Annie groaned.

“I didn’t mean for you to use that thing!” I told her.

She stared at me in horror.  “Then why did you say ‘mess? It’s one of our signal words!”

I shrugged.  “My bad.”

“Is he dead?”  Her voice was shaking.

“He shouldn’t be.  The chemicals on that pin should only knock him out and make him sick.”

I crouched beside the man, rolled him over, pulled out the hatpin, and with a tissue wiped the blood off it before slipping them both into my pocket. “Can’t leave any evidence,” I mumbled.

I heard a movement behind me.

The mysterious stranger was walking toward us.  He paused to look down at the rottweiler, and then at me, and he smiled…


12 Responses to “The Chase”

  1. Did she just do his dirty work for him? Really intrigued now!

  2. Helena says:

    Alex – To quote my favorite movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, “I don’t know. I’m making this up as I go.”

  3. Hart Johnson says:

    Oh, very nice! I love your writing. In fact I was stopping in to bug you to release your first Charity MacCay books…

  4. Helena says:

    Hart – I’m so glad you like it. I’ll let you know about Charity MacCay.

  5. ann says:

    I love that Annie got to use the Hatpin. Layla’s friend is no wimp. Your imagery..”.jutting out of him like a dainty, rather fetching version of Frankenstein’s neck” is perfect!
    I’m dying to know what’s going on with handsome guy…. more story please?

  6. Helena says:

    Ann — Hey, since you’re the inspiration for Annie, I know what I’m writing about.

  7. Would it be a flower vase or an outdoor concrete planter? Vase just puts the wrong image in my head: one of delicate china that could not possibly withstand a parkour flip (although if anyone could pull it off it’d be Layla).

    You have a mastery of great action sequences. I’m very entertained by Layla’s exploits here. Honestly, she’d make a great comic book character with all of her “extraordinary” abilities. I think going with that theme, I’d love to see a string of comic books where she takes on monsters from the paranormal world, i.e. Layla vs. the Vampire King and Layla vs. the Werewolf Shaman. I could see her kicking an arrow in the air and having it sail into the heart of the dreaded monster!

  8. Helena says:

    Michael – Darn, you’re right about the vase vs. planter. I’ll fix it.

    Thanks so much for liking Layla. It’s kind of odd to think of a scholar/antiquities hunter who went to a convent school in Ireland as a comic book hero, and maybe she’s too close to Lara Croft. But taking down bad guys, real or paranormal, could be fun.

  9. Eeep…looking at how ULTA is faring today in the stock market made me think of you. It’s crashing hard. I guess we can both say we dodged that bullet (that and Tesla too).

  10. Helena says:

    Michael – Wow, Ulta has seriously come down! Now I’m glad I didn’t buy the stock. Meanwhile, my Rite Aid stock (all of a couple hundred dollars worth) had been up almost 300% and now it’s down, but advice seems to be to hold because it’ll go back up. I’m still ahead because I bought it around $2 and now it’s at $5.86. The stock market really does seem to be a major gambling den more than anything.

    This is one of the brighter sides of not having enough enough money to invest seriously. Hope you’re doing well in the stock market, Michael.

  11. “Oh crap!” Great scene. Thoroughly enjoying this serial, Helena.

  12. Helena says:

    Milo – I’m so glad. Thanks.