Pain tore up and down Jordan’s back as he ran through the piercingly cold night. His knees trembled as if they would go out. A sound caught his ear. Something ahead. Something low and metallic. He skidded to a stop, the pavement shredding his worn shoes. That sound was all too familiar in his long history on the streets. He didn’t have time for a casual fight now. He had to get to the doctor.
Whirling he ran back the way he came for a few yards before ducking into a narrow alley. The sound of pursuing feet pounded in his ears. He gritted his teeth. He could either try to outrun them or stop and fight: either with an injured back to hinder him. It would get him to the doctor’s faster if he kept running, but- The decision was suddenly made for him by a dark figure leaping into his path. Again he skidded to a stop and looked quickly around. There had to be some other way out of this.
But there wasn’t. The only way was to fight it out. Which meant he had to move first and not let them know his current weakness. Swinging his leg upwards, he kicked the form in front of him in the chest, then spun around. His back quivered with pain and strain. His pursuers were unprepared for his sudden stop and slammed straight into him. He let himself fall backward onto the concrete, then instantly rolled on top of the first assailant. The glint of steel shone in the man’s hand. Jordan grabbed the handle of the knife and twisted it free from the man’s grasp.
But at that moment, another cold blade pressed his neck from behind. His whole body tensed. This was more than he had bargained for.
Sweat dripped from Jordan’s lip as he spoke. “Alright! Alright! What’s the game?”
“This ain’t no game, Vickery,” the voice that replied from behind him was heavy and dark.
Jordan tensed at his last name, “Fine. What is it then?”
“First off, where ya goin in such a hurry?”
“Nah. Can’t tell ya that,”
The laugh was cruel, “You’re refusing info already huh? This could get real sick real fast,” the blade pressed harder against his neck. “Alright, we want whatever you’re deliverin,”
“Look. I don’t got anything this time,” Jordan slowly lowered the blade of the knife he held towards the chest of the man underneath him.
“Hey! I said don’t move!”
The blade began to slice Jordan’s neck. He froze and it stopped. “I’m serious. I don’t have food or-” Jordan stopped himself, “Anything else you might want,” he finished, wincing as a trickle of blood ran down the side of his neck.
“You think I’m gonna believe that?” the blade pressed deeper.
“Believe what you like. I’m just telling it straight,”
“We’ll see about that,” The knife dragged through his flesh before lifting away. Hands grabbed him by his shoulders and threw him onto his face on the concrete. A heavy body handed on top of him, and an elbow jammed into his back. “Search him guys,”
Jordan gritted his. This is a stupid waste of time! For both of us! He winced at the pain in his back. At least there’s nothing for them to find. Hands rummaged through his pockets. When nothing was found in them, his shoes were torn off and shaken. Jordan rolled his eyes at the grunts of disappointment. Told you there wasn’t anything. Now could you just HURRY UP!!
The weight lifted on his back slightly and the searching hands slid up under his hoodie. This was his chance. Maybe the only one he would get. He tensed, waiting for the perfect moment. With a quick upward thrust, he threw his whole body backward, knocking the men off of him and standing to his feet. Another muscle in his back tore. A knife tore his leg, but he didn’t care now. He was up. He burst into motion.
A hand grabbed his hoodie. It tore as he pulled away and broke into a run. He shivered as a blade stuck in his back. In a last desperate attempt one of them had thrown a knife. The pavement was cold under his feet, pushing him to keep running. He made as many turns as he could. He didn’t want to lead them to the doctor. Who knows what they’d do to her. Jordan could feel his strength draining and blood ran from his neck, back, and leg. The pain was overwhelming, but at least it wasn’t Joan out here on these dangerous streets.
After an exhausting run, he came to a stop in front of the doc’s house. He looked around. No one. He had lost them. Furiously, he pounded on the door.
“Doc!” he cried, as loudly as he dared.
Sold souls and dead promises