Tuesday, 19 February 2019

F Fic, Non-fic

The Red Ladder Dash

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At 3:50 a helicopter would be waiting for him, ready to sweep him away to safety. At 4:00 the chopper would bail whether he made it or not. Chances were that his scurrying image was already captured on video by the various surveillance cameras that were scattered throughout the building. But at this early hour, he was sure he could make it to the rendezvous point without being noticed.

The guards were authorized to shoot on sight, so he couldn’t afford to be seen. But there wasn’t enough time. It was 3:27 already and he hadn’t even found the exit.

Then he remembered the map he’d studied earlier. He would need to pass the guard station by the elevators on level 12. Once there he would find a small locked door, something like a janitor’s closet down the hall to the right. Roger would then use the key he was given by Ms. Grayson to open the door, and then climb the ladder up to a hatch that would open to the roof.

“I’m not crazy and I’m not their prisoner,” Roger said, his voice trembling with violence. He stood in the shadows while he caught his breath. Then peered around the corner at the door, which was at the far end of the hall.

It would be a 50-foot dash to freedom.

Roger stepped into full light in view of the guard station and with a surge of confidence that would’ve amazed those who’d seen him only a few days ago… when he was slumped over and shackled.

“I’m not your prisoner!” Roger yelled with the force of a jet engine. And then he took off, running with the speed of a cheetah, but all the stealth of an elephant.

“Hey you! Stop!”

Roger was already halfway there. He turned to see a man dressed in white scrubs pointing him out to other similarly dressed men.

“I won’t die here,” Roger yelled breathlessly. “This is not how my story ends!”

He had made it past the guards. If only he could get to the door at the end of the hall, he could lock them all out.

At that moment, Roger was hit with what felt like the force of a train. A guard had come at him from an adjacent hall and tackled him to the ground. They went crashing into a large garbage bin, sending trash flying like projectiles. It made such a clamor that the doors lining the halls began to open; groggy prisoners peering into the florescent light as if the sun had risen… a new day had begun.

Two men in scrubs soon caught up to the scene to help subdue the struggling sprinter.

“No! Let me go. I’ve got to get to the roof. This place is going to blow!” Roger screamed. His voice sounded as clear and loud as a trumpet.

“It’s okay Roger. Everything’s going to be alright,” said a man in a brown tweed coat.

The man had a calm, monotone voice. Roger might even find it soothing if he didn’t already know who he really was and his true mission – to utterly destroy him.

The doctor stood hovering over the fray, adjusting his glasses. By now, a small crowd had started to form, drawn by the sound of the ruckus. Four orderlies began to coax the people back into their one-room compartments, to lull them back to sleep.

“Please everyone, go back into your rooms now. This situation is under control,” said Dr. Kane.

“There’s a bomb in this building and it’s going to explode in ten minutes. You have to let me go, we’re all going to die!” Roger shouted.

“No one is going to die, Roger. You’re just having another episode. I’m going to increase your dosage. This will help with the delusions that you’ve been dealing with recently. Don’t worry, Roger,” Dr. Kane said calmly, as he prepped a syringe.

“Hold his arms down,” he commanded the men.

The warmth had drained from the doctor’s voice now, matching his dead eyes. Unable to move, Roger laid his head on the cold tile and stopped fighting. Dr. Kane approached and knelt down next to Roger with the prepared needle.

“You’ll feel a little drowsy.”

Roger flinched slightly as the needle approached his neck.

“Hold still!” Dr. Kane yelled ferociously, his eyes now flashing with hate.

Roger looked at the clock on the wall above the doctor’s head, but his eyes were unfocused. He couldn’t read the time.

“It’s too late,” he said to Roger, calm as before.

Then he smiled wide and Roger could see something shining in the man’s mouth. He had perfect white teeth – and a gold tooth tucked inconspicuously at the back of the row. Immediately, Roger looked up at the clock above Dr. Kane’s head once more.


Roger kicked up both his legs with inhuman strength. The guards holding them lost their balance and he turned quickly to kick the doctor in the chin, sending the man reeling backwards and the needle flying. There were shrieks throughout the lobby as the residents who had refused to go back to sleep watched the events. Roger didn’t waste any time. He head-butted the man holding his right arm. And when that arm was free, he gave a swift uppercut to the man grasping at him on his left.

The orderlies who had been busy keeping the bystanders at bay gave chase, but were tripped up by the other prisoners.


He didn’t have any time to analyze the situation, to see who might’ve been on his tail. Roger rushed to the door holding his throbbing head and within seconds it was opened and locked from the inside. He could hear the guards scrambling to open the door as he climbed the rickety red ladder that was his only bridge to salvation.

Roger lifted the hatch and was hit in the face with a blast of rain. He strained to look for the chopper, but didn’t see it. It was 4:00.

Suddenly, through the drenching flurry, he saw the helicopter as it started to lift off. He ran out into the rain, waving his arms. The chopper hovered in place and turned its headlights on, lighting up the entire roof. Roger stood with his arms reaching towards the heavens and was completely illuminated. To him it was as if the light pierced his very soul.

Moments later Dr. Kane rushed onto the roof looking disheveled and frightful. A guard soon followed and did his best to hold down the hatch for fear of the tumult within the compound. Although soaked through, Roger sat securely fastened in the helicopter. The spate of rain was over and Roger could see the doctor frantically searching the sky. As he and his rescuer flew over the scene, they could see a few of Roger’s fellow prisoners escaping the compound and streaming into the street. The building hadn’t gone up in flames yet, but Roger knew that it would.

Jubilee Nobleman is a truth seeker and modest fiction writer with a penchant for prose and speculative fiction from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Jubilee and her writing, please visit: http://jubileemeansrejoice.wordpress.com/

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