AtoZ2014: Under

Under

Gerald heaved himself over the window’s sill and dropped to the ground under it. He bent his knees as he hit the ground, but it didn’t stop him from falling backward onto the asphalt. Sitting up, he knew he had to move, but the fall had winded him just a little. After a pause, he stood and moved to the left, his gaze tuned to the window about 12 feet above him.

Inside, Doug scrambled up the ladder as Bill held it in place. Getting to the window, he pushed the pane open and looked outside. Seeing Gerald, he smiled. It was a good sign that the first man down hadn’t hurt himself during the plummet.

Swinging his leg over the sill, Doug sat on the edge, trying to figure out the best way to swing the other leg over and then drop. He knew he didn’t have much time, but didn’t want to make an error in his haste either.

“Doug?” It was Bill.

“I’m going Bill; just need a second to orient myself. You gonna be okay to get up the ladder after I’m gone?”

“I’m actually wondering if it’s best you stay there until I join you.”

“Whaddya mean?”

“Well, if you’re perched there, you can hold the ladder at least a little bit for me. It’s likely not going to shift, but it would be nice to know there are a set of hands on at least one end as I climb.”

“Ummm, sure,” Doug said as he bent to take the top rung in both hands. It was awkward, but if it meant everyone getting out safely, he was willing to suffer through the discomfort.

“Doug, what’s taking you so long?” Gerald yelled from the ground.

Doug looked down and said, “I’m holding the ladder from this end while Bill climbs. He thought it would be more helpful if I did.”

Gerald’s face scrunched up at the news and then returned to normal. “Okay, just hurry up!”

Bill started to climb the ladder, getting to the top in short order. He swung his leg over the sill, just barely missing Doug’s head in the process.

“Okay what do we do now?” Doug asked as he looked from the hordes below him to the outside.

“We need to drop to the ground and get back to the church before Razor and his friends find us,” Bill answered. “Now you swing your other leg over and drop down. I’ll wait here while you do.”

Doug let go of the ladder, expecting it to drop but it stayed where it was as he maneuvered his right leg over the edge and dropped until he hung on by his fingertips. The ground came sooner than he thought it would and he forgot to bend with the fall. Pain shot up his left leg, up through his knee, causing him to stumble and fall.

Gerald was there immediately, his hands checking for breaks. Finding none, he pulled Doug to his feet and away from the space under the window.

“You okay Doug?” Bill asked from his perch above them.

“Yeah, I think so…” Doug answered, pain colouring his voice. “Nothing broken at least. Let’s hope it’s just a sprain.”

Bill soon joined them on the ground without incident and the trio took a moment to breathe a sigh of relief. It was a narrow escape, but they had no time to waste. They needed to get away from the warehouse and hope that no one saw them escape.

All rights reserved © 2014 Julianne Snow

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