I jerked back and a bullet tore off hair and bounced off the door. Then one from the opposite end, Cea's corner, lodged struck the wall just above my head and ricocheted right past my face. I started praying again.
Cea kicked the door into the stairs back open. Instantly popping a shot in the face of an officer that had just rounded the corner of the stairs. I tried not to look at the blood, but even as we ran by him some of his blood splashed on my leg. I wanted to cry and puke all over again. I just followed Cea.
There were footsteps just barely behind us as the peace-keepers tried to catch us on the stairway.
At one of the landings Cea turned and fired, then immediately ran on. The shot forced them to stop for a second, and we gained maybe a few feet. Cea was nearly out of bullets now, too, and I wasn't much better for ammo.
Finally we reached the lowest floor and jumped into the parking garage I had arrived in. This time there were cars everywhere. We ran between and behind these, bullets crashing through glass and over our heads constantly.
Other elevators and doors into the garage were opening and soldiers cautiously exiting. Now they were checking their corners and keeping cover as though they expected their quarry to be armed and ready to shoot. Cea and I jumped behind a huge van, hoping against logic that they hadn't seen us.
Bullets crashed through glass over our heads, spreading debris everywhere.
I turned towards Cea. I felt nearly paralyzed with fear. I think I was crying already.
Cea whirled to check my angle. Then her glance fell on my face. She set down the guns, and lay with her body flat to the asphalt. She motioned me to do the same, and even as I did the bullets whined ever closer. I think even the soldiers could hear me balling.
Cea touched the side of my head and I looked at her. She said, "Come now, Philadelphia. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power, and of a sound mind. If He sets before us an open door, no man can shut it. And if He has not set open that door, no one can pass through it."
I heard screeching and then the hiss of van doors opening. Before Cea or I could say anything more we were picked up and dragged into another of the huge vans. We were bound and gagged and hand-cuffed.
The doors shut again and we were in perfect darkness, a thick cloth bag over my head. It felt like an execution, at least as much as I could guess what that was like.
We waited in the dark van silently, not even knowing if there were other guards inside or not. There was loud discussion going on outside. We lay still even longer until I heard the door of the parking garage opening again, and we were shooting out just as we had come, except more rudely tied and my bag of things still in our cell. It was a good thing my daddy had told me to leave my reader at home.
I must have fallen asleep, or else been knocked unconscious during the ride, because I awoke to feel the van still. The bag came off my head, and through my blindfold I could tell that there was not much light in whatever room I was.
Then a voice I once knew came to me, as though from beyond the grave. "Hello there, Phil."
The next post is Philli: Part 25