Monday, August 1, 2011
By Travis S. Taylor & Stephanie Osborn
Just as the thought occurred to him, the man regained his poise and his vision, and rushed at him wildly–at least it seemed wild, at first. So Ray sidestepped and attempted to Judo throw him. But the man countered the move with an Aikido circular motion that flung Ray around a full three hundred and sixty degrees and then downward and forward, sliding belly first and hydroplaning in the several inch deep rainwater. His belly slide splashed a double rooster tail of water out behind him. Ray tucked his right arm under his body--ignoring the pain caused from the street pavement peeling skin from his forearm--and used his momentum in a Judo roll to bring him back up to his feet just in time to be tackled from behind mid-back. I'm not doing too well with this guy, he thought, rueful. Jesus, this son of a bitch is fast.
Ray twisted and squirmed free, tossing the man backward, and barely missed him with a spinning back kick. In a flurry of elbows, backward head butts, punches, and blocks, the two men ended back in the exact same spot they had been a few moments before. Ray was face down in the same pothole struggling for his breath as his would-be assailant ground knees into his lower back and pummeled him from behind. But this time, to Ray's surprise, the man's grip let go sooner–much sooner.
As Ray forced his head up above the water again, he understood why. He could hear the semiautomatic weapon's fire splattering off the alleyway wall in front of them. The rain of bullets was obviously fired overhead as a warning, spraying yellow sparks and shards of brick ubiquitously, but it still startled the man and the break was all Ray needed to throw him forward. At first Ray covered, afraid of friendly fire, but the man he'd already chased for two solid freakin' miles into this alley entrance had bear-crawled his way to the turn in the alley and was getting away.
"Hold your fire," Ray heard someone call over the music and the rain and his pounding chest. With that, he lunged to his feet with all the strength he had left and headed forward in pursuit of the man, lungs burning, dredging endurance he didn't expect from some unknown, heretofore untapped place inside.
"You are NOT going to get away from me, dammit!" He sprinted around the corner in time to see the man climbing a chain link fence crossing the alley. "Shit!"
Over the fence, Ray said determinedly to himself. Ignoring various protesting bodily parts, he scrambled up to the top of the rusty fence and leaned over it, grabbing the other side of the fence with his hands, and then let his body weight flip him feet over head. He splashed down on the other side, already in a full sprint. Come on! Push it!
Ray was gaining on the larger man, but his heart was pounding at least two hundred beats per minute and felt as if it would explode at any instant. If only I hadn't dropped my damn pistol, I'd have him now!
Extraction Point! is available for purchase through Barnes-Noble and Amazon, as well as Twilight Times Books.
See other books by Stephanie Osborn at http://www.stephanie-osborn.com