I am going to publish a novel I am working on as I write it. I’m about 8 chapters in. All feedback very welcome. I hope you enjoy my first foray into fiction –
The call came over the radio while they were on their way back to the station after a call out on a noise complaint. Strange for a Tuesday night, but not unheard of in the outlying suburbs in one of the capital cities in the country.
It was raining, fat drops that smashed into the windscreen of the police car and spattered in every direction before the wipers could swipe them away. A call for any cars in the vicinity to head towards the 24 hour convenience store on Crystal Street. An armed robbery had just taken place, the clerk was unharmed, two assailants were fleeing south.
Carmel Glover flicked the switch that lit the lights and eased down on the accelerator. She heard Paul take a deep breath next to her. They were five blocks east, she took the next left and was glad it was almost 3am and not a car was moving on the street that would lead them to Crystal Street, the main drag of this part of the world.
She took another left and pulled back off the accelerator. Of course there were cars here, there always were. The street was a hot spot, with nightclubs, sex shops and legal brothels running parallel to each other.
Two cars ahead of her were pulling to the side of the road to let them pass, she gunned the engine and swerved around them, not wanting to lose momentum.
Paul pointed to the right and she saw two men running up ahead. They turned right onto Smith Street and she lost sight of them. By the time they got onto Smith Street there was only one of them still running straight ahead. The other had peeled off, either left or right into one of the many lanes that serviced the businesses on Crystal Street.
He was headed for the large park that sprawled for almost a block and a half, where many of the cities homeless had taken up residence in. Then in a flash he was gone, through the thick trees that lined this side of the park.
She screeched to the curb and they both bounced out of the car running. The rain had turned the grass of the park to something like mulch. It sucked at her boots as she sprinted towards the gap in the trees the assailant had slipped through. Paul was right beside her, his long legs scissoring as he settled into a lope she envied.
Paul got through the treeline first and slowed as he pulled out his metal mag light, shining it back and forth in in the hopes of it catching the fleeing form.
‘There’ he motioned with his arm. The man had taken a path that ran left, towards the underpass that would land him with one of three directions to run.
He was flagging, she could see that right away. They were getting closer, she knew they would catch up to him either before he hit the underpass, or not much after. It turned out it was not much after.
They slowed at the entrance to the underpass. They knew he was armed, it would have been madness to go in blind. But Pauls flashlight showed he was still running and not looking back. His running shoes kicking up water from the puddles that had gathered on the concrete under the overpass.
It was at the moment they reached a silent agreement to keep chasing that man seemed to stagger and slide. One of his feet had found a puddle that was hiding a dinner plate sized shallow hole.
His arms flailing he came to an almost stop. She heard the sound of the snap that kept their guns holstered and Paul had his gun in hand, shouting at the still doubled over body in front of them to stop. With his shoulders set the man pulled himself up into a standing position and turned around slowly, the beam from the light in Pauls hand not holding the gun illuminated his face and Carmels world stopped.
Without a second thought she screamed ‘RUN’. She saw the confusion flicker across his face, and without a sound he turned and started sprinting again. Paul threw her a look of anger and went to start after him but she grabbed the arm of his that was still holding the gun, trying desperately to get purchase and stop him. His coat was slick from the rain and she thought he was going to slip out of her grasp, but at the last moment his jacket pulled, the momentum turning him towards her.
‘No’ she said to him. It seemed to herself that her voice was coming from far away. But it was strong enough to stop Paul. He shone his flashlight into her face. She looked as if she had seen a ghost.