FLIGHT 12 FLASH FICTION CONTEST PART 4

Okay here we go with the 4th installment of guess who wrote this. Scroll to the 4th part of the story if you’ve already read the first 3, otherwise leave your guesses in the comments.

A-Cheryl Bradshaw

B-Allan Leverone

C-Diane Capri

D-Aaron Patterson

The Trip

 

Part 1

Gary Ponzo

 

Kyle Church didn’t notice the car until it was too late.  A red Ford Fiesta.  Something a teenager would drive, not a twenty year veteran of the CIA.  A professional spy who could who could appear as a woman as easily as a man.  The taxi driver had no clue someone was following them either.  It was only Kyle’s experience which picked up the tail.  Manhattan was the easiest place to hide in plain sight.  Nothing seemed out of place.  They were only twenty minutes from JFK and yet they might as well have been on the moon.  There was no chance he’d make Flight 12 alive.  Not as long as he still held the device in his pocket.

Kyle leaned forward and said, “Pull over.”

The taxi driver glanced at his rearview mirror with annoyance in his eyes.  “Now?  You’re not going to the airport?”

“No.”

The driver kept staring at him through the mirror as if his glare might change Kyle’s mind.

Now!” Kyle barked.

The driver reluctantly maneuvered his taxi to the right lane, receiving a few horn blasts as he squeezed between slow-moving cars.

That’s when things went wrong.

Part 2- Brett Battles

Before the driver reached the curb, the Fiesta slammed into the back end of the cab. Kyle, having seen the car suddenly dart forward, had been able to brace himself. The driver, however, was not so lucky. His face bounced off the inflating airbag, breaking his nose and knocking him back into his headrest.

Kyle tossed the twenty he’d been holding over the seat, threw the door open, and hurdled himself outside.   As his feet hit the asphalt, he heard another door open but resisted the urge to glance over his shoulder. He knew it would be the guy from the Fiesta jumping out, too. What he needed to worry about was getting away.   The sidewalk to Kyle’s right was filled with pedestrians, most stopped now and looking toward the accident. Beyond them were several office buildings, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to make it through the crowd before he’d get caught.

That left him only one choice.

Staying low, he hurried around the front of the cab, and ran out into the still moving traffic. Horns blared and drivers yelled, but Kyle ignored them all as he weaved his way down the street.   There was an intersection ahead. If he could turn down it, he might be able to shake lose his tail. Unconsciously, he touched the device in his pocket as he looked for an opening between cars that would take him that way.   He saw a narrow path appear just ahead.   He was going to make it, he thought. He just needed to—

The boom of a gunshot echoed down the street.

Part 3

Joshua Graham

Out of sheer reflex, he dropped to a knee on the asphalt, his hand gripping the door handle of the alarmed driver of a car now stopped at a red light.

A quick glance up.

42nd and Madison.

A few cars ahead, a black Honda idled at the front of the lane just beneath the traffic signal, which glared haltingly red.

His pursuer couldn’t possibly see him crouching down between the columns of cars. But that also meant Kyle couldn’t seem him either.

Tuning out the din of cars, buses, and the endless stream of humanity crossing the street, swarming the sidewalk, and scurrying in and out of Grand Central Station like so many ants of a colony, it was the absence of the agent’s pounding footfalls, the hammer of his gun cocking, or any other such noise testifying to his presence that troubled Kyle.

Had the agent lost sight of him that easily, or was he just really stealthy?

The spook was really bad at this.

Or really good.

A solution presented itself.

Kyle crept forward head down along 42nd Street between the cars on either side of him. The light on the Madison Avenue side of the intersection turned yellow.

His heart raced.

The black Honda was just a few feet away.

The driver’s side door locks were up.

Good.

In one swift move, Kyle would swing open the door, pull the driver out, climb in and slam the accelerator. The entire sequence would take less than two seconds to execute.

Ready…

Go!

Keeping low, Kyle sprinted forward, grabbed the handle, and pulled the door open.

The wide-eyed driver spit out his coffee. “Hey! What the hell—?”

“I need this car, sorry.”

Kyle grabbed his arm, pulled him out, and threw him to the ground.

Just as he let go of the man’s arm, another gunshot exploded behind him.

Kyle couldn’t help but notice the surprise on every pedestrian’s face as they turned to look down the street behind him.

He jumped into the car, flung the door shut, and floored the accelerator.

The light was still red.

He didn’t have a choice.

Tires screaming, he sped into the busy intersection where a Toyota Highlander racing to beat the changing light nearly sideswiped him.

He spun the steering wheel in a quick evasive maneuver and back into the center of the intersection.

As soon as he cleared the Highlander, he almost rammed the tail of a bus going the opposite direction of the Highlander.

Kyle swore and swerved around the tail of the bus, scraping paint off its bumpers.

He made it through the intersection, just shy of hitting a few people midstride in the crosswalk. They swore, shook angry fists, and honored his driving skills with a one-finger salute.

In the rear view mirror, he caught a glimpse of something that evoked a smile, then an adrenalin-laced laugh.

“Loser!” he shouted, and scoffed.

Stuck at the intersection of 42nd and Madison, the black suited CIA agent stood there shaking his head, talking into a cellphone, and staring at Kyle speeding away to freedom.

Kyle laughed again, but this time it brought a stab of pain into his left triceps.

Must have bumped it on the door getting into the stolen car.

Racing eastbound to the entrance of the Midtown Tunnel, he reached over to touch the bruise.

Only, it wasn’t a bruise.

A wet viscous warmth spread across his fingers as he touched the back of his arm.

And the tear in his sleeve.

Blood oozed out of it profusely.

The realization brought a painful jolt that emanated from his head to the bullet wound.

Up ahead, the tunnel entrance was relatively clear of traffic, for a change.

Weaving through the cars in his way, Kyle drove into the yawning mouth of the  Midtown Tunnel.

Vision blurred, his head grew light.

An arctic chill coursed through his entire body.

He’d been hit.

Part 4

????????

“Dammit, dammit, dammit.” Kyle wondered how long he had been whispering the words as he sped through the tunnel. He had retained control of the device, but his victory would be short-lived if he passed out before reaching the airport.

And there was another issue.

The pursuing agent would be right behind him. The man had probably already commandeered his own vehicle and was even now narrowing the gap between them.

How much does he know?

 The answer to that question might well determine whether Kyle Church would survive the night. If the CIA was aware of the connection between the device and Flight 12, he knew he had no chance. They would be waiting at the departure gate and would pick him off without raising a sweat.

He pressed a hand against the bullet wound and sucked air in through jaws clenched tightly shut. He exited the tunnel and aimed the Honda toward JFK, accelerator pressed almost to the floor and damn the speed limits.

The cityscape blurred and cleared, blurred and cleared. Each time it happened the blurriness lasted a little longer than the last.

Kyle cursed.

He wasn’t going to make it.

He slid his tongue between his teeth and clamped down hard, gasping at the bright flash of pain that followed. Coppery-tasting blood flooded his mouth and his eyes watered and overflowed, tears rolling down the face of a man who hadn’t cried in decades.

But the trick worked. The impending blackout receded.

For now.

Kyle pushed even harder, aiming the little Honda at JFK and Flight 12 like a guided missile.

 

 

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