They will suffer from the consequences, forcing me to run, from everything I've ever known. With a sword in my hand, and Erik by my side, I will not be put down. I might be strong, but I'm not sure if I'm strong enough. This isn't a game. I can run, but they will find me. I won't run, I will escape.


5. Safety from a Fear

"There they are!" a deep voice shouted from the top of the hill. The moment shattered, and opened into the last thing we needed. There, standing on the grassy hilltop, in his suit and combed back hair. The Prime Minster. "Seize them!" He screamed to the guards standing at his side. They charged forward, murderous lust in their eyes. Maybe cause they like to kill, or they know there will be a nice reward to whoever kills them. I kicked my way onto my feet, Erik already being up, pulled me up and almost dragged me like a rag-doll. Our weapons strapped to us, we kicked off the world underneath us and ran to places unknown to us.


Neither of us knew where we were going, but I have never known where I've been going. Just having Erik has been enough to know I'm going in the right direction. The Prime Minister was screaming behind us, shouting and yelling filled my ears. All of this among Erik's panting. My feet felt heavy like cement and my eyelids started to burn and itch as if stinging nettles had been rubbed all over my face. What could be the cause of this? Was it the fatigue I was already feeling? Or something much worse?...


I peered back, the guards were on us like a fox on a hare. Not quite there, but pretty damn close.
"Suzanne!" Erik shouted through his long breaths. I turned to him, he was too feeling some sort of weakness. Was it the air? I didn't quite know what to think, but I just kept my mouth open to collect as much oxygen as possible. "I know where we can find cover, I know where I'm going, just keep up!" I nodded, but wasn't sure whether or not he saw it. His eyes seemed to catch what I indicated. I couldn't see where we were going, it was just open land, the valley gave us no advantage or cover. But then I remembered, the river...
Was that part of his plan? Exactly how I wasn't sure.


We eventually got to the thin river, with nothing but the guards to pressure us.
"Follow me!" he commanded. I looked at him, concerned and baffled. Before I could say anything he dived straight into the winter, icily cold water. I quickly scanned behind me, the first guard was heavily armoured, he would definitely just sink in the water. I didn't have time to inspe
ct the other guards. But my wild guess is that they're wearing the same armour. I dived under.


Bloody hell it's freezing! But I didn't resurface, I went as deep as I could. Maybe that would help me dodge the bullets and what knows else. I twisted and turned. Where's Erik?! I couldn't see him, just fish escaping from me and... The guards! One of them was right in front of me, aiming towards me with his gun, badly. It was half the size of him, and he was having trouble with holding it properly let alone trying to shoot on the dot. The other guard was just sinking, trying to gasp for air. He dropped his weapon, I watched it gain it's heavy weight and touch down on the sand. Like a little bomb, the sand exploded at impact. I was pulled.


My arm was twisted to the side with a sharp and painful grip. What the hell is it?! My mouth was then covered with something warm and curved. Then the same happened to my eyes. I was blinded. I could only hear murmurs of the voices under the water. My ears were drowning. I was pushed under the pressure of the water, and then raised above. Air! The warmth removed itself. I could see again. It was dark, pitch black actually. Where am I? I outstretched my arms, feeling for anything to give me a sign. Stone? It was damp, hard and cold. Where am I? I turned to feel around a bit more.
"Ow!" someone shouted in the disguise of a whisper. I jerked my hands back.
"Erik? Is that you?" I almost screamed.
"Shush! Yes it's me, keep quiet." He whimpered almost. He knew we were in trouble, and he was scared. I couldn't see his face, but he's probably putting on a brave face like he normally does.


"Where are we?" I asked. I knew I should be quiet, but where am I? I heard him groan slightly.
"An air pocket at the top of a cave hidden behind weeds. I found it a while back when I used to go swimming a lot in the river." That did explain it, but it raised more questions.
"Why did you go so far to go swimming?" he always went to the part of the river only 10 minutes away from the house. How does he know about this air pocket? Lucky he does though.
"I was really mad at Stephanie, so I went for a long walk, and came across this part of the river. I just dived in, I don't know why. It felt like water from another place though..." his voice trailed off a bit.


I floated there, franticly kicking my legs and flapping my hands to stay above the water level. I'm alright at swimming enjoy it in fact. But I much prefer to be dry, not as heavy and easier to move about. Water makes me feel like gravity is against me, the forces pulling me further into the unknown world below me. It's a fear I've had for a while, but I have reasons, since that fateful day. I must have been eight, maybe nine. But I remember it crystal clear, like a recurring nightmare, but I don't wake up screaming, cause I know I'm awake, so I try to keep it locked up. Suffer in silence. But I know, the vision will always pierce a new mental scar in me, every time I think back to it.


I shook my head wildly, like a viscous animal. I can't remember it now! Not now! Erik noticed my shaking and unusual behaviour. I never told him, I never told him to be honest. I didn't want to bother anyone with my issues and fears, even though everyone kept asking me. Over and over again. I have almost told Erik, but the words always got stuck in throat. I didn't want him to know of what I saw, I didn't want anyone to know of what I have seen.
"You okay Suzanne?" his voice was husky and quiet. He was in fear of being discovered, as was I. But Erik had his three younger sister to think about, and Stephanie, but she was old enough to take care of herself.


I looked up to him, but I knew I wouldn't be able to see him. No light meant no vision.
"Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine," I stuttered a bit, I was shaking. I didn't want to stay here anymore, I needed to breathe, I need to be in open spaces. I'm not good with tight spaces, but when there's deep water underneath me, that's when I'm frightened. I'm not scared of fire, heights, spiders, the dark. I'm not one to be scared, but tight spaces are where I have to draw the line. That and water. Water I prefer to be honest. Something crept on my shoulder. I jumped. My muscles tensed and squeezed to get smaller. I swam a little to the left, leaving it behind me.
"Suzanne, it's my arm, don't worry. And for the record, I know you're not alright." I relaxed a bit.


I let him put his arm around my shoulders, and got closer into him. Erik had a familiar smell, not like an odour or a perfume. Just his body's natural scent, it was comforting. I leant my head against his chest, but kept my ears open. My alertness was at its highest, I wasn't letting my guard down. They're probably waiting for us up there, guns, grenades and all sorts at the ready. Or maybe they've fallen for it and they are currently running down the river never taking their eye off the water. Waiting for us to emerge, gasping for air. Well they're going to be disappointed. The image of them blowing our eyes out probably fills them with satisfaction and achievement.


"I think we can go now, they're probably gone," he took back his arm, his warmth. I could hear him fidgeting about, trying to find the exit. I began to feel dizzy from the lack of oxygen, a fuzziness growing in my throat. "I'll go first," he declared. I felt his hand on my forearm, "Just follow me, hold onto my leg. I'll try not to kick," he took my arm and led it to his leg. I grasped my hand firmly around his calf, his muscles were hardening up. "You ready?" his voice was slightly deeper then. I nodded, licking my dry lips, gripping tighter to his leg, almost clawing at it.
"Yeah." with that syllable, his kicked gently like a dolphin and dived. I closed my eyes and kicked my legs to give try and be less of a burden to him. After a moment of almost and sinking, we met the surface. My lungs breathed in the usual oxygen. There was no guards. We were safe. For now.

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