[World of the Wends]
Amie raced down the main road. The glare of the two afternoon suns reflected off the pebbles dazzling her. Had it always been so bright? It seemed the recent rain had polished the stones making them shimmer as if sunlight on snow. Amie’s eyes ached with the glare.
But she kept on running. She could just make out the doctor’s house at the end of the street. Had the doctor taken Joseph there?
Amie tried not to think of what the mob might be doing to Joseph right now. But the more she tried, the more frequent images of his torture—hanging from a tree—in stocks—thrown in a river—kept crowding her mind.
She powered on.
The road appeared empty like she was moving through a ghost town. Not a good sign.
Must be all out there crucifying Joseph.
‘There she is!’
‘She’s always with the boy.’
‘She must be a witch too!’
The thunder of boots and hooves startled her.
‘Get her!’ they shouted.
Amie looked back. The angry horde rushed at her. Her heart jumped. Her legs moved. She turned and ran.
For Amie. She was trapped in this bubble where everything crawled at snail’s pace, like in a bad dream where you’re trying to cross the road before being run down by a car and you hardly move.
Did God press the slow-motion button? Each step, Amie groaned and plodded like one of those old ladies inching across the bitumen. Even the thumps of blood through her veins seemed so slow it must be congealing. The shouts and cries deepened to agonised grunts and growls as if played at slow speed.
What’s happening? Snap out of it!
Move legs. Faster. Faster! Don’t stop!
They’re gaining on me.
I can see their eyes. Bloodshot. Red. The veins in their cheeks popping. Fists raised hammering. In slow motion.
Amie pumped her shins harder.
The stones under her feet crunched.
Behind the cries pierced the air. She glanced back. Fingers stabbed the space above their heads.
Amie turned and ran.
Then she stopped. She switched her head left and right and behind. She’d put some distance between the mob and her.
The doctor’s house was on her right.
Worth a try.
She jumped the fence, and scrambled up the apple tree.
If they want to hang me, they’ll have to catch me first, she reasoned.
The crowd surged past the doctor’s house. They were blind with rage.
Amie launched from branch to the drain-pipe and then climbed up the pipe. As she reached the window-ledge to the second storey, she glanced down.
Well, I’ll be.
Her pursuers had disappeared around the corner. She heard one of them yelling, ‘Where did she go?’
Amie squatted on the window ledge and gripping the heart-shaped hole in the shutter, pulled it open. Then working her fingers in the gap in the window-frame, pried open one of the glass panels.
She crawled in. Once inside, she closed the window and shutter behind her.
Amie stared at the bed covered in green and orange tapestry. She couldn’t help thinking of the classic film, The Sound of Music. With stiff legs, she walked towards the bed. She needed to sit and catch her breath for a while. And then decide what to do.
The door creaked open.
Doctor Zwar appeared before her.
[…to be continued]
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2018
Feature Photo: Roman Tunnel Switzerland © L.M. Kling 2014