Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pursuit

"Hurry!" Dill grabbed Sam's shoulder and pulled him inside the hut, slamming the door behind him. He leaned with his back against the door and tried to discern sounds of pursuit.

"What--?"

"Shh!" Dill put a finger to his lips as footsteps thumped past the door, stopped, returned. The latch was a simple lever into an inverted T of steel, easy to raise until he clasped both bar and socket between thumb and forefinger. He could feel the pressure increase as Mr. Xio tried the handle from the outside. The bar began, millimetre by millimetre, to move.

Sam added his own leverage and the movement stopped. Outside, they heard Mr. Xio mutter about rust and move on. Dill counted to sixty before he relaxed.

"What were we running for?" Sam ripped open a packet of raw bacon and started eating. "We could have ripped his head off."

"Sam?" Dill held his flatmate's shoulders and looked him in the eyes. "Two reasons. One, Mr. Xio is a nice man who does a difficult job at all hours for very little thanks, and two, he had a bloody great sword."

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