Category : Stories
“So, I was thinking,” Georgia began awkwardly as they walked towards the carpark after another training session. “Maybe we could meet one time when we’re not kicking the crap out of each other, like in the pub or something?”
“Whatever for?” Helen laughed as she took her car keys from the pocket of her gym bag and moved towards her car.
“Never mind,” Georgia crinkled her brow; she wasn’t usually this bad at reading the signs. “Just to be social, but I guess spies don’t do social.”
“Wouldn’t be very covert, would it?” Helen laughed.
Georgia shrugged and turned away. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”
“Don’t you want a lift?”
“No, I’ll take the air.”
She stood watching Georgia walk away, wondering if she would turn back, but she didn’t. She sighed.
When Georgia was out of sight, Helen turned back towards her car to be met with a knife in her face.
“Gimme the keys,” the rather scruffy man with sallow jowls, bloodshot eyes and the twitch of someone going through withdrawal trembled slightly as he pointed the blade.
“Really?” Helen raised a curious eyebrow. “You chose this carpark to try this in? How did you even find it?”
The man edged closer still pointing the trembling knife in her face. A smile twitched at the corners of Helen’s mouth as she made a cursory review of his presence, estimating his threat level to be very low.
“Stop!” A cry caused both her and her assailant to glance around. Two young women, dressed as though they were heading out for the evening were standing on the other side of the carpark. They both had their phones out and were pointing them at the man. “We’re filming you, it’s going live on social media so there’s no point trying to get our phones, leave her alone!”
Helen rolled her eyes as the man faltered. Now he was trying to decide whether to attack the women or Helen.
“For god’s sake,” Helen tossed her car keys at him, they landed on the floor on the side away from the women. “It’s only a bloody machine, just take it.”
His decision made for him, he scrambled to get the keys from the floor and unlocked the car. Helen moved calmly towards the two women.
“Thank you, that was very brave,” she said as she tried to usher them out of the carpark.
“We need to call the police!” One of them said. “All the evidence is posted. We’ll get your car back!”
“Thank you,” Helen smiled charmingly. “I will. Give me your numbers and I’ll be in touch.”
Just then an explosion sent them flying through the air. Helen rolled upon hitting the concrete, as she had been trained to do, but the impact, combined with the ringing in her ears disoriented her. What was going on? What just happened?
Looking across she saw one of the women she had just been talking to leaning against a car. She was at least unconscious, as she wasn’t moving. Helen tried to shake herself out of it and find the other woman, but something was stopping her from moving. What was it? She was trapped under something. Something heavy. It looked like, concrete, or some sort of building material. She reached out to touch it, hard, like concrete. It was crushing her legs. First she tried to pull them free, but this didn’t work. Then she tried pushing at the object, but she was at the wrong angle to get any real power behind it. Then someone was lifting it off. Helen squinted against the flames which were behind the silhouette. It heaved at the object, then when it was lifted enough for Helen to free herself it dropped it unceremoniously away from her.
“Are you alright?” It was Georgia. Helen nodded. “Can you stand?” She was barely audible against the ringing in Helen’s ears but the gesture was clear, she held out her hand.
Helen allowed herself to be pulled to her feet just as ambulances and fire engines descended on the carpark. The power of social media, Helen thought.
“Can you walk?” Georgia was asking.
“Yes,” Helen examined herself. She was cut and bleeding, but she couldn’t feel anything. Must be the adrenaline. “We should get inside.”
“And find out who put a bomb in your car,” Georgia agreed as she helped her back towards the building.
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The Duplicate Affair
Written by C H Clepitt
Copyright Claire Evans 2019.
This is a work of fiction. All persons, places and events are products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to persons, living or deceased, places of business or residence or actual events is purely coincidental.