One Picture, One Story
Mike didn’t hear the other patrol car pull up only yards from where he was struggling to get to his vehicle so he was taken by surprise when he heard the door slam. He froze, grasping tightly to a small chunk of granite that was jutting out from the river bank. He tried to quiet his breath, but it seamed so much louder now. He felt the sweat building up on his forehead and begin to drip into his eyes. Too afraid to move, Mike fought the urge to wipe it away even with the stinging it caused. The sound of the officer’s feet seemed to thunder in his ears as they approached the edge of the bank. The officer’s flashlight illuminated the edge of the embankment only centimetres from where Mike stood. Suddenly the footsteps seemed to fade back towards the car again. There was the sound of a muffled voice followed by the crackle of a radio before the door shut and the car drove slowly away.
Mike relaxed slightly, but didn’t move. He was not prepared for the situation he had found himself in. He began silently berating himself for being so impatient that he had to come back. It would have only taken 2 or 3 more days and someone would have noticed and police would have been called. This was only a minor setback, though. He hadn’t been spotted and his car was far enough away, hidden down a wooded road. He waited a few long minutes before he climbed the embankment and stood on flatter ground. He was at a small picnic area just off the highway only 500 metres from where he left his car. He listened for any sounds of cars or people before he began walking towards the road. He stumbled slightly when he put too much weight on his injured ankle, but slowly soldiered on, stopping every few feet to make sure there was no one around. He knew that once he made it to the highway he would be visible to anyone who happened to drive by, so he made his way into the ditch instead. The water was up to his knees and the stale smell filled his nostrils as he waded through, trying not to make too much noise. His ankle was swollen and was slowing him down dramatically as he approached the road he had parked down. The sound of crickets and frogs was almost deafening and hid the sound of displaced water. After what seemed like an hour, he reached the junction and crawled up on all fours to the road level. He was breathing heavily from the long, grueling trek he had just endured and he took a moment to catch his breath. As he lay prone at the side of the road he scanned the area for any sign of the officers. Satisfied that they weren’t around, he slowly stood and limped to his vehicle. He opened the door to get in, smiling smugly to himself as he did so. He had beat them. He had won and he would read about it in the paper tomorrow. He couldn’t wait. He started the car, put it in drive and stepped on the gas slowly. He would need to take the longer route home to escape the risk of being stopped by the police, but he had all night. Suddenly lights exploded in the dark night; horrible red flashing lights from every direction. He jerked to a stop as something rammed into the front of his car. The lights were blinding and the sirens were deafening. His foot stomped down on the gas pedal, but he didn’t move. Smoke began to fill his car and the smell of burning rubber infiltrated his nostrils. He shifted into reverse but was met with the same fate. The sound of glass breaking filled his ear and he felt the strong grip of the officer before he was pulled out and thrown to the ground.