Nellie: Fight or Flight?

I squeaked again at the sounds of the crowd outside the barn, banging on the doors to get in.  I wasn't sure how we were going to get out of this one.  Even Jon had lowered his bow and was helping Katrina hold up the barricade we had hastily constructed to keep them out.

'Jon we're not going to get out of this by fighting them,' Katrina said, her breathing uneven.  'Is there any other way out of here?'

'I don't know,' he said, looking slightly panicked.  'I wish I did, but I don't.'  At this I stood up from where I'd been curled up on the floor and began walking around the walls of the barn.  'What are you doing?'  Jon called to me as I began tapping the planks of wood that held the building in place.

'Looking for a way out,' I said simply, moving as fast as I could but trying not to let the people outside know what I was doing.  

I almost cried with joy when one of the planks of wood wobbled as I hit it.  Trying to be as careful as possible I pulled at the wood.  It came away easily.  'Guys,' I hissed, 'I think I've found a way out.'  I looked through the gap and was relieved to see it backed onto a group of trees that were thick enough for us to hide in.

'Do you think you can fit?'  I asked as Katrina looked a little skeptically at the hole.

'I'm not sure.  What do you think Jon?'

'It's worth a try,' he said, crouching down beside me.  'I don't see any other options at the moment.'

There was a crash from behind us and we all turned towards the door.  With no one supporting the barricade it was beginning to break and fall apart.  The crowd would have broken it down in a matter of moments.

'I don't think there's any time to lose,' Jon said, getting down on his hands and knees and beginning to squeeze himself through the gap.  Both Katrina and I were holding our breath and as soon as he had made it through we both breathed a sigh of relief.  It had been tight but he'd made it.

'Your turn,' Katrina said, motioning to me.

'No, I'm smallest, it will be easier for me.  You go next.'

Slightly reluctantly, Katrina crawled through the gap, Jon helping her to get out the other side.  The doors were opening as Katrina's feet disappeared through the hole and I fell to the floor.

I was halfway through the hole, Jon was holding out his hand to me, when I felt a hand grip my ankle.  I screamed, reaching out for Jon and Katrina as panic set in as I was dragged backwards.  Jon lunged forward, grabbing both my hands and pulling for all he was worth.

'Jon I'm slipping,' I said, as the sweat on my hands made it harder for me to keep a strong hold on Jon.

'No you're not,' he said through gritted teeth, the effort showing on his face.  'I'm not going to let you go.'  There were two or three pairs of hands on me now, all trying to pull me back through the hole.  I lashed out, trying to kick them and make them lose their grip.

I made contact, prompting a loud groan as someone staggered backwards, letting go of my ankles.  That was all Jon needed to pull me through the gap and out of reach of our attackers.

I thanked him with my eyes, my chest still rising and falling unevenly from the panic that had gripped me.  Jon took my hand and Katrina's and we ran as fast as we could towards the trees.

The End

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