Brightness

"I can see the lights," she called, urging me along with sweet encouragement that defied our situation.

"Then don't take your eyes off 'em, doll!"  Good advice though it is, my intent was more to keep her from looking back.  My left leg wasn't working quite right, turning my attempt at running into a pathetic sort of harried lurching.  The gash in my side wasn't getting any smaller.  And worst of all, even after all thirteen rounds from my 9 mm, we weren't alone.

Undergrowth tore at my clothes.  Roots sprang forth to trip up my already clumsy feet.  A night sky as pitch black as fear itself mocked us from above, told us there was no hope in heaven either.  But she, my sweet Caroline, could see the lights, see some brightness, probably a gaudy truck stop or some one intersection town nestled up here in the mountains.

"Harlan," she called hesitantly.

"Yeah, doll?"

"Is now a good time?"

"No, doll, we ain't that far up a creek yet."

"But, I could...it's just...and you're, well..."

"I'm fine.  Keep moving."

"Cause I could just do it, and..."

My scream interrupted her as something heavy and rough caught me in the bag, pushing me forward and tearing at the same time.  Stupid Jabberwocky was faster than I'd remembered.  Luckily I kept my feet, staggering at double speed with the momentum.

I caught sight of Caroline, my little four foot two dynamo in a blue checked dress and white stockings, her eyes aglow with energy and rage.  I hit the deck; she was going to do it.

Some knight I turned out to be.

The End

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