Rats in a cageMature

She didn't have to tell me twice. Without hesitation, we flew into the car, shut the door, then took off like a bat out of hell back around the factory. Except we didn't quite make it that far, because our path was blocked by several black Ferraris, each being driven by an angry thug. Claire slammed on the breaks and turned left, leaving a huge black streak on the road and coming extremely close to hitting one of the Ferraris, and then sped back the way we came.

I looked in the rear view mirror and saw that a few of the thugs had gotten out of their cars, and were holding some sort of large gun. I was about to warn Claire, but as I tried to begin my sentence, I saw five silver spears flying towards the car.

"Drive!" I shouted. No more than a second later, we heard three hits on the car. It didn't sound like anything was broken, so we thought we were okay, until the car stopped abruptly. Claire kept pushing on the gas but it wasn't doing any good. Worried, I got out of the car to investigate, and saw that three spears attached to ropes were sticking out of the car, but these weren't the kind of spears shot from guns that people fish with. No, these were full length, Spartan sized silver spears. I looked back  to see that the guns they were attached too were now wedged in between the ferraris. Claire ran to the back a couple seconds later and started screaming curse words. Then, in what seemed like a very strange idea, she grabbed onto one of the spears and tried to pull it out.

"Don't just stand there, help me!" I wrapped my hands around the same spear she had, and we stood there pulling at it with all of our might. I think we may have moved it an eighth of an inch. "Fuck!" She screamed. "We're stuck, now what do we do?!" She tried pulling again, this time putting her feet against the back of the car. I began to panic, I had no idea what to do. I looked back and saw that the thugs were now running towards us, and I began to see my life flash before my eyes (which wasn't all that bad).

And then it hit me.

"Wait right here!" I told Claire as I ran back into the car.

"Tell me Martindale, where exactly do I have to go right now?!" I looked on my seat and threw the bubble wrap out of the car. Then I grabbed the machete with my right hand, which was still hurt from the cut, and climbing the gate, and rushed back to Claire. She turned her head for a split second and saw the machete. "Right! I had completely forgot about that!" She climbed down from the spear and took the machete out of my hand. Then she walked to one of the ropes, and swung the machete down onto it, severing it instantly. "One down." She said to herself. She raised her arm for the second one, and as she sliced the second rope in two, a thought came over me.

"Wait, I thought I saw five spears." I mumbled, and just as I was saying that I heard a faint click. I didn't even have to look to know what was happening. "Claire! Move!" I cried out. She turned to see what I was talking about just in time to see it pass through her right arm, just barely missing the car for a fourth time. She screamed out in pain and let the machete fall to the ground so she could pull out the spear. I was stunned, had the spear been just an inch close in it may have severed her arm clean off. She looked up at me.

"Jason, cut the last rope." I grabbed the machete and made my way to the third and final rope. I've never cut anything that wasn't food before, so this experience was definitely a new one. I took a deep breath. I put both hands on the machete handle and held it like a sword. I took another deep breath. I closed my eyes, and then opened them again because I realized that was a bad idea. I thought about other famous swordsmen, how gracefully and masterfully they seemed to be with their weapon, and then I began to think about "The Princess Bride." And that thought gave me all the motivation I needed to raise the machete above my head and shout my battle cry.

"Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father, prepare to die!" I swung the machete down on the word die. As I loosened my grip on the machete I saw that the rope was on the ground. I had succeeded! We could get out of here now! I went to check on Claire, who's arm was bleeding like crazy. "Do we have anything in the car we can use to bandage that?"

"I'll do it when we're in the car, you need to drive."

"I didn't bring my license!"

"If we do get caught by the police, do you really think that their biggest concern was that you were driving without a LICENSE!?" She made a good point. I helped her to her feet and then ran to the steering wheel. As she climbed into the passenger seat I looked back to see how close the thugs were. Had we been just fifteen seconds slower, we'd probably be dead. Not wanting to risk it, I floored the gas and drove forward. Claire told me to drive onto the field that the dogs went to, and that sounded like a good idea to me.

As I drove the car I felt a huge rush of adrenaline pulse through my veins. I never imagined that I would ever be chased by murderers, or whatever they were. I began to experience a wide range of emotions. I felt worry for Claire, I felt anger towards the men chasing us, I felt confusion about the situation in it's entirety, and I even felt a bit of lust because, even though she was in massive amounts of pain, I could still smell her perfume. I wasn't sure which of these emotions was the strongest, but they all eventually led to the same conclusion.

"Claire, I know this is really weird, but I am having SO much fun right now!" She let her head roll towards me on the rest and gave the closest thing to a smile she could possibly give in her current condition. I felt incredible, like nothing could stop us now.

I heard a gun shot go off about a football field away. I wasn't able to react until after the bullet punctured the back right tire. I began to lose control of the car, and had to turn the steering wheel left and right to stabilize in and make sure that the car didn't flip. Another shot went off and hit my door. And just like that, all of my emotions flew away. And, as I slid the car to a stop, a completely new one took over. Terror.

I got out of the car. I don't know what I was thinking, maybe that I could somehow rationalize with them. As they approached, I saw the one with the gun reloading his magazine. I swallowed, knowing that there was a great possibility that I wouldn't wake up tomorrow. When they were finally within a reasonable distance, one of the thugs spoke.

"You didn't do too bad a job, kid." He lit a cigarette and blew a puff of smoke to the air. He offered me one, I politely declined. "I gotta hand it to you kid, you got a lot of guts trying to help your friend here take us on. But me and my boys don't want to see you get hurt, so let's make us a deal shall we? You let us take the girl out of the car, and we won't bother you no more."

I swallowed again. "You're not taking her."

"Kid, you've already proven your courage to us. Enough is enough, and I'm sure that you want to sees your family again." He extended a large hand, and smiled widely. "Do we have a deal?"

I stared at the hand for about two seconds before I grabbed it. He smiled wider. "See? Was that so hard?" As we shook it up, I swooped down onto his thumb and bit down as hard as I could.  I began to taste blood when he started screaming angrily, and then I felt his other hand grab my throat. He tried to pick me up, but I only bit down harder. By the time a few of the other thugs pulled me off of his hand, I had sufficient ripped off a large chuck of his thumb. He wasn't smiling anymore. "You little punk. I'm going to enjoy slitting your little..." He stopped speaking. At first I was confused, but then I heard it. A loud, deep growl coming from behind me. And then another. And then another, until it sounded like a whole pack of them. The thug was staring at them with more fear than I have ever seen in another human being.

"Don't move Mickey." Whispered the thug nearest to him. "They might not come after us." Mickey, the first one to talk, slowly began to take a small pistol out of his pocket. He carefully raised it up to elbow level, aimed at the dog that was closest to him, and pulled the trigger. The bullet missed, but the noise seemed to anger every single canine behind me, as they all began to charge at the thugs. They were able to take the ones holding onto me, and as soon as they bit onto them, they ripped them to shreds. I ducked to the ground and covered my head just after I saw the remaining thugs running for their lives. I couldn't take all of the commotion, and thought that I had no chance at survival, so I fainted.

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Several hours had passed before I was woken up. I opened my eyes to see Claire shaking me, and all of the dogs lying asleep in the field. I couldn't see any sign that the thugs had ever been there.

"Good, you're awake." She stated. I noticed that she managed to bandage her arm up quite well. "I probably should've told you about the dogs. They don't attack unless they hear signs of violence." I began to sat up. She held out a banana to me.

"Right, I knew I forgot something." I said as I took the banana and consumed it quickly. I looked up to her. "You have a lot of explaining to do, you know that right?"

"And you'll have to explain why you quoted "The Princess Bride" while we were in danger." We laughed for a moment, but my question was still in the air. "Believe me, I will. Another time though, it's late and we've had a long night. I'll take you home."

The drive home wasn't too spectacular. There were very few signs of life, a lot of lights, and I had trouble keeping my eyes open. I took a look at my watch, which read 3:14 a.m.. I only had a few hours to sleep until I had to be at school. As Claire pulled into her driveway and turned off the car, she looked to me and I saw her eyes sparkle. I wasn't sure if her eyes were just like that at night, or if they were watering, either way they looked beautiful.

"You were really brave to try and protect me," she began. "Or maybe just insane. Either way, I can't thank you enough." She smiled one last time before we both got out of the car. She walked into her house and I walked across the lawn to mine. Then I fell into my bed and closed my eyes. I felt the best, and worst, that I've felt in a long time. And as terrifying as it was, all I wanted to do was relive this night.

The End

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