Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chapter 13 – “A Ghost takes Flight”


by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

(Copyright 2011 Kevin Paul Shaw Broden)

Chapter 13 – “A Ghost takes Flight”

Donald Raymond was trapped. Police officers surrounded him, with their guns drawn and pointed at him. This is madness, he thought. What was he doing here?

Less then twenty-four hours ago his brother-in-law Adrian died while wearing this mask and running about the city as the Masked Ghost. Now it looked like Donald was about to join him in the grave.

He was here, and doing what he was doing, for his wife. It was for Margaret that he was risking everything to find out what happened to her brother.

“Now, you just stand there, fella. Don’t do anything harsh.”

Donald looked at the uniformed officer who was addressing him. He was young, clean-shaven. This was probably the most action the kid had seen since going the force. His brothers in blue looked grimmer, their hands much dirtier. He wondered why they were letting a boy take the lead. Could this be some type of initiation night? Though the boy might hesitate to fire, the others wouldn’t.

They might even have orders to kill the Masked Ghost.

Right now, Donald Raymond was the Masked Ghost.

He prayed a silent apology to his wife for having failed.

“Now, why don’t you just take that there mask off,” the young officer said. “Slowly like.”

He looked the boy in the eyes, and saw fear. Donald hardly felt a threat to anyone. Cautiously he raised his hands to his face. What could he do, attack police officers? How many had Adrian fought off?

At that moment there was movement and a sound beneath them. The drunk, the Masked Ghost had saved only moments ago, moaned loudly in his sleep. Only two of the officers turned at the noise, but it was all the time the vigilante needed to act.

“Watch out, he’s got a gun!” One of them shouted.

The cold metal felt strange in Donald’s hand. What am I doing?

The Masked Ghost pulled the trigger, and the grappling hook shot straight up in the air. A second later Donald felt his arm yank as the hook bit cement and took hold on the roof of the building. The flywheel began to pull him up.

The cable yanked him upward and the Masked Ghost flew. In only a few seconds he was yards above them.

“Shoot him,” shouted one of the officers below, “damn you all. Shoot him!”

Donald heard the guns blast below him and something whizzed past his ear.

He panicked and his wild motion caused the cable to swing inward towards the building. Donald wanted to put his hands over his eyes, but was terrified he’d let go of the grappling gun. So he ducked his head and prayed that the wide brimmed hat and the mask would protect his face as he crashed through the glass window.

The Masked Ghost hit the floor and rolled, the grappling gun flung from his hand as it was pulled back through the window and out of site as it continued to roll in the cable. He stood up to find a man and woman in their bed. Both were staring at him in utter horror.

“Get after him,” a shout could be heard from outside.

Donald looked at the scared couple and could only shrug. “Excuse me, just taking a shortcut.”

He ran out of their bedroom door and down past the bathroom and kitchen through the living room. Only three locks on their door. They were concerned someone would break in. Now he was breaking out.

Out in the hall he could here the heavy foot falls of the police running up the three flights of stairs. He thought of ducking back into the apartment. “That poor couple has been through enough.”

So he turned and heading in the opposite direction from the sound and up the stairs towards the floors above. The police were only a floor beneath him when the Masked Ghost reached the roof of the apartment building.

He found the grappling gun clattered across the rocky surface, the cable looked like fishing line tangled up in the wheel. It would do him no good.

The Masked Ghost felt for the heavy weight in his other pocket, but Donald didn’t want to draw forth the gun. He certainly had no intention of shooting at the police, but he knew they didn’t hold any such reservations.

The police officers burst out through the roof door. This time the young office hung back, the others were mad and they were going to do the dirty work.

Donald was terrified, but he had to do something, otherwise he’d be dead in a few short seconds. Backing away from the officers, his heal struck against the ledge of the building. One wrong move and he’d fall to the street below. He remembered what it was like to walk scaffolding of the high construction sites of the cities skyscrapers. This was nothing, but it would still kill him. With those memories in mind, a decision was made.

The vigilante dove at the police officers. So startled no one could get off a shot, and if they had, might well strike one another. He knocked them aside as he ran.

“I’m sorry,” he said to the young officer as he pushed him back into the others and kept on running.

“Get him!” One of them shouted, but they were in each other’s way, all arms and legs.

Donald wasn’t even thinking any more. He was running on pure adrenalin.

The Masked Ghost reached the other side of the building and jumped.

His coat billowed out behind him and he dove towards the building across the alleyway.

To Be Continued…