Remember that writing contest I entered a few weeks back but didn’t win? I didn’t think I’d be able to, but I entered again for Chapter 2 of the story. You can read the winner of chapter 1 here. Here’s my entry. It’s not great, but it’s the best I could come up with. I tried to steer the story in a different direction. That was fun at least.
Sidney did not move, at least not voluntarily. She did shuffle her feet a bit, as the small metal shopping cart rammed into the back of her legs, snapping her out of her swoon. “Watch it,” she screamed, turning to face her assailant.
“Sorry,” said Luke Vafeas, his seven-year-old face red with embarrassment. He took a step back, just in case.
“It’s okay,” said Sidney, trying her best to smile through the pain. “Just watch where you’re going with that thing, all right?”
“I know,” said Luke, avoiding eye contact. He breathed in and out, trying to catch his breath. “It’s just there’s this weird dude chasing me.”
“Oh really?” asked Sidney, not overly concerned. “Why is he chasing you?” Most likely, the kid was just exaggerating, as children tend to do when they think they are in trouble. She scanned the crowd, looking not only for the “weird dude”, but also for John. Once again, she felt herself drawn into a situation beyond her control. Maybe this time, however, John could get her out.
“Because of this,” answered Luke, pointing at a small black and white cat inside the shopping cart that had moments ago given Sidney a dead-leg. “I saw the creepy guy getting ready to hurt her so I grabbed her and ran away. I don’t think the cat is really his.”
Sidney looked down at the cat. It was a cute little thing, not much older than a kitten. The cat was completely ordinary, two eyes, a tail, and four tiny paws. Nothing at all exciting. Sidney leaned down for a closer look. The cat was a perfectly common breed, although there was something about those eyes…
“Hey kid, come over here,” boomed a voice from across the room. “That’s mine.” Sidney and Luke both jumped.
Sidney lifted her head in the direction of the noise. A man in his early to mid-thirties, with a build as big as his voice stood pointing in her and Luke’s direction. There was something in his voice that told Sidney the man was dangerous. There was something sharp in his hand that confirmed her suspicion.
In one swift motion, Sidney grabbed Luke by the arm and started to run, dragging the boy and the cart along. She was not sure if Luke was telling the truth, but the police would be able to sort that out later. If she did not act now, they would not have the chance.
The big man gave chase, taking care not only to conceal his weapon, but also to dodge all of the people in between. Had it not been for these obstacles, it is doubtful Sidney and Luke would have had a chance to get away.
As they made their way to the door, Sidney glanced behind her one last time. She knew she was doing the right thing by helping the kid escape. However, she could not imagine what John would think when he returned to find her gone. She would most likely never see him again. Sidney pushed the door open, stepping through with the kid and the cat. It was too early to tell if she was making the biggest mistake or the best decision of her life.