Rachel parked nose on to the curb, just for silliness. The Smart was shorter than the next car along was wide, so it wasn’t a problem.
“We should probably get some food.” Joe pointed in the direction of the shops. Rachel did a skip and shuffle move so she was on his left. He’d noticed she liked walking on this side of him, but hadn’t figured out why.
Ahead of them someone jogged across the road. Joe only registered it as movement until they reached the pavement. The figure was wearing the scally uniform- baggy track suit bottoms and hoodie, both black with embroidered swoosh, trainers and baseball cap- but somehow didn’t look pale and unhealthy enough.
The faux scally stared at Joe, took a few steps and, mere feet away, drew a gun.
Joe froze. The gun swung up and levelled, pointing at his face. The scally’s finger was on the trigger, squeezing it.
Rachel didn’t freeze. Acting on an instinct she never could explain, she had moved away from and slightly ahead of Joe when she had seen the scally’s expression. Now she leapt. She caught the gunman’s wrist and pushed it aside just before he pulled the trigger.
One shot from this small revolver was so much louder than the whole fusillade from the Kalashnikovs. Joe was certain he felt the bullet pass his ear.
The scally’s upper body twisted. His knees began to bend as he moved to correct his balance. Rachel kicked the side of his knee, hard enough to feel something give. He began to collapse, a scream marking his fall.
Joe finally reacted. He moved away from the pinned gun hand and helped Rachel hold down the scally, now bawling non-stop. “Let go of the gun.” The scally stopped screaming and gave him a defiant look. “Let go of the gun or she’ll break your fingers one by one until you do.” Rachel gave him a look that said ‘I will?’.
There was a clatter as the gun hit the pavement. Rachel carefully pushed it out of reach.
“You saved my life.”
“Yeah, well, I owed you. We’re going to have to talk to the Police again aren’t we?”
“Yeah.” Joe got his phone out and started dialling.
“Damn. All this adrenaline is making me horny.”
“Police please. And an ambulance, I guess. Self defence classes?”
“I keep starting to learn martial arts and never finishing. Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Karate……”
“Yes. Someone just shot at me. No, no, I’m fine. We disarmed him and we’re holding him now. Yes, you probably should…..”
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