Fiction

Hannah Carmichael Chronicles (FOUR)

FOUR

In the Last Instalment:

Hannah was trapped with her mother when a red spot appeared on her forehead. As Hannah ducked for cover, agents who appear to be with her dropped in from the roof and chased Evelyn and the two men away. Hannah and her friend, Stephanie, ran after them and cornered them in the warehouse office. When they entered the room however, Evelyn and company had disappeared.

How did they escape? Can Hannah find them?


 

“Where are they?” Stephanie asked, agents trailing into the room behind her. Hannah shook her head and tucked her weapon into her waistband. The room had no windows and no doors, but Evelyn and the two men had disappeared.
Several desks sat on each side of the room with a bookcase along the middle wall. Hannah put a hand on her left hip and tried to think like her mother. The warehouse building had been registered in Evelyn’s Shell company for over five years but there was no evidence she had ever been there before.
Hannah tapped her foot. Where had they gone in a room with no windows or doors? Stephanie gave Hannah a slight shove and grinned.
“You don’t suppose it’s a rotating bookcase?” she asked, sparking snickers from the other agents. Hannah rolled her eyes then paused.
“Everyone out.” She said, walking towards the door and opening it wider. The agents trooped out and Stephanie stayed put. Hannah stared at her and narrowed her eyes.
“What? You didn’t mean me did you?” Stephanie asked, putting her gun into a hip holster. Hannah exhaled and shook her head, closing the door. She moved towards the bookcase and bent towards the floor.
“Oh you can’t be serious.” Stephanie said, squatting down next to Hannah.
“I was kidding about the bookcase.” She said, tapping Hannah on the shoulder. Hannah paused and looked up.
“I’m not looking for a revolving bookcase.” She said, turning and moving to the edge of the desk next to the bookcase.
“When I was a girl, I hid in my mother’s office on a dare.” She bent and reached out underneath the desk.
“I wanted to hide under the desk, but when I got there, I found a lever underneath it.” Hannah smiled as her fingers wrapped around the familiar lever. She pulled it and the desk shifted slightly. Stephanie stepped back and whistled.
“A secret passageway?” she asked with a half laugh.
“Evelyn always has been a little dramatic.” Hannah said as she stood and waved for Stephanie to help her. They pulled at the false desk and it lifted, revealing a panel in the floor. Hannah pulled out her weapon and Stephanie pulled at a rope handle. As the panel opened, Hannah peered into the darkness and saw the outline of stairs leading further into the ground. She reached over to take a flashlight Stephanie held out and clicked it on.
Stephanie reached up and clicked her comms on,
“We have a tunnel in the office. Requesting assistance.” Hannah balanced her gun and flashlight and moved down the stairs.
As she reached the bottom a musty smell entered her lungs and she coughed. The floors and walls were crudely dug and the dirt stuck out in obscure patterns.
Stephanie bumped into Hannah as she tripped down the last step. Hannah turned around and frowned as Stephanie smiled and shrugged. Sweeping the room with the flashlight, Hannah located the passageway.
Every step crunched under her shoes and she tried to make herself lighter. The sounds of several agents behind them made Hannah pause. She turned and flashed her light on the five people behind her, putting her hand up to signal a stop. Stephanie turned around and whispered orders to the agents to be silent and Hannah turned back to the passageway.
They moved quietly until a glimmer of light grew brighter. She turned off her flashlight and used the light of the exit. As she grew closer, she noticed the walls were now concrete until she was met with the end of the passageway. She looked up to where a hole with bars was letting in the light. A grate?
She pulled out her flashlight, locating stairs attached to the wall and leading up to the tunnel opening. Hannah turned and handed Stephanie her flashlight, tucking her gun back into her waistband. She started to climb the stairs and cars revving and honking grew louder as she got closer to the exit.
At the top, she looked down to where Stephanie had started to climb. Reaching up, Hannah pushed on the grate until it gave way and she moved it to the side. Peeking her head up, Hannah squinted in the light to see a sidewalk in the city.
She pulled herself up and looked at the buildings and shops for a sign of Evelyn.
Nothing.
Stephanie and the other agents followed and split up in teams of two. Hannah reached out her hand.
“Do you have a phone?” She asked. Stephanie reached into her pocket and pulled out a smartphone, handing it to her. Hannah dialled a number and waited.
She glanced over to the coffee shop across the street and squinted to see clearer.
Dropping the phone, Hannah took off in a sprint to the window and pushed her hand up against the glass.
“Zeke?”

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