“Go on,” the prisoner told me. “Take the shot.”
I steadied the rifle in my hands and eyed the wolf. It would have been that easy, but I wasn’t about to let everyone of the escapees know that there was still a prison guard still alive. I think the prisoner who helped me knew that, but every now and then I would find his foot sticking out ready to trip me up. If it weren’t for the fact that so many prisoners wanted him dead too he would have never joined my side.
“We’ll take that road, avoid it and the rest of them,” I told him, pointing towards the grey line in the distance.
“The rest of them?” he asked.
I pointed closer to the treeline near the wolf and it must have made it more apparent that to the prisoner that there was a large pack waiting for a slip up on the preys part.
“Shush, follow me, we have a long way to go.”
Staying crouched, the two of us made away across the snow, avoiding line of sight of the predators and the wolves. The prisoners all wore high-visibility, orange jumpsuits. In case of a breakout they would be easy to spot in the snowy area and in this cold they wouldn’t dare ditch the clothing. That would indeed be a dumb idea. The prisoner who followed me wore a guard uniform that he stole and most likely he was the one who caused the breakout. All these conclusions were sound, but with maniac like him it was better to play dumb.
“What’s your name, blue?” the prisoner asked in reference to the uniform. I ignored him.
We soon reached the road and then I stopped.
“What are you doing? Safety is in that direction,” the prisoner told me.
“Just making sure we are not followed,” I told him.
Watching the treeline and the snowy field I noticed a flicker of movement. It tensed up. I needed to know if that movement belonged to a prisoner or a wolf. I had limited ammunition, couldn’t stop all the wolves or all the prisoners, but wolves were harder to lose. I was about to make a run for it when I saw wolves dash across the snow. There was a scream and then a jumpsuit came into view. He had been stalking us, but the wolves seemed to have covered us. He didn’t make it far before they pounced him.
“We need to move now,” the prisoner pushed. Why didn’t he just run and leave me behind? Perhaps I had some other use to him,
A chill ran down my spine with more strength than frostbite. Every one of these lunatics have done things that put horror films to shame.
“Lead the way, prisoner,” I told him. “I have your back covered.”
“Think you’re smart, huh?” the prisoner asked with an innocent smile.
“Well, even the devil has enemies that he is sure to keep in sight.”
“Well, better hope I don’t see you in hell.”
With those words I drew my gun and looked the prisoner dead in the eye. You would think he challenged me, but instead he nodded and held his hands up as a sign of peace. With that, he spun on the spot and began jogging down the road. I kept my distance from prisoner. I knew I could not wander into civilisation with him, it would be the worst thing for me to do. However, I found it difficult to put him down right then and there.
One shot would be enough for the prisoners to find their way out of the valley. If I was going to kill him I had to do it quietly. I didn’t have that black of a heart to kill a man in such a way, but I knew he did. It might come down to me making the decision to kill him and run or to fight him and hope he isn’t one of the maniacs who bites.
Our boots thumped along the road and the wind began to rise. I knew it meant there was a storm coming, but I needed it to hold off until we reached the first checkpoint. Sure enough, in the distance I could see one of the checkpoints. One guard was always posted, which meant the prisoner would be easier to manage. With this thought crossing my mind it seemed to cross the prisoners.
One, armed and unaware guard not too far away. He broke into a full sprint and so did I. I had left too much space between me and the prisoner and he would reach the security booth first. He burst through the door with strong tackle. I could see the two wrestling inside and no doubt the guard must have felt confused as to what has happening. I was just happy he was putting up a good fight because soon I had reached the checkpoint. Bang.
That was all I needed. The prisoner had killed the guard with his own gun and was now turning to finish me off with him. It was too late to care about the echo now. The prisoner had decided his fate and I fired first. He collapsed dead over the prison guard. To my relief, I noticed the guard was still breathing. He pushed himself up into a sitting position holding the bloody wound on his shoulder.
“The...prisoners escaped?” he asked me.
“Yeah, and I don’t think the wolves will stop the armed ones,” I told the guard. I walked over to him and pulled the man to his feet. “Send a signal to the second checkpoint and the officials. We need to close off the valley before one of them succeeds in getting out.”
“I don’t know if you noticed, but I was just shot,” the guard grunted.
I looked down at him and the wound.
“You have no idea what kind of people were in that prison. Quit whining and send the signal,” I spat.