Excerpt 3 from Three Weeks in May
by Cherese A. Vines
Gwen heard a commotion in the hallway outside Savannah’s apartment door and dropped the phone. Fear welled in her as she stared at the door. She suddenly wished she had not told Savannah to go without her.
“Gwen!” She heard Elliot’s small voice coming from the receiver on the floor. She hurriedly picked it up.
“Sorry, I dropped the phone.” She asked.
“I said: I’m coming to get you.” Elliot repeated.
A shiver of deja vu went through Gwen.
“Hurry,” she said in a small voice.
“I’m coming.” He answered and the line disconnected.
Still clutching the phone, Gwen stared at the door. She heard footsteps pounding up and down the stairs on the other side. Taking a deep breath, she returned the phone to the cradle and tried to calm her nerves. She sat on the edge of Savannah’s sofa and wrapped her arms around herself. Savannah’s apartment was on the eight floor and visitors had to be buzzed in.
I’m safer here than I was at the other apartment, she thought. Then why was she so scared?
Almost an hour passed when someone suddenly pounded on the door. Gwen jumped at the sound, but then quickly went to open the door.
“Gwendolyn Elani Tolliver. Your presence is required by the Council.” A woman dressed in military-style clothing quickly stepped into the apartment and seized her arms. Gwen tried to pull her hand away, but she could feel her bones rubbing together beneath the trooper’s grip.
“Why?” Gwen tried to free her hand again.
The trooper did not answer as she roughly pushed Gwen toward the open apartment door. The other trooper grabbed her free arm once they were in the hallway. There were several other troopers waiting, and they rushed into the apartment as Gwen and her captors passed down the hall.
Gwen gave silent thanks that she finally convinced Savannah to leave for home after telling her Elliot was on his way. Savannah reluctantly believed her lie because Gwen had promised she would have Elliot take her to Irene’s house. Now, that was not possible. She was thankful she had not gone with Savannah, or gone home. It would have put her friend’s family and her family at risk.
When the group reached the street, Gwen was brought to an abrupt stop at the curb. Gwen wondered what the Council could want with her. She was not a threat to them. She closed her eyes for a moment to keep the tears at bay. When she opened her eyes again, she noticed that although the troopers were wearing helmets, she could see that they were looking for something down the street. She peered around to look too. People and cars rushed by oblivious to her predicament. No one was worried about anyone but themselves in the heighten chaos of the city. Cars were speeding down the narrow streets. There was debris everywhere, falling from open windows above. Sirens blared around a distant corner. People were running. She thought she smelled smoke.
Pedestrians made wide detours around Gwen and the troopers. It was obvious: They did not want to get involved.
A long, dark blue sedan pulled up to the curb in front of them. The trooper to her left opened the back door and pushed Gwen inside the empty back seat. She slammed the door and stepped back to salute. Gwen tried to scramble to the other side to open the door, but there was no handle. The car sped off, throwing her against the back seat.
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