Raven’s Run 144

Road and train were briefly parallel here and ahead on the footpath was a familiar figure. I leaned out to look closer and the train turned away so that I had to rush to the opposite window.

It was Raven, alone, walking slowly downhill.

I bolted for the door. The train was moving swiftly now, on this brief bit of level ground. The wind snatched at the door as I threw it open. Fence posts were snapping by thirty feet away and the train had taken another turn away from the footpath, bearing toward the opposite side of the valley. Stone rip rap clothed the slope of the railroad bed; jagged, bowling ball sized chunks of Norwegian granite. I could not land on those and survive. Ahead I could see a spot where the sward came right up to the tracks. Behind me were the excited voices of the other passengers as they realized what I was about to do.

A hand caught at my shoulder and I slammed it against the frame of the door with a violent sideways motion of my body. The hand withdrew and I dived forward, twisting to take the fall rolling.

The train receded into the distance, never slowing its stately pace. There were heads stuck out of the windows looking back. I waved to them as the train passed out of sight, spat out grass and mud, and stood up. Everything still seemed connected and working. The Tokarev was still in place.

The train had carried me a half mile from the footpath before I could jump. Susyn and her new man were just passing the place where the train track and path had diverged. They did not see me, which was good. With only three bullets, stealth was in order. 

By the time I got back to the path they were half a mile ahead of me and they had seen Raven. Susyn was gesturing ahead. Her new man nodded, then looked around and saw me, but gave no sign of recognition. There was no reason that he should know me. Yet.

They hurried ahead, and I hurried to follow. 

Could I get Susyn to back off? None of her original reasons for attacking still existed, but James had died. However ill and foolishly begun, this confrontation could not simply end. There had been too much fear, too much betrayal, and too much blood.

Raven turned around with her hands on her hips and her head cocked back, staring up at the moss green ascendancy of the fjord walls. And froze in that gesture as she saw Susyn and her man purposefully advancing on her. She spun on her heels and ran.

They ran after her. I ran after them. more tomorrow


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