Chapter 8: The Escape
When Bloody and Chillo reached his car, they lost no time and jumping in and speeding toward the nearest highway. It was Sunday, and not too many cars were on the road at this time of the day. They did not see any police cars for the first ten miles of their journey toward Scotland. Thinking she had outwitted her father for the first time in her life, Bloody smiled to herself. She would lead a new life with Chillo, one without fear and sorrow, one filled with happiness and eternal joy. Chillo was thinking the same thing. Just the two of them, two hermits in a changing, violent world.
In the distance, Chillo saw a police cruiser hiding in the bushes. He slowed down to make sure he wouldn’t be caught speeding and hunkered down in his seat. When they had passed by the cruiser, Chillo looked back. The car was pulling out of the bushes. It did not turn on its sirens, just followed them, stalking their vehicle like a hawk.
“Do you think they’re following us?” Bloody asked quietly.
“I think so. If only we can make it to the Scottish border, then the Brits will have no jurisdiction there.”
“How much farther to the border?”
“About 400 kilometres.”
They drove for another three hours with the lone police car tracking them. Every mile, every minute, brought them closer to freedom, but freedom seemed so far away. It was fortunate that they had filled the tank earlier, for they were beginning to run low on gas. Next to him, Bloody sat with her eyes closed, taking a nap. Gusts of wind blew her long brown hair wildly around her face. But he had no time to admire her beauty, and Chillo returned his attention to driving.
Just then, he saw four more police cars speeding along behind him and joining the trailing patrol car. Suddenly, all five cars turned on their sirens and accelerated. Bloody awoke from her nap and asked “What’s going on?”
“We got four move bandits on our tail,” Chillo replied.
“Do you think we can outrun them?” She asked.
“Well, there’s only one way to find out,” and with that he pushed the accelerator to the floor. The Honda lurched forward, the odometer showing 150 kph, 170 kph, 190 kph! The police cars were matching their speed, their collective sirens sounding like a continuous wail.
“We’re only 70 kilometres from the border!” Chillo shouted above the noise of the sirens and the wind. He looked in his rearview mirror and saw an officer sticking his head out of the passenger window with a bullhorn in his hands.
“Pull over! Pull over now!!”
Neither Bloody nor Chillo paid him any mind. They kept their attention on the road. In the distance, Chillo saw the vague outlines of several vehicles lined up along the side of the road. More police cars. The officers had erected two barricades and parked another a car in the middle of the road, but Chillo noticed that there was still a lot of the between space between the makeshift roadblocks and the side of the road. He also noticed that all the policeman pointed pistols and automatic weapons at the car. Chillo slowed the car.
“Pull over your vehicle NOW!!” another policeman with a bullhorn shouted from the parked vehicles.
“What do we-” Bloody started to ask, but before she could finish, Chillo again slammed the accelerator and with a squeal of tires, the car speed toward the roadblock.
“STOP YOUR-” but before the policeman could finish, the sound of gunfire from his fellow officers muffled his voice.
Bullets peppered the Honda and shattered both rear view mirrors, but Chillo kept his attention on the road. Only 200 meters separated them now. Bloody cried out in pain as a shard of glass cut her cheek and she reached up to stem the flow of blood. More bullets rained down on the car and the windshield cracked in three places. Glass flew everywhere and Chillo could feel a trickle of blood ooze down his arm. 50 meters left, 20 meters… Chillo turned the steering wheel slightly to the left, and the car zoomed between the roadblock and the edge of the road, missing a police car by mere inches. The bullets now hit the back of the car and he turned in a wide zigzag pattern, trying to evade. Behind him, the policemen ran to their cars and started to chase them, but Chillo had already put almost a quarter of a mile between them. Bloody looked up, dazed.
“You’re hurt!” Chillo exclaimed.
“So are you,” she said, and smiled, “but what you did was very courageous.” She took a rag out of the glove box compartment and wiped her face, then tied around Chillo’s bleeding arm.
“Do you think there will be anymore roadblocks?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” he replied, “if they were smart like the Germans, they would have already sent in a couple of panzer divisions, but lucky for us, the Brits aren’t too prepared.”
“They probably wouldn’t even have had time to chase us if my father hadn’t used his influence up at the Ministry,” she commented bitterly.
They drove for another twenty minutes before they encountered the second roadblock. There were more policemen now, and Chillo saw green uniformed men- Royal marines. All carried weapons, and they had set up a barbed wire rail across the entire length of the highway. ‘No such maneuvers here’ Chillo thought. ‘They’d probably radioed ahead and warned them that we might pull such a trick.’ As the Honda neared the rail, Chillo pulled the steering wheel sharply to the right and slammed on the brake. A hail of bullets hit the car door and trunk. Chillo gunned the engine and drove off the side of the road toward a stand of trees. He turned the car and passed the barbed rail on his left. The tires started to spin in the mud but with an extra push of the accelerator, the car sped forward, past a dozen policemen and an army truck. A barrage of rifle fire hit the roof, causing the rear half to cave in and crash onto the backseat. Chillo steered the car back onto the road with one hand while shielding his face from flying debris with the other. The car was slower now, for a bullet had clipped one of the front tires. The side windows had all been blow out, and the radio console had also been cracked by a bullet. He looked around the interior of the car and saw bullet holes everywhere. It was then that he saw Bloody. He had been so intent on driving that he had not noticed that it was totally quiet in the car save for his ragged breathing.
“Are you ok?” he asked worriedly.
Bloody looked at him oddly. Her face was devoid of expression and her eyes seemed empty. She looked down at her nightgown. It was covered with blood.
“Oh my god!” Chillo exclaimed. “We have to get you to a doctor quickly!”
“no..” Bloody replied softly. She had started to sink in her seat and her arms fell limply to her sides. “Keep going…I don’t want to go back there…ever…again.” Her voice started to trail off.
“We’re almost there, less than 15 kilometers to go before we reach the Scottish border.” The car was slowing now, and its speed had dropped to only 90 kilometers per hour. “Comon…!” he coaxed the car, willing it to drive faster. 10 kilometers left. To his left, he saw a billboard proclaiming the exotic beauty of the Scottish landscape. ‘How ironic’ he thought ‘that this should happen in such a peaceful country.’
A roar came overhead and Chillo looked up to see a Royal Air Force helicopter diving down on them. Its armored sides and imposing bulk were used to destroy tanks and missile installations. A car would be an easy target. Chillo could see a marine leaning out the side door, pointing a 50-caliber machine gun at the fleeing vehicle. “This is your last chance!” the marine shouted. “Stop now or we will open fire!!”
5 kilometers left. The next few seconds seemed to happen in slow motion. He saw the marine slowly aim his weapon and squeeze the trigger. The bullets were like a stream of fire, arching almost lazily toward him. Dozens of rounds pierced the hood and in a split second, the engine exploded. Heat sear his face, and sky and earth merged as the car upended and rolled over and over again across the road. Chillo tried to hold on to the steering wheel for support but it had broken from the dashboard. Glass, car parts, and flailing arms pummeled him. There was a sudden feeling of emptiness as the car soared through the air and landed in a clump of trees in the side of the road. Then silence. Nothing stirred and Chillo lay, half conscious, in the remains of the driver’s seat. Slowly, he raised his head. There was a great weight on his shoulder and he tried to push it away. It felt soft, and Chillo saw that it was Bloody who was lying on top of him. He pushed her off of him and pushed at the partially open car door. It was jammed. He put his foot to the door and kicked hard. With a screech of metal, the door flew off its hinges and landed in the dirt a few yards away. Chillo crawled out onto the mud and gasped for air. He looked down at his shirt and saw that it was bloodied and stain. ‘No time to waste now’ he thought. He reached back inside and grabbed Bloody. Miraculously, she too was conscious. She moaned softly and Chillo carried her toward gently deeper into the grove of trees.
Behind him, the police cars pulled up. Chillo ran with all his strength, willing his injured arm to support Bloody’s weight. He ran like the wind, not caring about the branches that scraped his already wounded body. He glanced back and saw the officers (and two hounds) crowded around the overturned Honda. That wouldn’t keep them distracted for very long, he knew. In a minute or so, they would see that no one was inside. Deeper into the forest he ran, in the direction of the border.
“Chil-, Chillo” Bloody croaked weakly.
“It’s ok Bloody, we’re almost there.”
“No, you go. I won’t make it. Not like this.” She said.
Chillo stopped in his tracks. He looked down at her and saw it was true. She wouldn’t survive for another twenty or thirty minutes. Blood streamed down the entire length of her body.
“go on-“ she whispered, and Chillo had to bend down to hear her words. “go...and live for me..”
For the first time that he could remember, tears came to his eyes. He set Bloody down near a shrub and knelt by her side. He took her hands in his and said “Bloody, for as long as I live, I’ll never forget you. I’ll remember you forever. I promise.” Then he leaned down and kissed her softly, a nice gently kiss. Chillo thought about the two weeks that he had been with Bloody. At the river, in her house, in the hospital; memories flashed through his mind like lightning. And now this. They wouldn’t live the ideal like in Scotland. No more romances. No more. No more. It would all end soon; their dreams, their hopes, their future.
“go now…” her voice was almost inaudible now.
“I love you,” he choked back his tears and gave her hand a squeeze.
Bloody mumbled something that he couldn’t make out, but he knew what she said. He turned and ran deeper into the darkened forest, and didn’t look back.
End of book 1.