Last month I posted the first installment of the Short Story Thursday series, with a story about a mysterious man with an unknown conflict. Today, I'm posting the second part of that story, but please read Part One first, if you haven't already.
Eight hours earlier…
The classic Mustang roared as Adam Marshall swung the car into his driveway, the windows down despite the brisk mid-November air. He reached up and pressed the button on the garage door opener clipped to the sun visor and pulled into the vacant bay. The sound of the engine echoed harshly off of the concrete floor before he it switched off. He hastily pushed the button again to close the garage behind him, and the light from the street lamp at the end of the driveway crept slowly down the wall before being squeezed out as the door closed with a thump.
Gripping the wheel tightly with both hands, Adam closed his eyes and took in a ragged breath. He could feel his heart pounding away in his chest, his lungs burning from breathing hard. What just happened? What did I just get myself into? His jaw clenched and unclenched subconsciously, the cacophony of wild thoughts driving him to grip the steering wheel even tighter. After some deep breathing Adam stepped out of the car and stood in the dark garage.
The only sounds he could hear save for the pulse in his ears was the quiet ticking of the cooling engine, and the dry leaves as they danced across the driveway. Adam looked at his watch. The glowing watch face read just past ten o’clock. He walked towards the door leading into his kitchen, mindlessly selecting a key from the large key chain. It wasn’t until he tried to unlock the door that he realized his hands were shaking, the key skittering loudly against the handle before sliding in. He turned the knob to one side and pushed the door open.
The hinges squealed as Adam walked inside, flicking on the light switch on the wall to his right. Dropping his keys on the countertop, he placed his hands on the cool marble and tried to catch his breath. Closing his eyes again, he concentrated hard on his thoughts, struggling to force logic over chaos in the scenarios playing repeatedly in his mind. A couple minutes passed, and he held out his hands. The shaking had stopped.
They saw me, I know they did, and they saw my car. I lost the guy that was tailing me, but they’ve got my license plate number, and that’ll probably lead them here... I can’t stay here. I’ve got to leave town.
Adam ran through the kitchen and down the hallway to his bedroom. He hurriedly packed a suitcase with few changes of clothes, throwing a laptop computer and a sleek black case on top of the pile.
I’ve got to get away and sort this out.
With long strides, Adam walked back through the kitchen and grabbed his keys. He stepped into the garage, and pulled the door closed. He placed the suitcase in the passenger seat of the Mustang, and slid into the driver’s seat.
I’ve got to be out of the state by sunrise.