Bullets sprayed the three SUVs. The armed figures dived for cover. I’d taken them completely by surprise.
The recoil threw me backwards. I planted my back foot, bent my knees and braced myself to make sure I didn’t fall on my arse.
My other hand fumbled in my trouser pocket for my keys. Once I had them in my hand, I edged along the path in front of the house towards the door. I reached it, still facing the cars, firing in shorter bursts to make the bullets last longer.
The bullets ran out.
Heads rose up behind car doors.
I quickly grabbed the other gun and kept firing.
Firing a gun at attackers with one hand while trying to unlock a door with the other might be one of the most difficult things I have ever tried. Doing one of them in the dark is usually about as much as I can manage. I always say in job interviews how great I am at multitasking. It’s rubbish. I’m terrible at it.
Eventually, I worked out which way to turn the key and managed to do it without the gun-wielding hand turning as well. The door opened. I backed into the house and slammed the door shut – just as the bullets ran out again. I locked the door, dropped to the floor and scrambled away from it on my stomach.
I made it into the front room, got to my knees pressed up against the wall and shot a glance around the closed curtain out of the windows.
They were regrouping, reorganising.
I really hoped they hadn’t realised I was almost out of bullets – with just my Glock 17 handgun left.
I darted upstairs and followed Six’s instructions to wipe every byte of information from each computer. I destroyed what needed destroying and got together the things I would need to take with me. The question was – how on Earth I was going to get out of there.
My mind flitted through films I had seen with standoffs and protagonists cornered the way I was now.
But now I was the main character. This was the story.
It made me wonder how many stories were happening at that moment. I remembered seeing them all. It was too much for my mind to handle. The most important stories were the biggest. I really wanted to know how big mine was right now – and yearned to see the ones that were bigger.
The Ford Focus we had driven to the house originally stood on the street in front of the house just a few metres away from the three Mercedes SUVs and the gun-wielding killers they had brought. That was my getaway. But I had no idea how to get to it without being riddled with bullets first.
The seven armed figures were moving. Four of them crept towards the front door. The other three headed around the side – to cut off my escape.
Where was the hitman when I needed him?
Then a movement behind the cars caught my eye.
Whoever it was slipped between the cars and crept after the attackers.
Closer to average height. Lean build.
Not the hitman. I had no idea who it was or what they were doing there.