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The Singer, the Painting and the Game

By Emma Rose

Romance / Thriller

Chapter 1

Emma was running hard, her feet pounding on the pavement on the bitter, January night. She could feel her heart wanting to burst from her chest, but she had to keep going. Leaping over fences and park benches, she was trying to make herself as an elusive of a target for whomever was after her.

I haven't even been in the country for 24 hours, she thought to herself. Why can't I just be tucked in a corner of some pub with a pint next to a fire? Emma heard a bullet whiz past her head, almost making her stumble but she caught herself and continued running on. Dodging every which way, she made herself a hard target to hit. Emma ducked into the nearest alley way, just to try and catch her breath, if only for a brief moment.

"I think she went this way!" A voice shouted, and it was coming towards her hiding spot.

"Shit," Emma cursed under her breath, as she continued down the alley. The end fed out onto an empty street, nearing the Thames River. Emma looked over her shoulders, and she saw shadows fast approaching, emerging out the alley way. She picked up her speed again, running towards the river. She looked at all of the flats and stores with their lights either dimmed, or completely blacked out. Even if they were up and awake, she couldn't put them in danger. Emma wouldn't be able to live with that kind of guilt. She could barely protect herself; Emma was only armed with a small knife hidden in her pants and a bullet proof vest. The latter would at least protect her vital organs from. She had already acquired some grazes from stray bullets, but she was thankful that they were all bad shots.

Of course as she thought that, Emma let out a grunt and felt a sharp, burning sensations in her left shoulder. She kept running, her adrenaline keeping her legs going. She knew she was at least heading the right way but Emma knew that she had to lose the goons before she could ask help from anyone.

Stopping in her tracks Emma knew that she had little options, all of which could have very big consequences if they did not work out.

One: hide somewhere, wait out until morning either bleeding out, or freezing.

Option number two was not much better, which was jumping into the Thames River.

Yes it was January, and she had a bullet lodged into her shoulder but to Emma, she didn't think there was any other options. Maybe it was the blood loss that was clouding her better judgement. Or maybe it was desperation.

"This way!" Another voice shouted. Emma shrugged her right shoulder, and climbed onto the bridge's ledge. Luckily it wasn't very high, so she needn't to worry if the fall was going to shatter her bones or her insides emulsifying when she made contact with the water. "I can see her! She's going to jump!" And as soon as whoever said that, Emma dove from the bridge, into the murky dark waters below.

The initial cold almost took Emma's breath away, but she kept on swimming under that murky water. Her shoulder was burning but as far as Emma could tell, at least the bleeding had stopped. Emma wasn't sure if it was safe to come up yet but her lungs were going to burst, and she felt as though she would drown if she didn't go up for air soon.

She shot to the surface, breaking through and breathed as much air as her lungs could take without choking herself. Emma timidly looked around her surroundings, trying to see if she could see if any of them followed her downstream, but could not see any moving shadows in the darkness. Pathetically, Emma made her way up to the shore line of the river, the water's frigid temperature finally setting in. It hurt to breath for her, and climbing out of the waters proved to be no easy feat either.

Dragging her aching body out of the water Emma lied with her back on the ground, trying to calm herself with deep breaths, her body beginning to convulse with shivers. She winced when she put any amount of weight on her left shoulder. Emma could feel the bullet lodged in there, but she'd have it checked soon enough. She got herself up and got back onto the street, hearing Big Ben chime eleven times off in the distance. It was getting late and Emma needed to make her way to Baker Street. She knew she would find a doctor there, and among other things.

...
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