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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 cold, 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 an elusive target for whoever was after her.

I haven't even been in the country for 24 hours, she thought bitterly to herself. Why can't I just be tucked in a corner of some pub with a pint next to a fire? She heard a bullet whiz past her head, almost making her stumble but she caught herself and continued running on. Dodging every which way, she wanted to make herself a hard target to hit. She 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.

"Merde," she cursed under 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, their lights either dimmed, or completely blacked out. Even if they were up and awake, she couldn't put them in danger. She wouldn't be able to live with that kind of guilt. She could barely protect herself; 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, she let out a grunt and felt a sharp, burning sensations in her left shoulder. She kept running, her adrenaline keeping her legs pumping. She knew she was at least heading the right way, but she knew that she had to lose the goons before she could ask help from anyone.

She stopped, knowing that she had little options, all of which could have very dire consequences if they did not work out.

One; hide somewhere, wait out until morning, either bleeding out, or freezing. Her second option 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 her, 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 didn't need 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 leaped from the bridge, into the dark and cold waters below.

The initial cold almost took her breath away, but she kept on swimming under the murky waters. Her shoulder was burning but at least the bleeding had stopped. Emma wasn't sure if it was safe to come up yet but her lungs were burning, 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. She timidly looked around her surroundings, trying to see if she could see if any of them followed her downstream, but her eyes could not see anyone in the darkness. She then pathetically 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.

She dragged her aching body, lying with her back on the ground, trying to calm herself with deep breaths. She winced when she put any amount of weight on her left shoulder. She could feel the bullet lodged in her shoulder, but she'll 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 she needed to make her way to Baker Street. She'd find a doctor there, and among other things.

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