1: How to trip consecutively
Beep Beep Beep Beep
The alarm rang and my eyes fluttered open. Four in the morning.
I grabbed the pre-prepared bag and clothes underneath my large bed and quickly changed into them. It was just a shirt and a pair of jeans I’d smuggled and kept hidden for this day. Slipping on some sneakers, I sneaked out the dark empty hallway, bolting as quiet as possible when I saw it was clear, and went down the stairs on the other side of the floor.
These past weeks, I tried to memorize the mansion’s blind spots as well as the staff’s routine and mapped out the perfect escape route. The house usually bustles to life a quarter before five so I have to get out of here by then.
I got to the side door that leads to the garden and glanced up at the security camera. It’s Alfred’s shift by this time and lucky for me, he mostly sleeps through it.
I got a card out and slid it against the French door’s latch. A small click echoed in the desolate corridor and I creaked it open.
There was a drizzle outside but I didn’t pay it any mind as I sneaked by, passing flower shrubs and trees, before reaching a garden arch. Instead of following the pathway, I ran into the trees for the garden walls, a tall concrete brick wall lined with elegant Wisterias I didn’t know existed until a month ago.
Now, where did I hide it?
I looked under the shrubs until I found what I was looking for. The ladder I hid yesterday sat underneath them untouched. Letting go of my bag, I propped the heavy thing up the wall, grunting.
I put pressure on it a few times to make sure it’s secure. I’d hate to break a leg without even making it outside.
Before climbing up, I peeked through my shoulder to see if anyone was around, and seeing none, I slung my bag over my shoulder and started to climb.
When I reached the top, I peaked to see a wide quiet street. Several estates were across from ours and just like ours, theirs looked still.
‘Almost there.’ I chanted in my head as I felt the blood run up my cheeks. ‘Just a little more and I am finally out of here!’
I pulled myself up the top of the wall, straddling it while preparing to hoist the ladder up when a voice boomed through the silence of the night.
My head snapped to the side. Some meters away, from the shrubs, I came from stood Rowan, the head gardener. He was carrying equipment from the toolshed.
I felt my body stiffen, realizing I got caught.
W-why in the heck is he here?! He’s not supposed to get up this early! Cheese and crackers...! Ah geez, geez, geez, this wasn’t supposed to happen. Just how many times will I get caught?!
Due to the sheer panic, I jumped down to the other side in a hurry, clumsily tucking and rolling. I was stunned for a few moments before patting myself to check if I’m still okay.
...Haah, I’m not dead. Waddya know? The taekwondo stuff came in handy after all.
I ignored the slight ache from my foot and took out my roller skates from my bag, fastening the velcro in a flash. I tried to hurry my pace since it’s now becoming painfully obvious to see that the mansion was already starting to buzz to life.
I skated down the large dim streets of the gated community, turning around street corners sharply as I headed for the exits. It’s a good thing I memorized the way out or else I’ be skating around in circles
Going outside alone for the first time, I should’ve been more scared but it’s strangely liberating. Maybe because out of the six (now seven) attempts I’ve made, this is the first time I actually got to step out of the property.
This is worth patting me on the back for!
While I was thinking this, I didn’t notice the concrete was slippery because of the rain and at the speed I was going, it was only a matter of time before I’d fall on my butt.
I rubbed my back at the impact.
When I said ‘pat on the back’, I didn’t mean this kind of pat.
I hurried to get up only to fall again, my head slightly hitting the ground. If it wasn’t for my arms, my head would’ve cracked apart.
“Owww-ie,” I winced.
My surroundings looked eerily liquid and my head turned to lead. I blinked once, twice and with effort slowly stood up again. I started skating again but the number of my tumbles kept racking up. By the fourth one, I felt like a soggy, frustrated sack of potatoes.
“GRAAHH!! NOT TODAY UNIVERSE! If you think this is enough to make me give up, then you’re absolutely, incredibly, undeniably mistaken!”
I chucked the skates aside and ran as fast as I could, my bag dropped and barefoot. The drizzle was no longer a drizzle but a full-blown hurricane, and before I knew it, I was drenched, cold, and desperate.
I know I wasted so much time with the skates that I might as well be surrendering myself to the enemy, but I can’t give up now. Not when I’m this close.
“Stop!” As if on cue, car engines roared and voices shouted in the distance behind me, and I knew all too well whose it was. “Miss Alice!”
“NONONONO! NEVERRRR!” I screamed at Warren, one of the bodyguards I was familiar with, as I sprinted ahead and turned the final curb.
I ran faster as I passed by more walled properties and dim streetlights. The purr of the engine was getting closer and I felt my fingers go cold. It’s only a matter of time before he catches me but that doesn’t mean I’ll go down without a fight.
Okay! The goal is the guardhouse and the guardhouse is sooooo close. I can do this! I can go outside! Come on legs!
“Miss, stop! You’re going to get hurt if you run like that!!!”
I turned around a strange high warmly filling the pits of my stomach. Still running, I shouted at the 20 something-year-old: “HAH! CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, GRANDPA!”
Perhaps it was because of the adrenaline, or maybe because of the nearing exit, that I felt gutsy enough to do so. Especially considering both he and the driver obviously covered more distance than I did which wasn’t surprising since he’s riding a car and I’m barefoot.
At the surprise of my yelling, Warren’s grip on the shotgun seat’s window slipped and he hit his chin from where the glass emerges, his head recoiling up at the impact only to hit the upper part of the window. A snort escaped my lips and the urge to stick a tongue at them was hard to resist.
Even though we’re in a goose chase, the scene was all too funny. Seeing both Warren’s oddly shaven head and his large, bulky upper half sticking out of the car was enough to send me into a fit of giggles. It makes me wonder what could’ve happened if he was alone and no one else was driving. No doubt he’d be doing both.
The thought made me burst out laughing
I turned back around before my attention was further diverted but not before catching Warren’s eyes widen in panic.
I felt something catch my ankle.
When I came to, my face was buried on the concrete, skin tingling, and limbs aching. There were a few moments of stillness as I tried to process what happened.
Did I just fall?
I took a quick glance behind me and it seems like a tree branch fell because of the winds.
Huh. Talk about luck. I’m really setting up a world record for the most number of naturally occurring falls in over an hour, aren’t I?
Bah, whatever. If I don’t hurry soon, Warren’ll catch up to me.
I pushed myself up, trying to get up as fast as I can but when my foot touched the ground, searing pain shot up my leg and my figure went toppling down once more.
I muffled a shriek as I looked down. It didn’t look like anything was wrong with my foot but I couldn’t move it. The pain felt too much.
I heard a car stop and footsteps approach me rapidly.
I looked up at the staff horrified and tried to stand up on my good foot this time but he caught me, kneeling down to eye-level all the while holding me in place by my arms.
I struggled against his grip.
“No go away! Leeemme gooo!” I pushed him away, flailing my limbs in every possible direction. He was trying to say something but I pushed his chin away. “Let me go right now, Warren!”
He drew back his head and covered my mouth with a free hand.
“Alice let’s go back.”
I bit his hand. “NO!”
Though I was sure I bit pretty hard, he only sighed and flung my body on his shoulder like I was, indeed, a bag of soggy potatoes.
“Everyone’s going to be worried, Miss. Let’s go home, please? Moreover, you’re hurt.”
“I am not going home!” I shrieked, pounding my fists on his back. “Let me go Warren!”
He strode towards the car, turning a deaf ear to my cries. I watched as the exit got farther and farther away and I swallowed down a whimper.
“OW!” I faked winced, grabbing his coat tightly whilst channeling my inner actress. “MY ANKLE! IT HURTS!”
He stopped in his tracks.
“WARREN MY FOOT’S GETTING TWISTE- ah!”
He switched my body to rest on his arms, this time to a princess carry so that now my feet were dangling in the air.
He shot me an apologetic look. “Sorry about that. It won’t hurt anymore if I carry you like this,” and then he continued walking.
I stared at him shocked.
Uhm hello?? You were supposed to put me down like a normal person? You have way too much common sense.
I couldn’t even glance back at the gates as he strode back to the car without hesitation, his big body blocking my view.
It didn’t take long for the two guards to push me inside the car and drive away to the mansion.
The fact didn’t sink in until I could see the blaring lights of the building from up ahead but I suppose today’s attempt is also a...fail.
I should’ve gotten used to it by now but it still hurt. I was so close, just a hair’s breadth away from the goal.
A dreaded feeling sunk into my chest.
Will this be the closest I’ll ever get to escaping that house?
My, someone’s reading this? Thank you very much, hahaha. I hoped you liked this just as much as I liked the idea of it.
Looking forward to this journey with you because I have a feeling it’ll be a long one lmao.
P.S. this story is available in multiple platforms (i.e. wattpad, inkitt, tapas, ficpress) cus I'm testing which has more audience reach lol. Gonna update this when I'm certain.