Suddenly, to Marilee's surprise, her view to Tom was suddenly blocked. Crowds of people gathered to surround the
spot where Tom was. In the huddle of the masses she'd lost sight of Tom.
She dared not move towards the crowd, after
all she'd shadowed him, and did not yet want to give herself away. She saw a messenger push herself through and rode
off on a bike. It struck Marilee funny that someone was leaving when the crowd itself all rushed in.
While this happened,
Marilee leaned back with the sudden thought, that something was not OK. Instinctively she knew something was wrong and
something life shattering was about to happen.
She tried to gather these strange feelings that were suddenly coming
over her, as a wail of sirens slowly sounded in her mind.
As the sirens grew louder,
Merilee watched for the emergency vehicles to appear. Judging by the amount of wailing, there must be several approaching.
She soon saw them in the twilight, their flashing beacons casting a blue hue across the scene below. They were police cars,
several of them, and they were moving fast, in pursuit of something. At first she could see nothing of their quarry but as
they came closer, she could make out a speeding black Porsche. It was at the head of the melee, obviously attempting a high
speed getaway, for reasons Merilee was unable to discern from her lofty perch.
She watched the unfolding drama below,
with a detached fascination, bred of knowing that she was safe on a roof, twenty stories above the danger in the street.
To her left she could see the chase unfolding,
five police cars and one insanely driven Porsche, rocketing towards the square. To her right, around the corner of the building,she
could see the Pop Star Norman, surrounded by his fans, casually signing autographs for his adoring fans, and Greatchen close
by like she always was, and her lover, Tom still in the restaurant sitting by the window..
Suddenly she realized that
although she was in no danger, Norman may very well be in mortal danger. If the Porsche turned to the right,
when it reached the square, Norman and a hundred or more fans, all caught up in the euphoria of the moment, would be
directly in it’s path.
Before she could react she was pulled off the roof. As she followed towards
the ground, her life flashed before her eyes, but today was not
Merilee’s day to die.
As she fell downward. The shock of her situation overwhelmed her. She passed out in fear.
As the plant fell, the speed and the wind unwound the shorter end wrapped now just once around her neck. Within
a second or two the scarf no longer was wrapped around her neck like the death grip of a starving python. Her body was free,
her mind unconscious.
Gretchen, one of Tom's covert body guards has scanned the scene and habitually looked up to
survey the buildings around the square. It was at this precise moment that the scarf flapped in the air free from Marilee's
neck. Gratchen's military trained eyes immediately focused on the abnormal flash of color and motion high up.
reacted quickly and instinctively. She took steps forward and shouted a warning. People were looking at her dazedly, the way
deer watch the oncoming headlights of a speeding car. She was pointing upward. Precious seconds ticked by. Finally people
were screaming running, pouring away from the impending crash of the cash machine falling, with a womans body twisting and
tumbling just behind it.
It was then that Gretchen heard the rushing sirens.
This momentary reprise threw her into a state of zen moment like the archer becoming the bullseye and she saw the bigger
picture. In the fraction of a second a plan developed that gave her one small hint of hope. It was slight, and it meant calling
upon skills learned as a little girl doing gymnastics many years before. She had been good, very good but lost the dream because
of the time and work involved.
Gratchen too was skilled at taking advantage of the moment with quick assesment. She
in the twisting and tumbling of the womans body knowing there was purpose behind the motion. The sound of sirens
brought with it another problem. A problem her friend and employer could not now confront. She knew Tom's purpose for being
there this day and what he had just obtained.
Tom too had quickly glanced at the falling body, but the item just received
had history and danger surrounding it, and what was happening would seem minor to the problems this would bring if not dealt
with wisely, and with candor
All was in action and energy exploded with the crashing of the plant, as it fell
to smash onto a parked car, whose owner was standing there mouth open in utter disbelief.
When one is falling, everything goes into slow relief. She could clearly see stages in her life like it was a movie unfolding
before her eyes. She could see the offices onthe sides, and even see the people watching her falling as they stood below.
It was as if she was in control and yet she knew she was also in danger.
(Musi) Now, tumbling in a controlled
motion, Merilee managed to loosen the belt from the full skirted dress she was wearing. She quickly grabbed one
bottom edge with her other hand, and as her belt came free, she caught the other corner in her free hand. It took all of her
strength to hold on to her clothes, as they filled with the crisp cold air. It wasn't much, but she hoped it would be
She slowed, ever so slightly , her cape acting as a sort of makeshift parachute. She knew it wasn't enough
to save her from injury, but maybe, just maybe it would be enough to save her life.
Time continued to move slowly,
as the ground seemed to move towards her. At the last possible instant, Merilee let go of the cape, tucked her body into a
ball and pulled her head into her arms.
Below, Greatchen was urging the onlookers to discard their winter coats which she was throwing onto a huge pile, and the
pile got higher and higher as everybody screamed at his neighbour to discard their coats.
When Larilee landed it was right into the middle of this mountain of clothing, and she felt the screams of the crowd as
they watched her fall.
Somehow she managed to stay concious and to hold her position until she came to
a stop against a strong masculine pair of legs.
Marilee's body went completely limp with as she realised she was still alive but about to go into oblivion.
High above the crowd and inside the office the sirens were barely audible, but Marilee's secretary, Madeline, realised
that something terrible had happened outside. She jumped up, suddenly forgetting all about her typing duties, and ran outside
onto the balcony.
She had never in her life heard so many sirens at once and so much screaming and hollering and she was sure she recognised
the figure laying there as her employer, Marilee.
Madeline let out a blood curdling scream and gasped, "Oh, my God! Marilee, Marilee!" and without
a second thought went downstairs screaming out as she ran.
(Musi) Sensing danger, as only a trained professional can, Gretchen felt the small hairs on the back of her neck
tingling. She couldn’t explain it . . . God knows she’d tried a hundred times, in a hundred different ways, to
a hundred different people. The best description she could give, and it was sorely inadequate, was, “I just feel it.”
Feel it she did and she sprang into action. She didn’t look around for the danger, but rushed, instead to her charge,
Norman, still surrounded by adoring fans. He was her first and only concern.
Jostling and shoving, his devotees were
oblivious to even the shrill sirens cutting through the early morning quiet, like a hot knife through butter. One thread of
conscious thought linked the entire crowd together. That was getting closer to their idol. All that concerned them was the
chance to get a glimpse, a touch, an autograph or even, did they dare to hope, a word of acknowledgment from Norman their
idol right here in front of them..
Gretchen was at Norman's’s side almost as before the conscious realization
of danger had dawned on her. That was what made such a great bodyguard, her instincts were never wrong. Grabbing his arm she
pulled the super star sideways, scattering his fans in the process, clearing a path to safety with a wave of her nine-millimeter
pistol. She would never dream of firing it in a crowd like this, even if meant failure to protect her client, but nobody knew
that, not even Norman.
“What the heck,” blurted Norman, as he was violently wrenched sideways?
didn’t answer. She was pulling him to the ground, shielding his body with hers, swinging the pistol in a wide arc, like
a horizontal pendulum, to ward off the fans now beginning to react to this affront on their beloved icon. Then all hell broke
Everyone heard the sirens now. People scattered in all directions as the black Porsche careened around
the corner. It was going much too fast for even a sports car to negotiate such a turn safely. It skidded sideways into the
square. The driver either didn’t care who got injured, or was too occupied with a get-away to even notice the severity
of the situation. These innocent bystanders were in mortal danger, but so was the driver. As the car pitched perilously into
a sidelong skid something on the concrete pavement caught the edge of a tyre and the momentum of the speeding Porsche suddenly
sifted from forward to sideways flipping it sidelong at the crowd.
At the same instant as the car took flight,
Merilee landed, crossing paths with the Porsche, she on the ground, the car in the air.
In less than a heartbeat
it was all over. Merilee lay on the ground. The Porsche was propped against a nearby building, half upside down. Four dead
bodies, broken bits of glass, twisted pieces of the Porsche and the remains of the shattered concrete pot and plant littered
the square. Stunned bystanders stood staring at the destruction surrounding them, each thinking, I’m glad I didn’t
die today. Police cars screeched to a halt, spewing uniformed officers into the square. The policemen quickly took charge
of the situation, clearing the spectators from around both Merilee, and the Porsche.
Greatchen grabbed Norman and hustled him away still being followed by the adoring fans who through all this had barely
stopped screaming the name of their idol. Quickly she pushed him into a taxi, and hurried him away. She couldn't believe what
had happened today and realised she needed to take far more care as he could have been hurt. He did not sayone single word,
but then he hardly ever did as he was not being paid to talk, just appear in public to promote the new film and story.
the blue tinted half light, Tom looked at the chaos in the square.
He looked at the wall where the black Porsche leaned precariously, the left-hand door bent completely back on its
hinges. He looked at the damage, and the debris scattered all around. He remembered seeing Gretchen
getting slowly to her feet, sliding her gun back in its secret holster, and he wondered what she was doing here and what this
was all about.
For the second time today, Tom exclaimed, this time to no one in particular, “What the heck?”