Pen to Paper: My Tweed Stranger

Heather ran as fast as she could with one shoe on. Her loose black hair waved like a flag behind her encouraging the gang behind her. She could taste her blood, hear her heart sing, and feel that person’s hand in hers. Who was this person? A stranger.

Heather met him five minutes ago during her shift volunteering at her local clinic. Like any other Friday night, she cleaned up the front desk and swept the floor, which had been scattered with used gloves and candy wrappers. It was twilight and security was poor tonight. Why? Dr. Janice Mayer, Chief of Medicine, planned to buy drinks at Filthy Rose, the local pub. Some employees were on call; Dr. Mayer was about to depart for the night with the rest of the employees. She apparently got 500 bucks after winning a local car race. Good for her.

“Make sure to lock the door to the pharmacy tonight, Heather!” Dr. Mayer hollered as she ran out in excitement with her white lab coat still on.

Heather turned around about to reassure her, but she had already disappeared. Heather turned back around. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a flash of a tweed shade, but she didn’t recognize it as a matter of importance. She quickly forgot about the tweed, neglecting to connect that it was the color of his trench coat. Her stranger’s trench coat.

Heather could still hear Janice’s heels proudly follow her heartbeat all the way to her red Jeep. What Heather did not notice was that Dr. Mayer’s car never started.

Heather let her hair loose in waves and started sweeping the dirty floor until she laid eyes on a pair of dark boots next to Dr. Mayer’s garnet red heels. She gradually lifted her head and gazed from the floor to see Dr. Mayer with a knife to her throat restrained by one man in a gang. Heather swallowed her fear, tightened her grip on her broom, and approached the men.

“Let her go and I won’t call security!” Screamed Heather.

The men chuckled ominously at her for a bit then settled down. The laughter was worse than the silence before.

Dr. Mayer whimpered.

“Save yourself,” choked Dr. Mayer.

“The little lady should ask us who we are and what we want,” demanded one man in dark sunglasses.

Heather snickered and took a step forward, fully aware that Dr. Mayer’s life rested in her hands. “Why would I bow down to a fool who wears glasses at night to hide his identity?” snapped Heather.

“Fuck you,” the man growled as he pushed his knife slightly deeper into Dr. Mayer’s skin.

“Make yourself useful and go get the drugs,” threatened one of the men.

That was not a solution nor was it the right solution. In a matter of seconds, Heather scanned her surroundings and found herself gazing at a fire alarm behind the men in black. Technically, she would be breaking the law… However, Dr. Mayer’s life was in her hands.

Heather bent down and took off her grimy shoe. With each long breath, she gripped her shoe in her sweaty and trembling hand.

“Let her go and we will let you and your boys go. Or else…” trembled Heather.

“Or else what?” snarled the man with the knife.

Heather threw her shoe across the room over the men. As the shoe flew, she took no notice of someone strutting in through the main doors. When she did, Heather would never forget his silhouette. It was magnificent. The tall man wore an oversized tweed coat with a huge backpack. He grinned a crooked smile, and mischievous eyes danced. He was trouble.

It was even more troubling when the shoe missed the fire alarm.

At that moment of time, Heather locked her gaze with this alluring stranger. It took no words to express what eyes could communicate.

It was not love at rst glance but survival at first glance.

Heather recklessly sprinted like a bull towards Dr. Mayer, separating her from the man’s grasp. Suddenly, the tweed stranger dropped a rainbow parachute over the men. He took Heather’s other free hand and they all dashed out together.

You stupid, girl? You should have ran and called the authorities with your smartphone!” The tweed stranger yelled at Heather while running.

“I don’t think you should be talking as your rainbow parachute failed.” Heather snapped back.

“My rainbow parachute bought us time to escape,” defended the tweed stranger.

Unexpectedly, the tweed stranger fainted in the middle of the road, dragging the women with him. A driver in a car stopped in its tracks and quickly checked on them.

“My word! What happened? Did this man hurt you?” yapped the gasping driver.

Before Heather could answer the driver, she had to check if he was alive. She rested her head to his heart and checked his pulse. There was no pulse.

“No. He’s alive. He has to be,” she whispered.

“Who is that man?” interrogated the driver.

“Irrelevant question. The right question is will you help us save him? Will you help my tweed stranger who bought me time and saved our lives?”

After escaping danger, Heather’s eyes shined brightly. Despite the towers of adventure books Heather read and the rush of adrenaline, Heather made a promise to herself: to never think on her feet.

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