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from Love, Or Something Like It by L. K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.)

Copyright © 2020 L. K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.)

Chapter 8




UNIT: Dawn and Olaedoen

SITUATION: Create an Escape Plan

LOCATION: At The Top of The Stairs

TIME: 0300 hours Local Time, Current Date



The electronic sound had planted their feet solidly on the wooden floor. Dawn fumbled with her cell phone in an effort to press the silencing button. She managed to press it all the way down to silence, just as the next electronic notice started to ring through her cell phone.

From the floor above they heard a male voice asked, “General, is that you?”

She and Olaedoen stood silently as they waited to hear if they would be discovered. Both new that they could not hide in the room with the religious objects of Sang-je in case the male voice decided to come down to pray. They realized he could not hide in the customer room where the cash register was stationed in the event the male voice decided to come down and check his cash register. If they tried to hide in the stairway behind the door, the General might come up, or the male voice might come down to it.

They wanted to run, but that meant canceling the mission and making enough noise that it would alert the male voice upstairs that someone really had broken in to his shop, and he would call the police, and everyone in the van, plus themselves, would be in jeopardy. Those thoughts caromed through their minds in a frantic mishmash of fearful scenarios.

The next voice that they heard was that of a softer feminine voice. The voice called the shop owner by name and invited him to return to bed. They heard the shop owner mutter as he gave in to the soft voice’s request, “That General lurks around at the strangest hours.”

Dawn turned to Olaedoen, and in her own soft whisper begged, “I think we should leave now.”

He exhaled his lungful of air through pursed lips, “We’re this close. Let’s just check to see where these stairs go.”

A small squeak of desperation escaped her lips, “Oh please.” Her dread of the situation was clear.

Through their earbuds they heard Mungo’s words, “Just see if you can find out where the stairs go. Then you can consider your mission successful.”

Olaedoen whispered back at Dawn, “Come on. Let’s find out what’s down there.”

She turned to face him, “if we get caught going down there, I will kill you.”

“I understand.” He wheedled, “but let’s just do this one last thing.”

Mentally, she reached deep down inside through the fear and gathered her resolve. She slid her shaking hand down over the doorknob. With tenuous pressure she attempted to turn the doorknob handle. It was well oiled, and it opened with a snicking sound. She leaned into the door which opened with a swooshing motion. She shined her flashlight through the open door frame Before her was a narrow landing with stairs that descended inexorably   into the dark.

Impatient behind her, Olaedoen’s raspy whisper reached her ears, “Let’s get this over with. You are making me nervous.”

She turned to glare at him in the dark, but the intent of her look was lost in the dark. She turned back to the open door and with careful deliberation stepped through. The only sound she made was the hissing of her clothing as she moved her legs. He stepped through behind her. Their combined weight made the wood...

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