Chapter 7


It was as if nobody moved – and then everybody did. Eyes locked on his fiancé, Charles was across the room, scrambling, almost tripping over himself in his haste to get to her. The librarian stood with her hand over her mouth, watching from a distance as the shooter lowered his gun slowly, and casually walked over to an empty chair.

'Nobody ever listens. Lesson learned, everyone?'

Charles fell beside Alli as the blood began to seep through her shirt. She gazed in stone cold shock at her abdomen, then looked up at Charles fearfully. He pressed his lips to her forehead then gently lifted her shirt to reveal the gaping wound.

'It's going to be okay baby. Just stay with me. Stay awake.'

She didn't answer, and he grabbed her chin with his hand, looking directly at her 'Alli? Promise.'

She nodded, and he stripped off jacket, before tearing the bottom off his t-shirt to wrap around Alli's slight waist. Placing both his hands over the wound, he looked to the shooter.

'What do you want, huh? What did she ever do to you? What the hell are you hoping to achieve by all this?'

The man sighed an exaggerated sigh.

'You people mean nothing to me. You're just pawns in my chess game.' He gazed out the window in the direction of the manufacturing plant.

'You think your fancy little degrees are gonna get you anywhere? Think an expensive piece of paper's gonna save your butt when it counts? Cause I'm telling you now, it aint.'

He paused, still looking out to the plant.

'I want the plant to pay. I want the world to know what went on there, what we put up with, what we're facing now they've dismissed us; no dismissal pay, no anything…some of us have families.'

'Families?' Charles felt Alli's hand curl around his wrist where it pushed against her wound, seeking comfort. He looked over to the shooter. 'You wanna talk about families? We all have families! Everyone in this room has families that are now suffering because of you. You just shot my fiancé! For what?'

The shooter took a couple of steps closer to Charles, and he moved his body closer to Alli protectively.

The shooter sneered. 'You dirty freaking Americans think you can just waltz in here, have yourself a nice little holiday while you go to school. You ever think what it's like for the rest of, the ones that stay behind? I busted my gut for four years, slept in my car to save enough money to get through my degree. And where did that piece of paper get me? A job with a tyrant boss who takes away your sick days and overtime at any hint of a complaint about our working conditions. A corporate body who could care less about the hundreds of families they've left without an income.'

Charles had turned back to Alli throughout this rant, hands tightly on her stomach, eyes desperately searching her face for any sign she was slipping away from him. But her eyes remained locked on his, big and fearful, and he leaned forward again to kiss her temple

'Look that sucks man, but it's got nothing to do with anyone in this room. We're all just trying to make our way, just like you.'

The man leant cockily against a shelf. 'That's where you're wrong. Half of the people in this room aren't even from here. You know what that makes this? An international issue, that's what. And you know what that achieves for me? A freaking international spotlight on a situation that the Spanish government would prefer to just sweep under the rug. Well not today. This is my show. Thanks for being a part of it.'

He paused, and Alli leant forward to rest her head against Charles, feeling her body begin to drift a little. She felt dizzy, eerie, like she was stuck in that brief moment between awake and asleep.

The man returned to his seat, and the buzz of helicopters could be heard overheard. The shooter grinned.

'The show must go on.'


Sorry for the wait everyone! I know it was horrible of me, please forgive me!