Flash Friday 12/04/2013: Run From Your Life (pt. 2)
Last week’s Flash Friday was so provocative for my imagination, I’ve decided to do another!
“I doubt they’ll know where we are,” Tony said. “I mean, how could they? Unless they use some of that weird magic you keep talking about.”
“It’s not magic,” Robin said for the tenth time that day. “It’s a divine blessing. There’s a goddess of spam, and I’ve gone and betrayed her, and now she’s probably scanning the world for me. I can’t take any risks, not after I refused to spam your blog.”
“I would have been so confused if you posted it. I thought you were a good man.”
“I am.” Robin took a peek out of the window. “That’s why I’m here.”
There was a thud on the front door mat. The correspondence was here.
Robin treaded towards the front door, as if each footstep was as loud as a building collapsing. The letter on the mat was legitimate, with Fiona’s seal on the back. Her scouting of the Priests of Advertising has given her some new intel, it seems. Breaking the seal, Robin tugged the letter out from the envelope and read it in silence.
‘Everything seems quiet’, the letter read. ‘They still think you fled north into the city for whatever reason, probably expected you to leave the country. They still haven’t rolled out anything more than a few foot-sloggers, so I wouldn’t be too worried. I’m still in negotiations with finding you more safe-houses should they discover yours, but if push comes to shove, I can always buy a legitimate diploma for competitive rates! Start your career today with a 100% verifiable certificate for a fast and efficient solution to your career problems!’
The colour drained from Robin’s face.
“Tony,” he yelled. “Tony, did a postman deliver this letter?”
“What? How am I supposed to know? It just arrived, didn’t it?”
“Yes, but was it actually delivered? I told you to check for postmen, Tony.”
“Why the bloody hell would I do that for?”
Robin knew there wasn’t time for argument. He’d activated it, and now time was ticking.
He ran back into the room and grabbed Tony’s arm, dragging him towards the stairs.
“What on earth are you doing?” Tony said in mild shock. “Why are you so uptight about a bloody postman?”
“They managed to intercept and bug one of our letters. Intercepted letters are magically delivered, not by hand. If we don’t leave now, we’ll be caught by the spam bomb.”
Robin opened his mouth to explain, but he didn’t need to. On cue, the Church of Her Advertisement had managed to lock onto the house and commenced their attack. The pair ran into the hallway where the stairs was located, adjacent to the front door. The door’s letterbox was permanently open, a heavy stream of holiday brochures, car insurance adverts and adult phone lines pouring through. By the time they had set foot on the first step, the spam level was already threatening to submerge it.
“Who–what–” stammered Tony. “Who the hell is giving us all this?”
“It’s not who so much as what,” Robin said, slightly out of breath as he climbed the stairs. “It’s a curse that finds all open entrances and floods it with ‘blessings’ from the goddess. You did close the windows upstairs, right?”
“Why?” said Tony. The reason why became apparent when, upon reaching the top of the stairs, the sound of paper piling up at an alarming rate was coming from one of the rooms. Before Robin could close the door to the room, a small wave of paraphernalia sloshed through the doorway, pouring into the upstairs hallway.
“We need to get to the attic,” Robin said. “No windows there. They won’t be able to get us.”
Tony didn’t need telling again. His face red from two errors now, he grabbed hold of the attic pole, using it to open the hatch to the roof. A stairway slid out and downwards, the base of the stairs hitting the floor of spam which was already at their ankles. With a mad dash, the pair climbed up into the attic, dragging the staircase up from the tides and back into position. Tony reached out and grabbed the hatch, closing it with a solid thud.
They were safe.
No other words were exchanged. Tony turned on the light without having been told, but other than that, the pair spent the next few minutes holding their breath and listening. The din down below was incredible, as if the Niagara Falls itself had stopped over for a chat. Eventually the noise became lighter and lighter, until it was reduced to the sound of a few flutterings of paper.
“Did they stop?” Tony said.
“No,” Robin said, trying to push the hatch back down. “They filled it to the brim.”
“So…the house is stuffed full of spam now?”
“It’s how these things usually go. If we stay quiet, they’ll think we got caught in the tidal waves and died. Then, we can give Fiona a ring and tell her we’re still kicking. You did bring your phone, didn’t you?”
“First good thing I did today,” he said, holding his phone out for Robin to see. “At least at this height, we can get great signal.”
“Excellent. Turn it off for now, save the juice. We need to figure out how on earth we can survive for a few days.”
“I’m sure I saw a pizza delivery ad down there,” Tony said, peering at the hatch. “Thought that won’t be much use.”
“I agree,” Robin said, lying down on the old wooden floor with a sigh. Standing up for himself was getting harder and harder every day.