Kareema AlBalushi

The man in the long, black coat

His heavy footsteps resonated through the empty street as his black combat boots splashed through another puddle of rainwater. Covering his eyes with his hat and face cast down, he stepped out of the road and onto the sidewalk. The rain continued to pound down on him, getting heavier by each passing minute.

A loud clang of metal dropping made him quicken his pace as he heard footsteps follow him close behind. With a sharp turn into an alley, the man picked up his pace once more.

Knowing they had caught him, he ran as adrenaline flowed through his blood system. He sprinted down the alley, shifting his mocha eyes left to right, looking for an exit. Finding a fire-escape ladder, he hurriedly began to climb it, no longer caring to be quiet. A second crash came from behind just as the ladder started to tremble. Pulling himself onto the roof, he started running again and as he neared the edge, he jumped.

With a graceful landing onto the other building, he took off once again, his black coat flaring out behind him. The wind whistled in his ears as he whizzed past metal boxes and pipes, his chest feeling tight as he constricted his lungs of any oxygen. A gunshot ran through the air right when a bullet flew past his shoulder, missing him by a mere millimeter. This made his legs push him faster than before.

Shouts were heard from behind, demands and curses filling the crisp air.

“Catch him, goddamn it!” Ordered the bulky one of the five men.

With a huff, the man began to slightly slow down as he looked for another escape. Finding another ladder, he hastily began to descend it. Once his feet touched the cold ground, he took off again, running as fast as his aching legs could take him. Dodging as many obstacles as possible, the man took a turn out of the alley and jolted down the street. Another gunshot came from behind, only this time it grazed his ear and the left side of his face.

Warm blood slowly started to trickle down his cheek as an excruciating pain numbed his face. His breathing got shallower the more he ran. Moving onto the sidewalk, he turned into a tight alley, the sound of pounding feet bouncing off the alley’s walls. Deciding to look back, his coat got caught onto an outstretched metal rod, causing him to harshly fall back onto the concreted ground.

A flash of white appeared in front of his eyes moments before it dimmed down. Black dots danced in his vision as he tried to stay conscious, the ringing in his ears only getting louder.

The same bulky man let out a chortled laugh as the five got closer. With a smug look on his face, his grey eyes were ablaze with malice and hatred.

“And that’s the last of what we’ll see of the man in the long, black coat.”

With one last sardonic smile, he pointed the gun at the man’s head and pulled the trigger.

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Kareema AlBalushi is a 14-year-old, 10th grade student in Oman. She composes poetry and writes short stories in English.

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