I wrote it when I was 11 !!
My eyes misted as I clapped for my son who marched up the stage to accept his medal. I was really proud for the deeds my son had done as a military commander for the country but the cause of my tears was the memory of a friend, Jack…
Jack was an excellent shooter and a famous (in the underworld) personality. How did we meet? Well, he saved my life.
It was a chilly morning of December when I was walking down the Eve Street, unaware of the danger in store. The locality was deserted and except me there were only a couple of other people– a young man and an old woman– on the street. Everything was quiet when suddenly a shot rang out, shattering the stillness. In an instant the young man had his gun out, aimed at the old women. The woman, surprisingly, lost her limpness and ran for cover behind a wall (and she too had a gun) – she turned out to be a man. I shrieked as someone grabbed me from behind and blindfolded me. I was carried in, perhaps, a car to some musty place, which turned out to be the dungeons of the Webster House. My blinds were removed but my hands and feet were securely tied and then I was thrown in one of the
Sweat poured through my body, all sorts of thoughts passing my mind. I looked around myself and found to my surprise that there were a dozen more people in the vault, all unconscious. They were all VIPs (except a couple of girls who were simple citizens like me)relations of different ministers whom I knew by faces .For a minute I felt honored to meet such people but then again the thoughts of the gangsters filled my head. Otherwise, the room vault was completely bare and was illuminated by the glow of the only light bulb present there. I tried to wriggle out of my bonds but they were tied quite professionally. At that moment the metallic door opened to reveal a lot of rogues.
They were all dressed in black and were carrying AK-47s in their shoulder holsters. I got scared when they started towards me but they didn’t even seem to notice me and passed on. They carried the unconscious figures of the VIPs out one by one and closed the door. Now there were only three of us left in the cell- the two, partially conscious, girls and myself. Once they were fully recovered I tried to talk them into telling me what the whole affair was about but they were too scared to utter a single word.
After a few hours of silence, there came a grating sound and the door opened. In came a man, closing the door behind him. He was dressed fully in black like all other thugs; he advanced towards me with a sharp knife gleaming in his hand. I screamed with fright assuming that he was planning to kill me. The man gave me a sharp look with a finger on his lips; I understood that I had to be quiet. When he came a little closer, I gasped in recognition- he was none other than the underworld face whose picture was on the wanted list of criminals on the papers, famous by the name of the Jackal.
He walked up to me with the sharp blade, and with one stroke of his arm…
I closed my eyes, waiting for death to come but instead I felt the grips of ropes loosen around my wrists. I slowly reopened my eyes and gazed at him who was setting the other girls free. My mind still wasn’t ready to accept what was happening, I was sure that he was going to assassinate me but my heart opposed it as his eyes showed concern though he appeared to be ruthless.
The man motioned us all to sit and said, “The doors are heavily guarded at present. It’ll be easier to get out at noon, the guards at that shift are easier to handle.” I sat close to him and asked in a hesitating manner, “Aren’t you the-“
“Jackal, yeah!” he said interrupting me. I sat quietly waiting for an explanation but when none came I again inquired, “What’s going on here and how come you saving lives instead destroying…I…please, no offence or anything intended.”
“None taken. And about your question, the whole thing’s this- these people are an international group of terrorists, want money and their dangerous fellas set free from the clutches of the police. They’re holding important people as hostages. And about why I’m helpin’ you’ll- it’s a long story but in short” he sighed “my sister, the only one I’ve ever had to call a family, was abducted and was brutally murdered by a group of outlaws”, for a moment his eyes were filled with misery and sorrow but in no time, he regained his ruthless attitude and resumed, “I can’t see innocent children and women killed and I came forward. And my reputation helped me to gain the terrorists trust, so here I am.”
“So you mean to say that you entered as a terrorist but are actually working for the government?”
“Not. For. The government.” He said this slowly yet furiously. “I told you how much I cared for my sister Laura. When she was in danger I was not there to save her; and I find… peace on saving the innocent. And the government is actually after me, ‘cause I’m a wanted criminal, am I not?”
A criminal saving women and children, weird.
I sat for a while, looking at the man and then extended my hand, “I’m Jane Maria Christie.” He gave a quick two fingered salute saying, “Jack Sullivan”
After a sleepy hour or so, Jack stood up, asking us to do the same. “Now, follow me and remember-if there are any shootouts, stick to the ground. Clear?” We all nodded.
With gesturing to be quiet, he moved out of the door with all of us tailing him. After turning a corner we followed him at a brisk pace towards the door, but Jack came to an abrupt stop and to our horror, we were face to face with one of the assassins.
He, at first ignored our expression and gave Jack a friendly smile and extended his palm, asking for a pass. From Jack’s expression it was clear that he wasn’t expecting anything of this sort. When Jack was unable to provide him with what he wanted, his expression became grave. He looked first at Jack and then at us, and at once took out his gun. Then there was quite a lot of shooting between a few terrorists and Jack. As instructed, we went down on our bellies and crawled all the way to the door.
“Run, run for your lives, go to gate 4, hurry” came the orders from the wounded Jack as he was still blocking the door so that the terrorists couldn’t follow us. Unwillingly, we left him to fight for himself and ran out. Whatsoever, we were being followed by a couple of gangsters. Once outside, we saw that the atmosphere was tense as if preparing for a war. We saw on a city map displayed on a board that gate 4 was a military base and was not too far from where we were standing. We ran at top speed, stopping only once to catch our breath. We finally reached the base (where one of my companions fainted out of tiredness) where noticing our conditions, we were carried inside.
In a week, we came to know that the terrorists were under control-all because of our army-and the VIPs were located.
The next morning’s paper showed that several of the gangsters were found dead on the door of the Webster House (I knew it was Jack’s work). It also explained that the army men were under cover, patrolling the city (like the old woman who turned out to be a man) and it even revealed that the Jackal was found dead too, outside the dungeons.
Every one still thinks that he was a companion of the terrorists. No one knows the truth about the daring hero. Now, 20 yrs have passed but the incident is still fresh in my mind. I’m really happy to think that I got a chance to know such a great person who gave up his life just for three citizens whom he didn’t even know. This was not exactly a friendly meeting but to me he would always be a friend-a savior.
There are many villains in this world, but this one was different …he was a villain with a heart.