Todd could feel the bile rising in his throat as he looked out the window, and with every nerve in his body, he was able to not upend the last meal he had. Todd's chest could be seen rising and falling, as he took deep breaths in through his nose, out through his mouth. It was an old technique he had learned in anger management to calm himself, but it seemed to be working wonders now.
Susan also could not keep her eyes away from the window. The banging was constant, but it appeared the windows were strong and could withstand many people hitting them. Not that Susan could really see through them anymore, so smeared that any details were impossible. Susan felt something warm on her face, and with a finger touched the spot to find that she had been crying. She did not remember actually crying, but there they were, the tears that had been falling from her eyes and running down the sides of her cheeks. With red eyes, she looked to Todd, "What now?"
"Well." Todd ran his fingers through his hair, moving his mind to Susan finally and realizing that he was not fully alone right now. With a start Todd realized that his hands were still on his head and he forced himself to lower his hands to his sides, but allowed them to enter his pockets to prevent them from shaking anymore. "I don't foresee us able to leave here right now. Maybe they will go away?"
Todd looked hopefull with his last words. As if he was wishing every second that this would all go away and that maybe he had fallen asleep in the bathroom. Todd turned back to the corner where the door to the bathroom was still open and beyond. There was another door that had an exit sign right above it. "There, over in the corner by the bathrooms. Maybe we can get out of here through there and escape. Hopefully that gang out there is only out front."
Todd's feet began moving before he had really thought it through. Within a fraction of a minute, he was standing at the back door, staring at the handle. It was one of those doors that only needed to be pushed, no knob. "Are you going to open it?" Susan's voice directly behind Todd made him jump.
"Yes, but only just a little bit, I want to make sure there is nothing out there." Todd's hands reached forward, each one shaking like a leaf. He pressed down upon the door and eased it open just an inch. Todd put his eye up to the crack and looked outside. What he saw shocked him.
Nothing. It looked completely normal out there. No one could be seen within the sight of the crack. Todd eased it open just an inch further, gaining a greater perspective of the world outside. Still, everything looked normal. He could hear the sounds of commotion from the front of the store, but none of those at the front window had decided to come around the side at all.
"Is it clear?"
"Looks to be clear over here." Todd whispered it to Susan. "Maybe we could make a break for it. What do you think?"
"Anything to get out from here." Todd looked back at Susan and could see desperation there. Her eyes were darting back and forth, and he could see that sweat was on her brow. Whatever was going to happen, staying trapped in the store was not going to work for her.
"OK. We will have to move fast and quiet. I do not want anyone to notice us getting out of here." Todd felt his hand fall from the door, and he temporarily lost his balance. He went to grab for the door but he found that it had opened more and Todd fell over onto his side. When he looked up, he found that one of the guys from outside had grabbed the door open and was now coming inside.
Todd was frozen in place. His muscles had become rocks that could not be moved, his brain was caught in the moment. Time itself was stopped. This is how I am going to die? Sitting on my own ass? Time began to move forward once more with a loud clang. Susan had picked up a trash can and pegged the guy in the face.
It was what Todd needed to move again. He scrambled to his feet and grabbed the same can that Susan had just used moments before and shoved the man back out the door. Whoever it was fell backward and landed on its back. The whole time the guy had been reaching for Todd, but with him out of the way Todd was able to reach for the door and pull it shut.
The door clicked, and right behind it Todd and Susan could hear the man's fists banging against the door. It only took a minute, but from the sounds a few extra hands were being used to bang against the door.
"It looks as if we are stuck here a while longer. There are more of them out that door, so I doubt we could make any sort of run for it." Todd looked to Susan, who had tears welling in her eyes.
"Maybe there is another exit? Maybe if we just run for it we can get away?" Susan's voice raised several octaves while she was speaking, her hands and body began to shake as the tears began to flow down her face without impediment.
Todd did not hesitate. He wrapped his arms around her in a big hug and held on tight. Susan tried to escape, but Todd was stronger and her efforts waned as she gave into his warm embrace. "It will be OK. I promise you." His words were empty, but still reassuring. Slowly her body relaxed and stopped shaking.
"Thank you." She whispered back to him. She found herself sinking further into this man's arms that she had just met. It was comfortable and familiar and new all at the same time. "I think I am better now." Susan pulled back from Todd.
"That is good. So, what do you think we should do now?"
"I don't know. I guess we just have to wait it out." Todd moved back away from Susan and scanned the store they were in. It was a normal looking convenience store, with the regular pile of junk food and soda. In the cooler was soda and water, even one case was filled with beer. "At least we can eat and drink. Would really not be fun if we didn't have any food."
"Way to look at the bright side of things." Susan walked to one of the counters and opened up a candy bar. "Well, this is good, my stress relief in a bar." Even with the banging on the door and the sounds of those outside Susan was cheering up just a little bit.
Out from the back of the store, there was a banging noise. "What was that?" Susan asked.
"Something from the backroom? I think maybe it is the person that was working here when I first came in." There was another banging sound, and a moan type sound came from the back office. Todd was shaking again. The store was bathed in an eerie light as the lights went out and the emergency lights kicked on. "Oh, Shit."