His hiding place …

Today’s writing prompt and my response.

First day of this week’s challenge!
His hiding place had been discovered

He came up short, panting, red-faced. He stared. No! His hiding place had been discovered! The thin cotton thread he had so carefully pulled from his worn out jeans was no longer in its place across the imperceptible gap.

He bent over, hands on his knees, heart thudding. The opening remained closed. Maybe … he glanced around … maybe some small creature, hiding just like he was, had disturbed the thread. Maybe … he lifted his head, trying to detect a flow of air in the windowless room … maybe a draught had blown it loose.

Neither of these things had happened. If they had, the thread would be nearby, on the floor, somewhere close. He fell to his hands and knees, searching. Despite the accumulated dust and the gloom, he could see there was no thread.

He stood, wary, took a step towards the gap. Stopped. Drew in a breath. Should he risk it?

ruined passageway

Behind him, running footsteps in the broken corridor beyond the empty room, shouts, sounded. There was no way out bar the way he’d come in, and that would lead him straight into their eager arms.

He took another step, releasing an ancient pocket knife from his pocket, inserting the blade into where he knew the opening existed. The horizontal planks fell inward.

The footsteps thudded down the hall. Shouts bounced off the old brick walls. He scrambled through the gap, swung around in the darkness of the far side and set the planks back in their place. The noise of his pursuers drowned the soft thwack as the planks merged seamlessly with the wall. He leant his head against the splintered wood, stilled his breathing, prayed his heartbeat didn’t sound as loud outside his body as it did inside his head.

Was it they who had discovered his hiding place? Was he alone in his hiding place?

He would know both, very soon.

Continue the story here.

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