My lungs burned as I raced after my brother. We plunged headlong down the steep streets attempting to fly with each step, the papal guards a short distance behind us. I cried out in pain as my shoulder slammed into the wall where the street curved. I was running so fast I couldn’t navigate the turn.
“Avanti,” Sandro yelled at me. He shouldn’t have wasted his breath, I knew what would happen if the guards caught us. Seconds later Sandro skidded to a stop, dashed to his left and vanished. I fixed my eyes to the spot where I had last seen him, slowing as I got close. I glanced left into a short vicoletto. The alleyway ended with a set of stairs that lead to bolted doors. Sandro’s head peeped out from behind a wooden door that half blocked the stairwell. He motioned me forward.
“What have you done? There’s no way out of here. The guards….” my voice trail off as Sandro motioned for me to be quiet and disappeared behind the wooden door. I heard the guards in the street. Maybe they wouldn’t find us.
I ducked behind the door, only Sandro wasn’t there. Instead, I looked at a dark opening where a wall should be. A cool, damp breeze wafted into the vicoletto.
It was Sandro’s voice, reaching out from the murky void. I stepped inside drowned in darkness as the door silently slid shut, cutting us off from the guards.
“Silenzio,” he whispered. We could hear the guards outside the door. They tromped up the stairs and banged on the bolted doors. There was a loud crash as one of them knocked over the potted plant. A muffled voice called from the street and the guards retreated. Only silence remained.
Sandro fumbled in the darkness lighting a candle.
“What is this place?” I asked.
“Passaggio segreto, secret, no? Corrono sotto la città.”
“Under the city?”
“Si. C’è un’uscita al di là delle mura della città. Passato le guardie.”
“The tunnel will get us past the guards?”
“Si. Passato le guardie saremo al sicuro.
“Andiamo,” I said. Trusting my brother, we began our escape.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer