The botanical garden was a large peaceful place where people did picnics and took pictures of various flowers and butterflies. Families and couple came because it seemed like a nice place for them to bond. So when David and Katherine entered the premises, it was obvious they hadn’t come to appreciate the flowers or bond over anything. His jacket had bloodstains all over and they looked fresh. She had several cuts on her face, one very deep and slowly bleeding out. They appeared to have come from a battle zone and the botanical garden did not seem like the first place to think about when hiding.
As if they had picked up on how strange they looked to others in the gardens, Katherine grabbed one of David’s hands. But this didn’t help at all. It was more obvious now that ever that they didn’t have any kind of relationship. They were holding hands as if they were grabbing a freshly caught fish.
They enter the largest greenhouse and there they were able to rest for a while. People seemed too be more focused on the beautiful colors and insects than on the couple that had come in. Katherine touched her face and noticed the blood whereas David took off his jacket and turned it around. It looked kind of funny but it was better than displaying blood all over the place.
But still, that did not help that much. After all, David was dressed in his usual attire, which meant tight jeans, suspenders, black polo shirt and red boots. Yes, David was a skinhead but, as he explained to everyone that cared to ask, he was not the “bad” kind of skinhead. He just liked the ideals, the real ones, behind all of it. He was used to people staring at him everywhere he went but now wasn’t the time to be noticeable. With his jacket’s sleeve he cleaned some of the sweat from his almost bald head (his hair was very short).
Katherine, on the other hand, was a bit older than him. Not enough to be his mother but old enough to be a grumpy older sister. But they weren’t related and had just being together at the wrong time and the wrong place. As a matter of fact, they did not know anything about each other, except a mad man was chasing them. Katherine grabbed her phone from her pocket and checked some things very fast. After all, it was her tool of work. She was a very important part of an advertisement company and she knew her boss was probably wondering where she was.
After all, she had just left to pick up some photocopies that were needed in the 5 pm daily meeting. Although she thought her work was important, it really wasn’t. She was basically and errand girl, running around with coffee mugs and photocopies and various folders. Her main task, after all, was classifying every document the company had in order for their main archive to be in order. She just liked to think it was important because after turning thirty, every job matters as if it was the best of the best, even if it’s obviously not.
The couple picked up the pace, went all along the inner path of the greenhouse and got out of it on the other end. Fortunately, they noticed there was a different exit than the entrance they had used earlier. In a very hush voice, David told Katherine the best thing was to go to a police station and tell them everything that had happened. They would provide security and the mad man may be even apprehended for following them. But they hadn’t seen him since they had entered the gardens, so maybe he had just gave up. At least that was Katherine’s opinion.
They walked slowly, following a brick path through a forest of palm trees that lead to the other exit. Katherine stated that it was probably best of they each left for home and just let it go. David looked at her as if she had lost her marbles and didn’t even reply anything. If they separated, he was going straight to police station. Maybe they wouldn’t believe him, it had happened before. But after the mess that man had caused, it was going to be very difficult for the police not to believe him.
As they got closer to the entrance, they realized two things: the man was on the other side. He had apparently not seen them yet but he looked oddly calm and controlled, very different from his display at the stationery store. The proof was that both David and Katherine started to tremble as soon as they had seen him and hid behind some bushes. The woman then agreed that they had to get to the police so she took out her phone but wasn’t able to dial because someone kicked her hand. It was the mad man.
He looked enraged but controlled. It was very scary to see such a normal looking guy with so much evil in his eyes. He was holding a gun with a silencer and told them that he would shoot if thy screamed. He then advised them to stand up and walk in front of him, slowly. He would put the gun away but advised them not to run away or he would pull it our fast and shoot them both in the head before anyone could catch him.
Katherine and David stood up and complied. The group came out of the botanical garden as if nothing was happened but anyone that would noticed the twitching in David’s eyes or how sweaty Katherine’s hands were, would instantly now that something strange was happened. As the man had told them, they walked in front of him slowly, just as if he was a friend and they were there with him. But they didn’t even talk so the image was even stranger than one would think. They crossed the street and the man told them to board a red car that was parked on the sidewalk. They looked at each other before doing what the said.
Inside, the car was incredibly hot and the leather seats were not helpful. The man boarded too and put the gun on the dashboard. Soon, started the engine and he drove, without telling a word to them. He looked straight to the road, not moving his wide-open eyes for nothing. It had to be said: he was a very good driver, even letting old women cross at the corners and cleverly avoiding buses and trucks. He didn’t look like the man they feared.
A couple of hours earlier in the stationery, that man had been waiting for some photocopies too, or at least that’s what it looked like. Katherine had come in because of work and David had to pick up several pages of a book that he wanted to read carefully. He had just begun the career of social studies at the university and wanted to nail every class to be the best social worker he could. Each one of them was there, minding their own business. It was when two petty thieves entered that it all went insane.
Those two attempted to steal the money but, in the process, hurt people all over the store. They pushed Katherine towards a glass structure, which broke and cut her face and shoot a little boy and his mother, whom David tried to help when the men weren’t watching. It was when one of them tried to drag one of the girls that worked there to a storage room, that the mad man acquired his nickname.
Without even hesitating, he pulled out his gun and shot one of the guys in the head. His body collapsed right there, for everyone to see. He then ran to the storage room and grabbed the other man by the hair. He had his penis out but hadn’t raped the girl, who was lying on the floor, crying. The mad man put his gun on the thief’s mouth and pulled the trigger. Everyone screamed. Then, people thought an even crazier man had rescued them and that they could go. But, what was his business there with a silenced gun?
The man was aware people were scared of him and decided to take Katherine by the arm. She had been helped by another woman with her wounds but the man stopped that. He took her as a hostage because, in his mind, people had turned against their savior. David tried to talk to him and even got him to say a few words. For a moment there, it seemed he understood what had happened and that if he released Katherine nothing would happen to him. Everyone would say to the police how much of a nice man he had been by saving that girl from being raped and all of them from being hostages.
The man released loosened his hands and Katherine took that moment to step on his foot and run outside. David, stupidly, followed her. And now they were hostages again, in his car, going who knows where. The man didn’t say a word until they had left the city. He took the car through an open field and then parked right in the middle of it.
He came out of the car, taking his gun with him. As he walked on the moist grass, he looked up. Some stars could already be seen. Then, he pointed the gun to his head and shot himself. The couple in the car where just to scared to scream.