Against All Odds

By EdBeth

E-mail Author: stargatesg1971@aol.com

Summary: Macs car is forced off the road leaving him hurt, blind and on the run from the bad guys.

Notes: This story on times features heavily on the two ladies helping Mac. 

Category: Angst, Hurt, Comfort, Action, Adventure and Friendship

Warnings: Moments of extreme physical and mental anguish

Rating: R

Disclaimer: MacGyver and its characters belong to Paramount Pictures and all the powers that be, not me. No copyright infringement intended. This story is written for fan entertainment only and no money has exchanged hands. The story is the property of the author and may not be posted anywhere without the authors consent.

Authors Comments: This is our first combined story,  we hope you’ll like it.  It often flits between first person perspective and POV.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

“How can you be sure he’s coming this way?” asked Harry as he stood shivering in the cold night air as it began snowing again.  “He could have taken another road, why come along this one?  I don’t get it.”

“That’s because you’re stupid,” Stuart answered as he looked up the empty road.  “This is the only road open at the moment.  The others are blocked by snow.  He has to come this way, so will you shut up moaning.” 

“It’s all right for you,” muttered Harry.  “I hate the cold and I really hate snow.  You’re sure that ‘thing’ is going to work.  Shuts off his engine right?”

“That’s right Harry, shuts off his engine, nothing permanent,” answered Stuart as the man got in next to him.  “The car just stops where I want it to.”

“Then we come along and offer to help and wham.  One dead witness, yes?” asked Harry as he tried to get warm.  “You gonna shoot him or what?”

“No, I’m not gonna shoot him.  You know Harry, I’m convinced that what little brain you were born with, if you were born with one, somehow leaked out of your head over the years,” said Stuart as he glared at the man sitting next to him.

“If you’d woken up a few times, as we’ve been following this guy, you would have noticed that we are driving through a mountain range that has a build up of snow at certain points.  Now I can’t be sure, because I don’t know much about snow, but maybe, if I fire my gun, no silencer see, the noise will bring the lot down.”

“So you’re gonna bury him in an avalanche, great idea,” answered Harry happily.

“And how do I do that exactly, how do I do that without bringing it down on us at the same time?” asked Stuart sarcastically, throwing his hands in the air.

“So if you ain’t gonna shoot him and you ain’t gonna bury him in snow.  How are you get gonna rid of him?”  Harry asked scratching his head.

“Well first of all the car stops.  I stop it with this ‘thing’ as you call it.  Out he gets to find out what’s wrong and then.  Well then, in the dark, because as you can see, it is still quite dark, won’t be for long though.  Then in the dark, I knock him down.  If he goes your way, he’ll find you standing there with a gun pointing at him.  He won’t know you’re not going to shoot because of the snow.  He’ll just see the gun. If he runs that way, he’ll fall off the cliff and he’ll know that.   He can’t get away over there because it’s a sheer cliff face.  The only place he can go is towards me and by then it will be too late and wham, as you so rightly put it, I hit him with the car and we get rid of the body around here somewhere.”

“You’re sure he’ll run?” asked Harry.

“No, he’ll just stand there and let you shoot him.  Course he’ll run idiot.”

“Sorry Stuart, it’s this cold, clogs me brain. Then what do we do?” he asked.

“You drive his car, I drive my car and we go back the other way to some isolated spot.  Dump his car.  Mess up the engine a bit, make it look like a natural breakdown so he took off to get help, and somehow got lost.  No body, no tie in with the boss. Just a missing person case. Now did you get that or would you like me to repeat it?”

“No I got it,” Harry answered.

“Good.  Now get out of the car and go stand where I told you,” Stuart ordered.

“How’d you know it’s his car coming along?  Could be some other guy’s who passed him up the road.”  Harry asked as he got out and shivered.

“That’s why you put that little itty bitty tracking device on it, while he was at that eating place, remember?  See it shows his car moving,” Stuart said, indicating a moving dot on what looked like a small TV screen stuck on the dashboard. “Now get over there, because according to this, he’s on his way.”

“Stuart; you’re a genius,” said Harry sounding impressed.  “You think of everything.  Boy the boss is going to be pleased.  He’s been freaking all week since they brought the Trial forward.  Lucky this guy didn’t take a train or a plane,” he added as he walked away and stood further up the road watched by Stuart parked on the edge of it facing him, and then leaving him in darkness as he turned off the headlights.

“Snow Harry, snow,” muttered Stuart through the window.  “It stops trains and it stops planes as well.  Just stand still and stop yakking,” he shouted as car headlights came around the bend in the road.

 

“Oh great, that’s all I need,” said MacGyver as his engine cut out and he coasted to a stop.  “First there’s too much snow so I can’t get any skiing in, then I get recalled to the Phoenix Foundation because they brought the murder trial forward by two months and now this.  Brrrr,” he added as he got out of the car.  “Um, that’s weird, I can’t see anything wrong with the engine,” he said as he looked under the hood with the torch then closed it again.  “Maybe it’s just the cold.”  ‘Now that’s a bit of luck,’ he thought to himself as he heard a car start up some way behind him.  “Don’t remember passing a car back there.  Perhaps they could give me a lift,” he said as he began walking towards it.  “What the?” he exclaimed as the headlights of the car came on lighting up the road, blinding him as it headed straight for him, it’s wheels screeching.  He turned to run back to his car and that’s when he saw a dark figure pointing a gun blocking his path.

“What on earth?” he said, as he looked around for another route out of the situation, as he backed away straight into the path of the oncoming vehicle.

 

He turned just before it hit but hardly felt any pain, just shock as it crashed into him sending him flying through the air and slamming him against the rock face.  All his mind took in was the white of the headlights and the ground coming up to meet him, and then the inside of his head filled with a thousand exploding stars.

 

“Hey he’s still alive,” Harry said to Stuart as they stood over Mac’s unconscious body.

“Not for long he isn’t,” answered Stuart.  “Boy did you see him fly.  Straight into that rock, a beautiful sight to see.  Dam, I hear a car coming,” he yelled at the sound of a distant engine.  “Quick shove him onto the back seat of his car and pretend to be trying to fix this one.”

“What?” asked Harry dumbly as they slammed the door of Mac’s car.

“Just do it,” Stuart shouted as he opened the hood of his own car as the vehicle came around the bend and pulled slowly up behind them. 

“Need any help?” asked the driver as he rolled down his window.  “Pretty bad night to breakdown.  I hear there’s a storm coming in that’s supposed to last for a week once it hits, sun should be up any time now though.”

“Thanks for the offer,” Stuart answered as he headed towards the man who was offering to help before he had time to get out.  “I think we’ve got it pretty well sorted, just some wet plugs.  My cousin here never looks after his car.  The times I’ve told him.  It was lucky I was with him or he’d have been in a real mess.”

“Well as long as you’re sure,” answered the driver.  “Good luck.”

“Yeah thanks,” said Stuart as he waved the man past.  “You too.”

“Phew that was close,” said Harry as the car disappeared from sight and he closed the hood as it began snowing heavily again.

“Right let’s get this guy...What the hell?” he shouted as MacGyver’s car burst into life and took off swerving across the road as it went.

“Don’t just stand there you idiot, get in,” yelled Stuart as he jumped in the driver’s seat and started the engine, sending the wheels spinning as he tore off up the road after Mac.

 

‘Got to get out of here,’ MacGyver’s mind was saying as he blinked and tried to clear his vision as the car swerved back and forth across the mountain road as he tried to keep control of it through the ever-increasing snowfall.  ‘Got to get away, danger,’ his mind continued as he fought to hold the steering wheel steady as his vision blurred and his head began swimming and his chest hurt as blood from a cut in his hairline started streaming down his face.  Then he saw the headlights of a car coming up fast and forcing its way onto his inside as he failed to keep himself on the safe side of the road.

“Shove him over!” Harry shouted as Stuart turned the wheel and crashed into MacGyver’s car pushing him towards the edge and the drop below.

“Oh he’s going, don’t you worry,” answered Stuart as he swerved again.

‘Oh God!’ said Mac to himself as his car crashed sideways through the barrier.

 

Through the pain that now wracked his body and his increasingly confused mind MacGyver managed to pull the seatbelt across himself and lock it in place as the car, which had so far stayed upright as it slid sideways across the frozen and freshly fallen snow hit something hard and turned onto its side, smashing the side window as it did and sending large shards of glass flying around the interior as he hung onto the steering wheel as the car rolled onto its roof and then onto its other side, smashing that window and sending more glass towards him.  Then he felt something dig deep into the back of his shoulder making him release his hold.  As it reached the bottom of the cliff, the car turned onto its roof, slid along the snow for a moment and then came to a stop as the windshield shattered. 

 

More out of instinct than knowing what he was actually doing, MacGyver kicked out at the shattered windshield, the impact punching a hole through it.  Fumbling with the catch on the seatbelt he realised his hands were covered in blood and for a moment was unable to release himself.  Then the belt came free and he landed with a crunch on the inside of the roof.  Kicking out once more at the windshield and ignoring the pain from the tiny shreds of glass that stuck into his hands, he crawled his way through the hole he’d managed to make.  As he tried to get to his feet, he slipped and fell.  Struggling once more, he stood swaying for a moment staring at the car and the smoke issuing from it.

‘Danger,’ his mind screamed.  ‘Danger.’  Still he stood swaying and staring at the car, his mind totally confused, no longer able to understand where he was or what had happened.  All he knew was he was hurt.  He was cold and hurt.

‘Best find a phone,’ his confused mind told him as he staggered towards some nearby trees.

(As sometimes happens with accident victims the mind stops thinking rationally and focuses on something trivial.)

 

‘My ski’s, my best ski’s,’ he thought as he turned around and moved a few steps back towards the car.  As he did so it exploded, the force of the explosion reaching him so that he felt the heat from it on his face and sending him crashing backwards into the trees, where he narrowly missed colliding with one, hit the ground and lay still.  He didn’t hear the second explosion or see the avalanche of snow that came crashing down from the cliff top high above the road and carried on down towards his burning car, turning it upright, carrying it past the trees where he was lying and leaving it half buried some yards away from its original stopping position, the snow extinguishing the fire as it went.

=====

As Stuart’s car pushed MacGyver’s over the edge, it skidded and nearly went over as well.  Struggling to keep the vehicle on the road as they swerved round the bend ahead, they continued to skid until he managed to get control and brought the vehicle to a stop just as they heard the first explosion.  Getting out of the car the two men headed towards the bend in the road as the second explosion came, stopping them dead in their tracks.  Then they heard the rumble as the snow crashed down.  As they moved on, as night turned to day, they could hardly see a hand in front of their faces through the falling snow and slipped and swore as they headed for the bend in the road, where they came to an abrupt halt.  They could go no further.  The road was completely blocked by snow.

 

“Well I think that takes care of him don’t you Stuart?” Harry said shivering.

“Now what do we do?  We can’t get back ourselves now.”

“You could be right Harry; for once you could be right.” Answered Stuart. “If that explosion didn’t get him, the avalanche must have done.”

“So now what?”  Asked Harry shivering and rubbing his arms.

“Get the map out and head for the nearest town.  Can’t do a blasted thing until this blizzard lets up,” answered Stuart.  “Kill ourselves if we try driving in this.”

=====

 

Francis’ Cabin

“Jo, wake up,” said Amy Morgan shaking her friend who totally ignored her and turned over.  “Jo, wake up!” said Amy once again shaking her harder this time.

“What time is it?” asked a sleepy Jo.  “Amy what’s wrong?” she said as she looked up and saw her friend’s worried face.

“Explosion,” answered Amy as she looked down at her.  “I heard an explosion, well two explosions, I heard two explosions.”

“Go back to sleep,” said Jo as she turned over once more.  “You’ve been having a nightmare, go back to sleep.”

“No I haven’t, I’m telling you I heard two explosions.  Get up Jo, you have to get up.”

“Oh for crying out loud,” said Jo as she sat up, “It’s only just light out there, what the hell do you expect me to do about it?”

“Well I don’t know do I,” answered Amy as she headed for the bedroom door.  “Go look I suppose.”

“Alright, calm down,” Jo told her as she wearily pushed back the blankets.  “What’s the weather doing?”

“It’s snowing again,” answered Amy as she left the room.  “Quite a lot actually.”

“Quite a lot actually,” Jo muttered to herself imitating her friend as she looked at her watch.  “Oh man, it’s five o’clock in the morning, she’s totally off her tiny mind if she thinks I’m going out at five in the morning to look for goodness knows what, because she thinks she heard an explosion.  Her John is right.  She is losing it,” she thought as she began dressing.  “Definitely losing it. Probably just heard some small avalanche way off in the distance.  Explosion my eye.  Best go and look I suppose,” she muttered to herself as she finished dressing and ran the comb through her unruly hair.  “Never hear the last of it if I don’t.”

 

Entering the kitchen where her friend had just taken off the boiling kettle to make some coffee she stood for a moment watching her.

 

Joanne James

 

The kettle was shaking in her hands and it freaked me out.  What had scared her so much?  Was this just about the explosion or was something else bothering her?  I couldn’t imagine an explosion, we were in the middle of nowhere but she believed it and that was good enough for me.  She was scared and I didn’t like seeing her like that.  I walked over and sat down on one of the chairs by the table, and stroked her pet Labrador, Tammy.

“So what did it sound like Amy?”

“An explosion. I told you that already!  Don’t you believe me?”

“Course I do. I just meant how close do you think it was, was it loud, quiet?”

“Oh, it sounded fairly close.”

 

I turned and looked out the window; the snow was coming down heavily.  I saw Amy approaching from the side; she went and stood by the window, then turned to me.

“Will you go and have a look?”

“Yeah, will you come with me?”

She nodded and I was glad, because I didn’t want to leave her there alone, not while she was so nervous.

“I’ll just go put my boots on then, I’ll be right back.”

I got up and touched her arm.  I could feel her shaking.

“It’ll be ok Amy, don’t worry.  If anyone’s out there we’ll find them.”

I looked down and ruffled the top of Tammy’s head with my free hand.

“Won’t we girl?”

She wagged her tail, gave me those big puppy dog eyes (which melt me every time) then walked over to her bed and flopped down.  I looked up at Amy and smiled.  As I left the room, I heard her say ‘I know we will.’

 

MacGyver opened his eyes and shivered.  Although the surrounding trees were protecting him slightly from the falling snow, he was covered in a layer of it and was shivering violently.

“What’s wrong with my eyes?” he asked himself as he realised he couldn’t see properly, the dark shapes around him, which he knew must be trees blurred and moved, doubled and faded as he sat up and tried to focus properly.

Danger!” his brain screamed at him. 

Reacting to the command, he staggered to his feet and stood wobbling for a moment.  Blinking and trying to clear his vision, he began moving, the instinct for survival once more taking over his actions as adrenalin pumped itself through his system in an attempt to get him moving urgently.  He saw the dark shape of a tree just before he collided with it and put his hand out and yelled.  There was something digging into his shoulder, he could feel it. Touching the back of his right shoulder with his left hand, he almost passed out with the pain.  “Leave it,” he thought to himself as he tried to move on and this time did collide with a tree which knocked him backwards down onto the ground, sending fresh waves of pain through his shoulder making him cry out in agony.

“Cold,” he said to himself and shivered, setting the pain off once again.  “Cold.  Need to find cover, mustn’t sleep, but need to find cover,” he thought as he tried to get to his feet once more and failed.  “Cold but mustn’t sleep,” his mind warned as he crawled towards what he was sure was a bush and squeezed himself underneath it.  “Mustn’t sleep, mustn’t sleep,” he repeated once more as he curled into a ball in a vain effort to stop the pain and get warm, and a moment later passed out.

======

 

By the time they had almost reached the area, where Amy was sure the sound of the explosion had come from, the snow had begun to ease a little and they made better headway.  Even though Amy’s snowshoes were way to big for her and she kept tripping over them all the time, she pressed on, a determined look on her face as she kept a wary eye out as they went, something that had not gone unnoticed by her friend.

“What’s wrong?” Jo asked as she stopped suddenly.

“Not sure,” answered Amy shivering as she did.  “I can feel danger.”

“I do wish you wouldn’t do that,” Jo told her shivering herself, not from the cold but from the shudder that had suddenly run down her spine.  “You really freak me out when you talk like that.  You can be so weird.”

“Can’t help it, I just see danger where nobody else does.  If Carl had...” she stopped talking and carried on walking, tripping on the snowshoes once more.

Jo didn’t push it.  Amy had been a passenger in their friend Carl’s car when it crashed.  She’d told him she felt danger and perhaps they should take another road but he laughed and carried on going, carried on going around the bend and straight into the back of a broken down truck.  Carl had died in Amy’s arms. 

Jo followed quietly wishing she’d kept her mouth shut.

 

“Oh crap!” she said as they came through a small group of trees and looked ahead and saw a half-buried, partially burnt, still slightly smoking car.  Although it was obvious there had been an explosion, the windshield she saw with amazement, was still intact, still in it’s place.  “Stay here Amy,” she told her friend sternly.  “Stay right there, don’t move, do you understand.  Don’t move.” 

Amy shuddered and nodded.

 

Joanne James

 

I looked up towards the roadside and could see there was still an overhang of snow at the top, it didn’t look very safe to me, and I thought it could come down at any second.  I turned and looked at Amy; she was scared stiff, I could tell.  I started to approach the car.

“Jo, be careful.”

 

“Yeah I know, don’t worry, I will.”

 

I turned my head and gave her a small smile before I continued towards the car.  It was more or less covered; only the hood and windshield were showing.  It looked as if the windshield had been smashed from the inside, out; there was a hole big enough for a person to crawl through just off the center of it.  I climbed carefully up onto the hood and it snapped closed under my weight, the movement and sound made me jump.  After the initial shock, I continued to pull myself along the hood.

“Don’t go in there, Jo!”

“I’m not.  I’m just looking.”

“You’re not just looking, you’re climbing.  Get off there NOW!  It’s not safe.”

 

I ignored Amy and carefully edged my way further towards the windshield.  I froze momentarily, dreading myself, what I might see.

 

“What the matter?  Is there someone inside?”

 

I turned to look at Amy.  She had fear in her eyes.  I could just imagine what was going through her mind, Carl and that fateful day.

 

“There’s no-one inside, whoever was in here must have crawled out.  See they’ve punched a way through the windshield.”

I pointed to the hole and she nodded.

“If there’s no-one in there will you please get off the car?”

“Ok.”

 

I edged my way backwards and slipped, causing myself to slide off the left hand side of the hood.  I landed with a thud on the ground, the height of the car shielding me from Amy’s view.

 

“JO!”

 

Still out of view, I shouted.

“Don’t you dare move Amy, stay exactly where you are!”

 

I got up, as quickly as possible knowing that by now, she would be freaking beyond belief, letting her imagination run wild.  I saw the relief on her face when she saw me. 

 

“Are you ok?”

“Yeah I’m fine, I landed in snow remember?  Its nice and soft, bit cold, but we can’t have everything can we.”

I tried to lighten the mood but she wasn’t having any of it.

“Don’t joke around Jo it’s not funny.  You could have been hurt.  We should go back, its getting warmer and I don’t like the look of that overhang up there, it could fall at any second and you’re right in its path.”

She pointed towards the roadside.

“It’s ok.  Stop worrying.  We need to see if we can find whoever was in the car first.  You take a look around there and I’ll do the same here, ok?”

“Ok, but hurry up.  I don’t like you being down there.”

“I’ll be as fast as I can.”

 

Amy reluctantly started looking in the bushes and trees near where she was standing, and I headed towards the trees and undergrowth near the car.  I couldn’t see anything, and it didn’t help when it started to snow again.  Within a few minutes we were more or less in blizzard conditions, visibility was becoming non-existent.  I felt someone tug at my arm; it was Amy.

“We need to go now.”

“There’s only a few more places to look, it won’t take long.”

“Jo I can hardly see anything.  What if you fall and I can’t find you?”

“I won’t fall.”

“You don’t know that, the snow’s coming down bad now.  What if we get split up, what if I can’t find you? And what if, what if that overhang comes down, you’d never see it coming in these conditions, you’d never get out of the way, it’d cover you, it’d kill you…”

 

What was I thinking?  I should have known better.  I gently touched her arm and she looked at me.

“Calm down Amy, we can come back, its ok.  We’ll bring Tammy with us next time.”

I saw the relief sweep across her face, and then she smiled at me.

“Thanks.  We should have brought her with us this time; she probably would have found them by now.”

“You think?  That dog of yours couldn’t find a sausage if it was sitting right in front of her face.”

 

We both laughed, recalling such an occasion and headed back to the cabin.

========

 

I noticed Amy getting quieter and quieter as we trudged along.  She was starting to withdraw into herself, I’d seen her do it so many times and it always made me nervous.  I never know how to react to her when she does that, I never know how she’ll react to me.  I took a deep breath.

“Amy.”

 

She didn’t look at me, didn’t answer me, just carried on walking.  I grabbed her arm and pulled her to a complete stop so that she was facing me, she was shaking like a leaf. 

 

“You’re shaking, are you ok?”

“Yeah I’m just cold.”

“Are you sure that’s all it is?”

“Yes I’m sure.”

“And you’re sure it’s got nothing to do with Carl?”

“I told you I’m just cold.  I’m wet too.  Freezing.  We’re in a blizzard Jo; we haven’t got time for a chat.”

“I’m just worried that’s all.  You’ve been quiet ever since we saw the car; the explosion really freaked you out, you shouted at me when I got up on the hood, and then went totally mental by the trees.  I don’t think it’s the cold that’s making you shake; I think it’s everything that’s happened, and I think we need to talk about it.  I don’t want you to do that famous run that you’re so good at.”

“I don’t run!”

I could hear the temper rising in her voice, but it didn’t stop me, I carried on.

“Yeah you do.  Every time you don’t want to talk about something off you go; up come the barriers and bye, bye the world.”

 

The shaking was more noticeable and her breathing had become small sharp gulps of air.  I looked into her eyes and could tell she was on the verge of cracking.  It must have been taking all her strength, to stand there and not run. 

 

Nice one Jo, you had to push didn’t you; you had to go that one-step further.  Annoyed with myself I stood to one side and she walked past me.  We continued our journey in silence.  As much as I wanted to say something I knew better than to do that, space was what she needed right now, and I wasn’t about to screw up again. 

 

In theory, it should have taken about 5-10 minutes to get back, but with the extreme weather conditions, it was taking longer, thankfully, the cabin was now in sight. It was a welcoming scene; we were cold, wet, dithering, but knew that within our grasp, was warmth.  I looked over to Amy and thought I saw the slither of a smile appear on her lips.  When we were close enough I headed for the rear of the cabin. 

 

“I’ll just grab some logs for the fire, you go in and I’ll catch up.”

“Ok.”

 

I looked up and Amy was out of sight, at least she’d answered me.  I gathered the logs and walked towards the cabin.  The back door opened and Tammy headed for me like a steam train. 

 

“Calm down girl.”

 

She kept coming, I changed direction, and she did the same.  Last time she did that, I ended up on my back.

 

“Tammy calm down.”

 

It was no good; she was way too excited.  I threw the logs onto the side and waited for her arrival.  She pushed herself hard into my body and I fussed her as if I hadn’t seen her for months.  She rolled onto her back wanting more attention and kicked about in the snow, showering me with it as she did.  I saw Amy come to the door and she smiled.

“What are you two up to then?”

“Oh nothing much, are we girl?”

 

I pulled away from her and Tammy rolled over and got up.  Her tail was wagging frantically and she started running off here, there, and everywhere.  She ran towards the trees, just as I was about to shout to her, Amy stopped me.

 

“Let her go Jo, she loves the snow”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah she’ll come back, she knows her way.”

 

I walked over to the logs, picked them up, and followed Amy into the cabin.

=======

 

Cold, so Cold

By the time MacGyver woke up, he was so cold his body had gone numb, taking away the pain that had been cursing through it since the unknown car had slammed into him sending him crashing against the wall, but still he couldn’t see properly.  The light from the snow hurt his eyes badly and he wanted desperately to hide in a dark place to stop the pain.  Crawling out from under the bush, he found it had stopped snowing.  Carefully feeling his way out of the trees in order not to bump into any more of them, he tried to take in his surroundings, which was impossible because his vision was still blurred and doubled and fading in and out and the glare of the sun hurt them.  It did occur to him that he could cover them with his scarf and then realised he’d lost it and anyway he needed to be able to see ‘something,’ if he was to get out of there.

‘Where’s the car?’ he thought as he peered through the gloom and unwittingly looked straight towards the sun and his eyes screamed in protest forcing him to raise his hands to shield them.  MacGyver knew he was in serious trouble.

‘The road,’ he thought, ‘somehow I have to get to the road.’

Arms outstretched so he didn’t walk into anything unexpected he moved forwards, slipped and fell.  “Crap,” he said aloud to himself.

 

“Mac my boy you are in real trouble here.  That had to have been Boss Larry’s men in that car.  Should have seen it coming.  Could have been someone else I suppose, but I’d lay money on the fact it was Boss Larry’s men trying to stop me testifying!”  His last word spoken loudly as a sharp pain ran through his right shoulder almost knocking him off his feet.  “Got to find a road, snowing again. Boy my head hurts, and what the hell is wrong with my eyes?  Why are they’re stinging? Hey it’s not so cold now,” he said as he stopped shivering.  “That’s better, must be getting warm...” He got no further.

-----

The next thing he knew something was touching his face, something wet and slimy, warm and smelly.  Opening his eyes his first thought was ‘wolf!’  The wet tongue licked his face again as he tried to see through the blurring, sure there was a wolf standing over him.  As he tried to push its head away, he felt a collar.

‘It’s a dog, not a wolf,’ he told himself as he struggled to sit up and it carried on licking his face.  “Steady boy steady,” he told it as he felt for the collar again.  “Dog, it’s a dog,” he repeated aloud as the dog stopped licking his face and peered at him.  “Hey don’t go,” MacGyver yelled as it moved away.  “I need your help, come back, good dog.”  He saw an orange shape moving swiftly then felt it brush itself against him and sit down.  “Good boy,” said Mac as he used it as a support to stand up. “Take me home dog; I’m hurt, do you understand you have to take me to your home.”  He felt the dog get to its feet and stand patiently by him.  For a moment, MacGyver was unsure what to do next, then realised the animal seemed aware he couldn’t see and was waiting for him to take hold of it.  “Smart dog, you are a smart dog.  Ok,” he said as he bent and took a firm hold of the collar.  “Take me home, but slowly now.  There are bits of me that aren’t working too well.  Slow now, good boy, good dog.”

 

======

 

He lost count of how many times he fell as the dog led him through the snow.  Patiently waiting each time he tripped as he got back on his feet.  The exertion needed to walk through the snow, deep in some places, exhausted him to the very bone and he began to doubt the dog really was taking him to where it lived.  His feet, now numb from the cold caused him to trip and fall and each time he landed the pain in his head and shoulder screamed in protest.  Still the dog waited, walking slowly as Mac, who used his belt as a leash, hung on tightly and headed through the haze and double vision, his face and eyes stinging with the cold, his body begging him to lay down and sleep.  Each time he fell and didn’t want to get up again, the dog licked his face until he did.  It seemed like an eternity to him as he trudged through the snow, shivering and slowing down with each step.  Suddenly the dog began barking, making him jump because he couldn’t see what it was barking at and assumed there was danger nearby.  Pulling him along as it barked he fell flat on his face and the dog pulled away and left him.  Feeling around for the belt MacGyver realised the dog had gone.  He could hear it barking and could make out fuzzy movement and knew it must be the dog, but he hadn’t the strength to get up.  Back it came again, licking his face until he got to his feet and then ran off barking once more.  He stood there now too afraid to move.  Back came the dog and stood waiting for him to get hold of the belt.  As soon as he managed to do so it moved forward again barking excitedly as it went.  There was something up ahead; Mac could just make out the dark shape of a building.  Figures, he thought he could see two figures.  Again, the dog dragged the belt from Mac’s hand in its excitement and ran towards to the two blurred and doubled figures as he stood rigid, afraid to move without the dog, as he saw them heading quickly towards him.

“Look out!” said a female voice as his knees buckled and he fell. 

 

-----

 

“It’s Ok, I’ve got you,” said the voice again as he tried to focus on the face looking down at him.  “Amy get his other arm, Tammy get out of the way for goodness sake, yes you’re a good girl but we’ll look after him now.  It’s alright,” the voice reassured him as he felt himself being lifted up.

“Amy put his arm around your shoulder, that’s right, let’s get him inside.”

He groaned as someone lifted his right arm and almost passed out at the pain it caused to his shoulder.

 

Trying to focus on the two figures who were helping him along towards the dark shape he knew must be a building, MacGyver tried to walk as best he could, though his legs kept giving out under him.  As they got him inside he felt the warmth of the place snuggle around him like a soft blanket, then his strength gave out and he collapsed.

=======

“Amy be careful, his back’s bleeding somewhere, there’s blood all over his jacket. Easy now, easy,” the voice continued as he tried to focus on the blurred face as he woke up and felt them gently taking his jacket off as they propped him up.

“My eyes, there’s something wrong with my eyes,” he heard himself say as they removed his shirt.  “Explosion, hurt my eyes, can’t see properly,” the figured dimmed before he could say anything else and he lost consciousness again.

“Oh goodness Jo, there’s glass in his shoulder,” said Amy.  “How the hell are we supposed to get that out, or should we even try, what if we make it worse?”

“Hold him still Amy,” answered Jo as they laid him down as close to the back of the couch as they could so he couldn’t roll onto his back and cause the glass to go in deeper.  Can you see to the cut on his head and hands while I radio Francis, he’ll know what to do, he is a doctor after all and this is his cabin, perhaps he has stuff here we can use.  You alright, looking after him I mean, or do you want to speak to Francis while I look after him?” she asked as she saw her friend’s face.

Amy looked from MacGyver to her and avoided her eyes.

“I’ll talk to Francis, you look after him,” she answered as Jo came back with a bowl and some towels.  “No Tammy, leave him alone, he’s hurt.  You’ve been a real good girl; just go lie down now, Jo will take care of him for you.”

As Amy moved away, her friend watched her carefully and shook her head.  Once upon a time, she would have been the first to try to take care of someone sick or hurt, even a stranger.  Now she fled from making new friends as if she carried the plague, convinced she only brought bad luck to those she came to care for, and those who cared for her. 

=======

Amy Morgan

I could see her through the crack in the door as I sat down at the radio in the other room and began fiddling with the knobs.  She was so gentle with the stranger that it bought a lump to my throat.  I couldn’t understand for the life of me why she stayed my friend.  I’d tried everything I could over the past three months, while I’d been at the cabin with her, to get her to row so I’d have an excuse to leave and she’d be safe from my jinx, but no, every time I got anywhere near to succeeding she made me laugh and I was back to square one.  Well I had my plans all set now and once we were out of there I was gone.  She’d be safe, John would be safe and I’d be long gone.

“Ok, which one of you is just sitting there and not speaking,” came Francis’ voice on the radio.  “Amy is that you, did you forget to push the switch down? Over.”

I jumped.  “Oh sorry Francis,” I said pressing the switch.  “We have a kind of emergency here and need your help. Over.”

“What kind of emergency? Over,” he asked as the radio began to crackle.

“We found this guy.  Looks like his car went off the road and down the cliff.  He said there was an explosion and his eyes hurt.  They’re all puffy.  He has some bad bruising across his chest and the most horrendous piece of glass embedded in the back of his shoulder.  The area around it looks awful, red and awful.  Jo wants to know do we leave it there, or try to take it out.  Over.”

“Red and awful looking, good description Amy.  How much is on the outside, is it possible for you to gently remove it without doing any more damage?  Over.”

“I told you, I’m not doing anything, Jo is.  Yeah there is quite a bit sticking out of the wound, if she’s careful she should be able to remove it,” I answered angrily.

“What about his eyes, he says he can’t see properly?”  I asked. “Over.”

“Sounds like flash burns to me,” Francis answered as I watched Jo through the crack in the door as she began to see to his hands and I heard him groan slightly.

“Is he seeing double, did he say he’s seeing double?  Over.” Francis asked.

“He hasn’t said much at all,” I answered as I continued to watch her.  “He just said there was an explosion, his eyes hurt and he can’t see properly.  He passed out again before he could say anything else.  Jo’s seeing to his hands, they have little bits of glass stuck in them, must be from the windshield.  Over”

“How’d he get to the cabin?  Over.”  Francis asked, his voice fading once again.

“Oh yeah, he has a cut on his head,” I told him, and then added loudly, in case I was fading. “Tammy found him, she brought him here.  Over.” 

“Well he must be some kind of a man if she took to him like that; it’s taken her ages just to let me stroke her.  Over.”

I continued watching Jo.  “Amy!” his voice yelled at me and made me jump.  “There are some medications and things in my safe, take down the combination; you will need to give him some morphine for the pain.  It should knock him out long enough for you to remove the glass.  There are also some sedative syringes in there.  The dosage is set so you don’t need to worry about how much to give him, if he needs it that is.  Sounds like an infection has already started in the wound where the glass is.  In my desk drawer you will find a pair of sunglasses, make sure he wears them all the time.  You will need to protect his eyes from further damage and from infection or he could lose his sight permanently.  Over.  Amy!” he shouted again as I didn’t answer because I was watching Jo finish taking care of the man and covering him over with a soft blanket, sitting herself in a chair to watch over him.

“What?” I shouted back.  “I heard you, there’s no need to shout.  Over.”

“Did you get all that?” he asked.  “Over.”

“Yeah I heard, over.” I answered, put out by his tone as I watched Jo as she felt the man’s forehead and then put a damp cloth on it.  I could see she was carefully trying to avoid putting pressure on the bruise near the cut in his hairline.

“Amy, listen to me,” Francis continued.  “You have to do everything I told you and get him into Jo’s car and bring him here, before this snow gets any worse.  The sooner you get him here the better his chances are of keeping his sight.  Amy, you need to get him here like now. Over.... Amy!”

“Will you stop shouting at me?” I told him angrily.  “I may be a lot older than you and Jo but I’m not deaf yet.  I told you, she’s taking care of him.  I’m trying to get the car going, that’s why we’re still here. The darn thing won’t start.  Over.”

“Why aren’t you taking care of this man?” he asked his voice fading.  “You’ve nursed your friends and your sister; you know more about this kind of thing than Jo does.  She’s an author, not a nurse.  Over.”

“Oh yeah, great job I did on them.  They died remember.  I do know about cars though, I should do, lived on a farm long enough.  You tell her what to do.  I’ve had enough of you shouting at me.  He’d stand more of a chance getting better with her than if I go anywhere near him.  You tell her what to do while I’ll get the things from your safe, just leave me alone.”

I let go of the switch and before he could answer, walked to the other room.

“Francis wants to talk to you.  Where’s he keep his safe?” I asked as she got up and headed towards me. 

“In the bedroom I’m sleeping in,” she told me as she walked past.  “Keep an eye on him while I’m chatting to Francis, let me know if he wakes up.”

“Ok,” I answered glaring at her.  “After I get the things from the safe and put some water on to boil.  You talk to Francis; I’ve had enough of him shouting at me.  Should show more respect for his elders.  Doctors think they can boss everyone around and he’s as bad as the rest of them.”

Jo walked away giving me a funny look as I went to the main bedroom.

 

Joanne James

 

Oh great!  Looks like Francis must have upset Amy.  I grabbed the radio handset.

 

“Hi Francis.”

“Hi Jo, how’s the patient?  And you forgot to say over.”

“No I didn’t.  I hate saying that….”

I stopped momentarily as I heard him snigger.

“He’s unconscious.  I’ve tried the best I can to make him comfortable but I’m not a nurse.  Did Amy explain his condition? OVER!”

“Yeah she knows what to do.  I told her where the sedatives, morphine etc are.  She says he has a large piece of glass in his shoulder, and thinks you can remove it without causing further damage.  What do you think?  Over.”

 

“She’s probably right; she knows more about this kind of thing than me.  Did she mention his eyes, he can’t see?  Over.”

“Yeah she did.  Look Jo, I don’t mean to scare you, but this guy sounds like he’s in a bad way.  From what you’re saying, an infection could be setting into the wound in his shoulder.  I don’t like the fact he’s losing consciousness.  His loss of vision is probably something to do with the explosion Amy mentioned, it sounds like he has flash burns that require medical attention as soon as possible, or he could lose his sight.  Under normal circumstances I’d tell you not to move him, it really is the safest option, BUT these aren’t normal circumstances.  The forecast is showing the storm is set in for the week, the road was blocked hours ago, it’s been all over the radio.  Unfortunately, I can’t send in a chopper they’ve all been grounded due to the weather.  I can’t get to you, so the only option left, is for you to bring him to me.  Over.”

 

“How are we supposed to do that, the car won’t start?  Over.”

 

“You’re a resourceful woman Jo, figure it out!  With Amy helping, I’m sure you’ll come up with something between the two of you.  I can’t stress enough how much he needs medical attention.  Do you understand?  Over”

 

“Yeah I understand.  Over.”

 

I placed the handset on its hook and stretched over to the switch when the radio once again burst into life.

 

“Jo, be careful.  Don’t take any silly risks, got it!  Over.”

 

I picked up the radio handset.

 

“I don’t take risks.  You know, right now you sound just like Amy!  Over.”

The radio clicked and I heard him laughing.

“We only say it coz we care.  Over.”

“I know that.  I’ll be careful, how can I be anything else, I have Amy with me? Over.”

“That’s true.  At least I know she’ll look after you.  I don’t want anything to happen to the woman….”

 

I started clicking the button on the side of the handset.

 

“I…think…I’m…losing…you.  Over.”

 

“Oh very funny Jo.  One day you’ll stop avoiding that question and make me the happiest man alive.  Over.”

 

I laughed.

 

“Maybe, but not today.  What did you say to Amy anyway; she looked pretty mad when I last saw her?  Over.”

“I put my foot in it as usual.  How’s she holding up?  Over.”

“She’s pretty edgy at the minute.  I tried to get her to talk earlier, pushed too hard and now she’s not really speaking to me.  Over.”

“She’ll come round.  Over.”

“Yeah, I know.  I’d better go check on our patient, bye Francis.  Over and out.”

“Jo before you go just one thing.  Over.”

 

“Oh what now?  Over.”

“Be careful, don’t try and be Super Girl, remember the dog!  Over.”

 

“The dog was not my fault, and I wasn’t trying to be Super Girl, Wonder Woman maybe, but I haven’t got the figure for Super Girl or the looks.  Over.”

 

“I wouldn’t say that….”

 

I heard him sniggering quietly to himself; the muffled snort was quite evident sitting as close to the radio as I was.  I let him continue his windup, I was so gonna get him back the next time I laid my eyes on him.  He sniggered again. 

 

“You know this guy could be in the wrong hands here, he might be safer with someone else.  You two don’t have a very good track record.  Over.”

 

I heard a scuffling noise in the background; I turned to see what it was; it was Amy.  I could tell by her face she was upset, she must have heard Francis joking around and taken it the wrong way.  I looked into her eyes; they held so many emotions as she stood rigid on the spot, anger, pain, hurt, fear, dejection and her all time favourite, self-blame.     

 

“I gotta go Francis.  I’ll radio you when we’re leaving.  Over.”

“Ok bye.  Over.”

“Bye.  Over and out.”

 

I got up, turned the radio off, and walked towards her; she stood glaring at me.

“His name is MacGyver, I looked in his wallet.”

The tone of her voice was blank, without emotion, just as it usually is when she’s upset and trying not to show it. 

“He woke up just now and wasn’t making any sense.  He says he’s in danger; we’re in danger and he has to leave.  He tried to get off the couch but passed out and fell on his injured shoulder.  Its all right, I checked, its not bleeding.  He’s running a high temperature though.  I’ve left Tammy watching him, I told her to let you know if he wakes up.  I’m going to see if I can get the car started.” 

With that, she turned on her heels and walked away

 

“Amy wait!”

I called after her as she left the room, but she ignored me.  ‘Oh thanks Francis thanks a bunch.’ I muttered as I went to check on our patient.  ‘That’s all I needed.  She was doing great until this morning, now there’s the explosions, this guy MacGyver, and Francis putting his flaming big mouth where it doesn’t belong.  She’s had three months having the time of her life while I’ve been working on my latest book, taking pictures, enjoying the peace and quiet of the surroundings, no stress; she’d even been going into town on her own and speaking to people, (or so I’ve been told) and in one day it’s all gone, I know it has, I can see it in her eyes.’

“Well best get out there and see if I can repair the damage.  Keep an eye on him for me Tammy.  Let me know if he wakes up.”

I told the dog who was half-asleep on the floor near the couch, as I left the room.

 

“Any luck with the car,” Jo asked as she entered the freezing cold garage.

“Nope,” answered Amy sharply.

“He didn’t mean anything,” Jo said as she came around to see what she was doing.  “Francis was just joking and I need you to help me remove the glass.”

Amy shrugged and wiped the grease off her hands.

“Shouldn’t you be in there watching him?  What if he wakes up?”

“Tammy’s watching him,” Jo replied as she gazed around the garage and walked over to a tarpaulin and pulled it off revealing a large sledge.  “She’s really taken to him, this MacGyver.  Unusual for Tammy, she’s normally as shy as you are with strangers.”

“Yeah well she’s missing John,” Amy answered as she watched her friend.

“I expect you are as well,” Jo said as she inspected the sledge.  “He hasn’t been able to get through on the phone since the lines went down.”

Amy shrugged. “She’ll be fine once you get her back to him, she’s his dog really.  What you looking at that for?” she asked.

“Francis said we need to get Mr MacGyver into town as soon as possible or he could lose his sight for good.  I thought we’d take him overland.  It’s not that far.  I’ve walked there loads of times, and you know the area pretty good, you should do, you’ve taken enough photos of it,” Jo replied smiling.

“In the summer yeah, but there’s a storm on it’s way, or so you keep telling me,” said Amy.  Then her face dropped. 

“Oh no. No way! You are not getting me across that bridge again.  You go, take Tammy with you; she can help pull the sledge.  I’ll stay here.  As soon as the storm lets up you can send a car for me, it can pick up your things at the same time, this old wreck won’t get you home and I’m going by train.  Couldn’t stand that long road journey again and you hate trains.  Hire a car, take Tammy back with you; drop her off at the house on your way past.”

“It will take the both of us to get Mr MacGyver to town Amy.  Come on you crossed the bridge once.  You can do it again.  I’ll help, honest I will.”

“Forget it!” shouted Amy as she headed for the door.

“Hold it right there!” Jo shouted back, as she came up behind her.  “What do you mean, I take Tammy to John it’s his dog anyway?  Why don’t you take her with you?  It would be quicker.”  Amy didn’t answer just moved away.

“Amy stop!” shouted Jo as she caught her arm.  “What are you playing at?  You’re up to something.  What the hell is going on in that head of yours?”

“Let go of my arm Jo,” Amy answered quietly as she looked down at her friend’s hand.  “I said let go of my arm.”

“Not until you tell me what you are up too.  That’s the first time you mentioned anything about a train.  Tell me,” she said hanging onto her arm even tighter.

“Tammy’s barking he must be awake.  You’d best go take care of him,” Amy told her, wrenching herself free.

“Amy what’s going on?”  Jo asked, only quieter this time.

“Certainly sounds like he’s awake, she wouldn’t be barking like that for nothing.”

“Amy please tell me,” begged Jo.  “We’re best friends remember.”

“Not any more we’re not,” she answered as she walked away.

=========

Joanne James

 

I stood there for a few seconds stunned; I couldn’t believe what she’d just said to me.  I stared at the ground not really knowing what to say or even how to react.

Amy was retreating into herself, I’d seen her do it before and I wasn’t going let her do it again.  I had to stop her, somehow; I didn’t know how, but I had to find a way.  I was totally unaware that she was leaving the garage until I felt the chill of the cold air hit my face.  My head snapped to attention and I saw the door closing behind her.  I moved quickly and grabbed the door; she must have practically run because as I opened it, I saw she was almost at the cabin.

“Amy come back, we’re not finished talking yet,” I shouted.

She ignored me and carried on walking.

The Cabin

 

“Jo, for goodness sake come quickly,” Amy shouted as she heard strange sounds coming from the cabin as she got nearer to it.

 

MacGyver had come round and was on his feet and trying to find his shirt and jacket so he could leave.  Although still confused and feeling extremely hot he knew he had to put as much distance between himself and the two people helping him as he could, just in case Boss Larry’s men were still around somewhere and came looking for him, which would place them in great danger.  Still not being able to see properly he had knocked over a couple of chairs as he tried to locate his clothing.  His shoulder was bleeding badly again and the bandage Jo had wrapped loosely around him was covered in blood. 

 

His urgency to get his things and leave sent him crashing around the room sending Tammy into a barking frenzy.  Although those that didn’t know the dog very well thought she was a little on the stupid side, she was in fact extremely intelligent.  Every time he went near the front door, she stood in front of him barking to stop him leaving.  She liked this human, had done from the moment she'd found him, he was sick, she could sense it, and barking was the only way to let Amy and Jo know he was awake.  She had to make sure he stayed in the warm cabin because he was acting strange, like when he was out in the snow, and she didn’t want him out there alone, she wanted him to be safe.

 

MacGyver felt the cold air rush in as Amy opened the door and tried to locate where it was coming from.

“Where are my clothes?” he asked the dim figure he could see standing in the doorway.  “I have to get out of here, there’s danger, where are my clothes?”

“You’re in no fit state to go anywhere,” Amy told him as she turned and yelled once more for to Jo to hurry up.

 

“Look I appreciate what you’ve done for me, but I have to leave,” he told her heading in her direction.  “They’ve already tried to kill me once, they won’t hesitate to try again if they find out I’m still alive.  Just give me my things.  I have to leave.”

 

“Oh I don’t think so,” said Jo as she came through the door and closed it behind her.  “If you go out in that snow it will do ‘their’ job for them.”

 

“Give me my things,” Mac shouted as he stumbled and crashed into the table.  “What the hell is wrong with my eyes?”

 

“Amy get a sedative,” Jo told her urgently as Mac advanced in her direction.

 

“You don’t understand,” Mac said as he headed towards the sound of the person speaking.  “I have to get out of here, just let me pass.  I appreciate your help, but I’m putting you in danger, I have to go.”

“Hurry up with that sedative,” Jo shouted, as Mac stumbled towards her.

 

“I won’t hurt you,” MacGyver said as he stopped in front of the blurry figure and swayed slightly.  “But I have to leave.  You’re in danger as long as I stay here.  I have to get away.”

 

“And how do you expect to do that?” Jo asked as Amy came into the room. 

“You can’t even see, and it’s snowing again.”

 

“It doesn’t matter, I’ll get to the road somehow,” he answered as he reached for her and grabbed her shoulders trying to move her gently to one side.

 

“Oh I think not,” she answered as the self defence and karate lessons she had taken while researching one of her stories kicked in and she brought her arms out and over the top of his, clasped her hands together as they met in the middle just over the bends in his arms, pulled down quickly and hard, forcing his legs to buckle bringing him to his knees, the surprise showing on his face as he looked up at her as his shoulder screamed with pain and he flinched.

 

“Now Amy, now!” she shouted as Amy rushed forward and jabbed the pump action syringe into his arm.  For a split second, nothing happened, then his eyelids slowly closed, his head dropped, and she and Amy caught him as he collapsed sideways.

========

 

MacGyver

 

As I regained consciousness, I pulled my arm up towards my head.  I stopped instantly when I felt a stabbing pain in my shoulder; groaned and scrunched my eyes shut tight.  I felt someone touch my arm and push it gently back down.

 

“Take it easy; try not to move too much.”

 

I moved slightly and the pain struck again.  I gritted my teeth together and tensed up. 

 

“Try to relax.”

 

“It hurts.”

 

“I know.”

 

I felt something cool brush over my forehead and slowly opened my eyes.  I tried to focus on the person in front of me, but it was difficult because my vision was blurred, I could tell it was a woman by the voice.  I watched her wring something out before placing it on my forehead, and then felt the coolness against my skin.  I moved my arm slightly and she spoke.

 

“Please don’t move around, it isn’t helping you.  I’ve just removed a large piece of glass that was embedded into your shoulder.  I think I got it all out, but I can’t be certain.  Are you feeling any better?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Would you like a drink?”

 

I nodded.  She turned her head and told someone standing in what I thought was a doorway to fetch some water and bring it to her.  I took a quick look around the room.  I could make out the outline of objects, but they were blurred. 

 

“Here you go.”

 

I turned my attention back to the woman helping me and saw from its shape, that she was holding a cup towards me.  I attempted to grab it and nearly ended up knocking it clear out of her hand.

 

“Sorry.  I can’t see very well.”

 

“Its ok.  I should have helped you in the first place, I wasn’t thinking properly.”

 

She sat down on the couch, and helped support me while I took a drink.  When I’d finished, she gently lowered me onto the pillows, and moved back so that she was sitting at my side.

 

“I spoke to Francis, a friend of mine over the radio, he’s a doctor; he thinks that you’ve got flash burns, that’s why you can’t see properly.  He told me to cover your eyes to help protect them.  You can use these sunglasses for now, until I can find something else that might give you better protection.”

 

After some help, I took the glasses off her and put them on.  The stinging sensation in my eyes lessened as the light was shielded from my view. 

 

“That’s better, thanks.”

 

I could hardly see now with the dimmed light, the blur was almost non-existent.  I tried to pull myself up into more of a sitting position and took a sharp intake of breath as the pain struck me.

 

“I thought you were going to try and stay still Mr…...”

 

I smiled at her as I leaned back into the pillows supporting me.

 

“MacGyver, my names MacGyver.  And you are?”

 

“I’m Jo, and the one standing over there in the doorway is my friend Amy.  We already know your name; we looked in your wallet.  I hope you don’t mind.”

 

“I don’t mind; I’d have done exactly the same thing myself.  Thank you for helping me, both of you.”

 

I smiled and gave a small wave.  As I lowered my hand, I felt something cold and wet pushing itself hard into it, and then felt a sloppy tongue licking at my fingers.

 

“Oh, and this is Tammy, but you’ve already met her, she’s the one who brought you here.”

 

I attempted to stroke the dog fussing me, but she kept raising her head making it difficult, so instead, I let her continue licking my hand.

 

“Thanks Tammy.”

 

I lay there trying to piece together what had happened to me, and why I was there.  It was hard, and I couldn’t really get a grip on my memories, everything was a jumbled mess.  I remembered crashing around a room and a woman stopping me with some kind of martial arts move.

 

“Jo.”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Did you or Amy use a martial arts move on me earlier?  I think it was Judo.  I seem to recall someone doing that, or is it my mind playing tricks on me?”

 

She laughed.

 

“No it was me, it was self defence actually.  I had to stop you leaving the cabin.  What were you trying to do, kill yourself?”

 

“No, I was trying to get away from here before…”

I stopped in mid sentence when I realised the danger I was putting them in.  I swung my legs off the side of the couch, placing my feet on the floor and pulled myself up into a sitting position.  My body swayed and I felt sick, I swallowed back the bile building up in my throat; then felt someone supporting me from a height.

 

“What are you doing?  You have to stay still.”

 

“I have to leave.”

 

I attempted to push myself up.

 

“Oh no you don’t, you’re staying right there.”

She pushed me back down gently.

 

“I do know karate as well you know, and it’s not all as friendly as what I used earlier, would you like me to demonstrate?  If you make one more move, I swear, I will.”

 

I grabbed her hand and pulled her close.

 

“Please don’t do that.  I have to leave; every second I’m here, you’re in danger.”

 

“Why?  What did you do?”

 

“I didn’t do anything.  Please believe me, if they find me with you, they’ll kill you too.  I can’t let that happen.”

 

I lessened my grip on her hand, and she pulled back from me.  I pushed myself up and at that moment realised I wasn’t as strong as what I thought I was.  My legs buckled, and I collapsed.  I felt arms grabbing me before I hit the floor.

 

“Amy help me, I can’t hold him on my own.”

 

I tried to help support myself but my body was screaming in protest over my last manoeuvre, and I was finding it hard to concentrate.  I could tell my weight was dragging Jo downwards as she fought hard to keep me upright.  I heard running footsteps and then felt more arms around me.  I was lifted gently and placed onto the couch in a sitting position.  I grunted and flung my head backwards on the backrest, as the pain from my shoulder increased.  I heard footsteps walking away from me and assumed it was Amy returning to the doorway.

 

“Sorry.”

 

“Will you at least admit now that you’re not strong enough to go anywhere?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“You could have really hurt yourself then.  Why do these guys want to kill you; what did you do?”

 

I lifted my head off the backrest and looked in the direction of the voice.

 

“I witnessed a murder…I didn’t do anything.  I think Boss Larry, that’s the guy I saw kill someone, must have put a contract out on me, or maybe he’s told some of his men to make sure I can’t get back for the trial, either way, being around me is dangerous.”

 

“What about witness protection, aren’t you in that?”

 

“No.  I work for a private organisation that works alongside the government.  I didn’t think it was necessary, I thought I could protect myself.  Looks like I may have been wrong.”

 

“We found your car burnt out and half buried under some snow.”

 

“They ran me off the road and the car went down the cliff edge.  I don’t really remember much at the moment, except an explosion, not being able to see properly, my eyes hurting; and then your dog.”

 

I shifted on the couch and pain seared through my shoulder.  I broke out in a sweat and felt my body quivering.

 

Jo wrapped a blanket around me; and I felt the coolness of a cloth being placed across my forehead.

“Oh she’s not my dog, she’s Amy’s.”

 

“Thanks Jo and thank you Amy.”

I felt Tammy rub against my legs; the movement sent fresh pain into my shoulder.  I winced.

“You too Tammy, mustn’t forget you.”

 

Jo removed the cloth and placed her hand on my forehead.

 

“I think your temperature has come down, a bit.”

 

“I think you’re right.  Has your friend left the room?”

 

“No, why?”

 

“Oh…I just thought she’d gone, she’s so quiet.  Doesn’t she talk?”

 

“Oh yeah, she talks alright, just a bit shy with strangers that’s all.  She hasn’t been very well lately.”

 

I heard footsteps retreating and noticed that Jo lowered her voice to a whisper as she spoke her next words.

 

She’s doesn’t say much anymore, gets upset easily, and Tammy here is just like her mum.  Its pretty amazing how she’s taken to you though.  Usually she growls at strangers, especially men, and she can’t stand it if one goes anywhere near Amy.  But she seems to have taken a real shine to you, maybe its love, are you love in girl?”

 

I heard her laughing as I pulled my arm out from under the blanket.  I let out a small moan as I let it drop to my side.

 

“Are you ok?”

 

“I’m fine.”

 

“Francis said we have to get you to the hospital as soon as possible, so we’re going to start getting things ready.  That means that we have to leave you on your own; so don’t get any ideas of running off again, you’re not up to it.  All I want you to do is sit here and rest.  Tammy will stay and keep an eye on you, just in case you try something stupid.”

 

“I won’t.”

 

“Well I’m not so sure after last time.  Tammy keep an eye on him, if he moves, bark first, then bite him.”

 

I flailed my good arm around aimlessly in the air trying to find Tammy.

 

“You wouldn’t do that girl, would you?”

 

I felt her paw on my knees; and then her head being pushed into my hand, before she started licking me.                                                                     “Lick me to death, maybe, but I don’t think you’d bite.  Well I hope you won’t.”

 

======

 

Joanne James

 

I left MacGyver under the watchful eye of Tammy and walked into the kitchen.  I could see a couple of lamps on the table; Amy had obviously started gathering things ready to leave.  I decided I’d go and prepare the sledge, and let Amy get the rest of the gear. 

 

I opened the door and the cold air hit me immediately.  I thought it’d be best to put a jacket on, so I closed the door and turned round.  I saw Amy entering the room with her arms full of rolled up blankets.

 

“I’m just gonna grab my jacket, then go and get the sledge ready.  Is that ok with you?”

 

“Whatever.”

 

“I can stop and help you if you want?”

 

“No it’s ok.”

 

I went into the hall and put an extra layer of clothing on, then headed out to the garage.  As I pulled the sledge out fully I could see it was in good condition, and noticed it had some gear stashed inside it. 

 

The shell was pretty light to handle, it was in a kind of fin design.  About 93 inches long with a depth of roughly 7 inches and there were 3 nylons straps inside to help keep MacGyver secure.  I didn’t think there’d be much room left once MacGyver was laid down in it, we’d have to find something else to carry the rest of the equipment in, or on.  I put the sledge down and pulled all the gear out and placed it on the floor next to me.  Then I turned the sledge slightly on its side so that I could see underneath.  There were 2 aluminium strips on the bottom of it, which would help it glide over the snow; and make pulling it easier.  I also noticed that at one end, there was a chain brake.  I lowered the sledge and turned my attention to the gear on the floor.

 

I noticed a rope with an attachment on the end of it; it looked like it could be part of the sledge.  I got up and began a closer inspection of both the rope and the sledge.  I noticed some eyebolts at the same end as the chain brake, and attached the rope; I now had the option to drag something, the question was, what could I drag?  I looked around the garage but nothing really sprang to mind, it was full of junk.  I also noticed four 24” aluminium handles with handle loops, and some nylon straps.  I got up again and went to the sledge.  On inspection, I found that the handles could be attached to both the front and rear of the sledge.  So not only could we drag the sledge, we had the option to lift it, not that I thought Amy and I would ever do that, but it was there if we needed it.  I turned my attention back to the last remaining item on the floor; it was a backpack.

 

I picked it up and took a peak inside.  I pulled out a leaflet that said it was a Neann First Aid Backpack and was suitable to meet the needs of a First-Responder to Paramedic.  Francis thought of everything.  I delved deep inside and found a pack of eye pads.  I got up and went back to the cabin so I could tend to MacGyver.

 

When I walked in, I saw that the table was covered with more or less everything we needed.  I turned to Amy.

 

“Wow, you’ve got almost everything.”

“Yes, just a few more things and I’m finished.”

 

“Ah…well I think we have a small problem.”

 

“Why?”

 

“The sledge is only big enough for MacGyver; we’ll have to find something else to carry the equipment in.”

 

“Like what?”

 

“Um…dunno…haven’t quite figured that out yet.  I found these though.”

 

I held up the eye pads.

 

“Oh.”

 

“Do you want to sort him out, while I go and see if I can find something for the equipment?”

 

“No, you do it, he likes you more.”

 

“Don’t be silly.”

 

I laughed as I spoke, not a good move, Amy did not find it funny, instead she turned her back on me and busied herself with getting ready.  I mentally kicked myself as I headed for the room with MacGyver.  I walked in and saw that he was lying down.  Tammy got up and came towards me, her tail wagging.

 

“There’s a good girl, have you been looking after him for me?”

 

She licked my empty hand as I made a fuss of her.

 

“Jo?” he said in a hushed voice.

 

“Yeah, don’t move.  I’ll be right back.”

 

I signalled for Tammy to follow me and took her into the kitchen to Amy. 

 

“Will you keep her in here, while I put the pads on him?”

 

“Sure.”

 

I dropped the pack of eye pads on the table and went to wash my hands.  When I returned Amy was sat down drinking a cup of coffee, staring into space with Tammy laid at her side.  In one sense it looked a nice peaceful scene but I knew something was going on with her, I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  I walked over to the table and picked up the pads.

 

“Amy, is there a roll of medical tape anywhere?”

 

“In there.”

 

She pointed to a backpack on a chair at the side, so I picked it up.

 

“It’s in the left hand pocket at the top.”

 

“Thanks.”

I quickly retrieved the tape, set the backpack down and headed back to MacGyver.  I stopped when I realised I never had anything with me to wash his eyes.  I stuffed the pads and tape into my pocket, and then poured some of the recently boiled water into a bowl.  I then ran some cold water into it until it became lukewarm.  Then I picked up the bowl and a sponge off the side, and went into the other room.

 

MacGyver

 

I heard footsteps coming closer, and felt the weight on the couch shift as someone sat down. 

 

“Is that you Jo?”

 

“Yeah.  How are you feeling now, better?”

 

“A bit thanks.  My eyes aren’t as painful and the shoulder isn’t throbbing as much as before.”

 

“Good I’m glad to hear that.  I found some eye pads in a first aid kit; I think they’ll give you better protection, will you take the sunglasses off so I can put them on please?”

 

“Yeah sure.”

 

I removed the glasses without thinking and recoiled at the sudden brightness, screwing my eyes shut tight.  Jo touched my arm.

 

“Are you ok?”

 

“I’m fine.”

 

“I’m just gonna wash your eyes before I put the pads on.  I’ll be using a sponge to just drip the water over them, it won’t be from a height, and I will hold the sponge fairly close to you.  I don’t want to do any further damage.  This is the only way I can think to clean them without causing you any harm.”

 

“Ok.”

 

I heard the sloshing of water as it moved, then the plonking sound of water hitting water, and scrunched my eyes tight.  Jo touched my hand and squeezed it reassuringly.

 

“Ready?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

I prepared myself and waited for the water to touch my eyes.  It seemed forever before I felt the first drops on my skin; the water was lukewarm and ran freely over my eyelids.  Jo repeated the process a couple of times and I began to relax, the tenseness left my body, as I let the water flow over my eyes.

 

“Ok I think that’s enough.”

 

For a second I was disappointed by her words.  Initially it had caused discomfort but now the water was actually soothing.  I heard the tearing of paper and assumed that she was ripping open the pack with the eye pads.  I opened my eyes slightly and saw her blurred shape looking down at me.

 

“You should keep your eyes closed; you need to block the light out as much as possible before you damage them further.”

 

I closed my eyes immediately.

 

“You’re right, sorry! You know it’s a bad habit I’ve got, opening my eyes.”

 

I smirked and heard her giggle.

 

“I’m gonna put a pad on your left eye on the count of 3 ok?”

 

“You bet.”

 

“Ok then. 1, 2, 3.”

 

I felt the pad against my eyelid and noticed the difference immediately.  I heard tape being pulled, then torn, and then felt it being placed just above my eyebrow, over the eye pad and finally onto my cheek.  Again I heard tape being torn and felt another strip placed at a different point above my eyebrow, over the pad, and onto my cheek.  The pad was now securely held in place by the extra strip of tape. She repeated the process with my right eye.  I lay there in complete darkness; it was as if I was totally blind.  The blur was no more, and my vision was now zero.  I lay there in silence.

 

“MacGyver are you ok?”

 

“Yeah, its just a bit dark that’s all.”

 

“It’s ok, it’ll be alright.”

 

She trailed her hand gently down the side of my face as if to comfort me.

 

“I think you should still wear the sunglasses there’s no harm in being extra safe.  Would you like me to put them on for you?”

 

“Yes please.  I don’t think I could manage that now.”

 

I felt her push the glasses gently on, and heard her let out a big sigh.

 

“What’s the matter?”

 

“Nothing.”

 

“That was a pretty big sigh for nothing.”

 

I heard her let out a breath and a small laugh at the same time.

 

“Its just typical of our luck that’s all.”

 

“What finding me? I’m sorry to be a pain; as soon as I can, I’ll leave.”

 

She touched my chest.

“No, oh no, I never meant that, I’m sorry, I should have thought before I spoke.  Its just, I found a sledge in the garage but its only big enough for you, and we need something to carry the rest of the gear.  There’s no way Amy and I could carry everything and drag the sledge.  I found a tail rope to fit onto something but there’s nothing to drag behind, I’m sure I’ll find something, I only took a quick look.”

 

“Maybe I could help?”

 

“How?  You can’t even see, besides you’re not up to it.  You need to rest.”

“I’ve been resting for ages now.  I’ve got some strength back, let me help.”

 

“There’s nothing you can do.  The garage is full of junk; I’ll have to look somewhere else.”

 

“You’d be surprised what you can make out of junk, maybe I’ll see something you don’t.”

 

“You can’t even see, how can you say that?”

 

“You can see; you can be my eyes.  Let me help you Jo, please.”

 

If she could have seen my eyes, she’d have known I was pleading.  I hated sitting there helpless, while they ran about doing everything.  I wanted to help; I needed to help.  I started to push myself up and made sure that I didn’t show any signs that I was in pain.  I knew the minute I did that I’d lose the battle.

 

“What are you doing?”

 

“Helping.”

 

“MacGyver this is stupid, you’re going to hurt yourself.”

 

“Only if you don’t get out the way.”

 

I heard her huff as she got up off the couch, obviously not impressed with me at all.  I swung my legs round and placed them on the floor.  I was about to get up when I felt her hand on my good shoulder, holding me down.

 

“Oh no you don’t, if you’re going anywhere its with assistance.  Let me get Amy.  Don’t move a muscle.”

 

I heard footsteps retreating and smiled to myself.  This was one strong-minded woman; it would be more than my life’s worth to tangle with her at the moment.  I sat there in silence for a few minutes before I heard them muttering between themselves as they entered the room.

 

I felt the couch shift and realised that both women were sitting either side of me. 

I couldn’t resist it.

 

“Hello ladies.”

 

“Don’t be so fly.  We’re going to go into the garage and look at the junk.  There is nothing there, why you think there is I don’t know.”

 

“Like I said….”

 

“Yeah, yeah, I know.  Its surprising what you can do with junk, I heard you the first time.”

 

I felt my arms being lifted and stifled the moan wanting to escape my lips as the movement jarred my injured shoulder.  It didn’t go unnoticed.

 

“MacGyver?”

“I’m ok.”

 

“No I think we should forget it, you’re hurt.”

 

“Jo please, let me do this.  Its not like I can do anything else to help, let me try.”

 

She wanted me to lie down, to stay still, but she heard the urgency in my voice and relented.

 

“Ok.  Lets take it slowly.”

 

They stood up in one motion, taking care not to make any sudden movement and cause more pain than was necessary.  It must have been quite a sight seeing the three of us make our way to the garage.  It seemed to take forever to get there.  When we did, one of them opened the door, while the other stood supporting me.  Then we became one again and entered the garage.  I was gently lowered onto a seat and felt both women move back.  Amy never spoke once, the whole time.

 

“Thanks.  What am I sitting on?”

 

“It’s an old chair that Francis has in here.”

 

“That was convenient.  So tell me what’s here?”

 

“Junk.”

 

“Jo, we didn’t come all the way out here for you to tell me it’s junk again, describe what you see.”

 

“A pile of junk.”

 

I couldn’t help but smirk, she was winding me up and I could tell by her voice she was on the verge of laughing.

 

“Jo.”

 

“Ok.  It’s a room full of junk, but on the right, we have some shelving that has tins of paint, a few aerosols, oil, a drill and a hydraulic jack.  Leaning against the rear wall there are 2 sheets of sheet metal, a few steel lengths, a rake, a snow shovel and an upright mower.  Half way along the left wall there are more shelves with a saw, shears, box of nails, some screws, some drill bits in a container, a chuck key, a few lengths of rope, some chalk, a tape measure, some pens, a couple of permanent markers and more paint.  There are also some wooden blocks, gas-welding equipment and a sheet of tarpaulin.  As I said a big pile of junk.”

 

I laughed.

 

You say junk; I say we have something to move your gear.”

 

“What?  I can’t see anything to do that.”

 

“That’s coz you’re not looking properly.”

 

“I think you’re losing it MacGyver, there is nothing in here.”

 

“Just gather these things together…..”

 

“What things?”

“The drill, one sheet of sheet metal, the gas welding equipment, the tarpaulin, two steel bars, 3 lengths of rope, a permanent marker, the container of drill bits, the chuck key, two wooden blocks, a piece of chalk, the tape measure and the hydraulic jack.”

 

“And what do you think that’s gonna do?”

 

“You’ll see.”

 

“Ok fine…I’ll play along.  Amy can you grab some of the things please?”

 

“Yes,” she answered, speaking for the first time.

 

“Put them altogether in the center of the room.”

 

“Ok.”

 

I heard them moving around getting all the objects into one spot, and then silence.  I shifted on the chair to get more comfortable and heard someone approach, and then I suddenly felt something being wrapped around me.

 

“What’s that?”

 

“My jacket, you have to keep warm.  So what now?”

 

“We’re gonna build a sort of sledge.”

 

I heard her laughing as she walked away from me.  She stopped and I assumed that she was back in the center of the room.

 

“You’re kidding right?  You think we can build a sledge out of this?”

 

“No I’m not kidding and yes we will.  Before we do anything else, is the width of the sheet metal small enough to fit under the door?”

 

“I think so”

 

“Can you try?  Try and push it at least 12 inches under it.”

 

“Ok.”

 

I heard her dragging the sheet metal along the floor, past me, and then the noise stopped; she had to be by the door.  After a while, I could tell she was losing her patience trying to get it to fit, because of the constant moaning at what a stupid idea I had.  It went silent and she spoke.

 

“Ok its there now, and don’t you dare say I’ve gotta move it.”

 

I couldn’t help but smile. 

 

“Well you have to move it, but not from under the door.  Can you get the two blocks and the hydraulic jack next, and put them at the other end of the sheet metal, so that you’re standing opposite the door?”

 

“I can.”

 

I heard her walk away and then return dropping what I assumed was the two blocks on the floor with a thud, one of them must have bounced and hit the metal.  I heard the metallic sound as it made contact.  I felt a breeze as she walked past me, then she spoke.

 

“Ok I’m standing opposite the door, with the hydraulic jack in my hands, what do you want me to do now?”

 

“I want you to put it down on the floor and grab hold of the edge of the sheet metal, then push up against the bottom of the door.  Bend down so you can get as much leverage as you can.  It might be an idea if Amy helps, instead of you trying to do the block part too.”

 

“You think I’m gonna bend this metal?  You do know I’m a woman right?”

 

“Of course I know you’re a woman.  Trust me you can do this.”

 

I heard her take a big sigh.

 

“Bear with me here MacGyver; it’s just for me to know.  I’m gonna bend this metal and Amy is gonna do what with these blocks?”

 

“While you’re holding the metal at an angle, Amy will place the blocks at both ends so that when you let go it doesn’t fall back down on the ground.”

 

“And the point of this is?”

 

“Jo just work with me; try not to be so negative.  You’ll see where I’m coming from in a minute.”

 

Another big sigh.

 

“Amy can you come here please?”

 

 “Ok.”

 

I heard footsteps and then heard the women talking amongst themselves.  Amy wasn’t very impressed so far, and Jo was starting to get impatient. 

 

“I’m gonna push up now.  Amy, get ready.”

 

“Ok.”

 

Joanne James

 

I pushed up against the bottom of the door like MacGyver said, and the sheet metal bent upwards to a reasonable enough degree for Amy to get the blocks underneath it.  When I saw her knock the second block securely into place I let go.  The result was as MacGyver predicted, the sheet metal lay on top of the blocks.

 

“Ok, what now?”

 

“Put the hydraulic jack under the sheet metal, and push it into place so that the top of the jack touches the metal.”

 

“Ok.”

 

I knelt down, grabbed the jack, pushed it under the metal and along the ground until it could go no further.

 

“What next?”

 

“Pump the jack to its full reach.”

 

I started pumping the jack and saw the metal sheeting rise under the pressure.  It lifted off the blocks and started to bend at angle.  I could see where he was going now.  He was using the door as a vice; the blocks and jack were going to give us the angle we needed.  Ok I still couldn’t a sledge at the end of it, but at least I could see what he had in mind with the sheet metal.  When it reached its limit, I shouted to Amy.

 

“Push the blocks under here now Amy.”

 

When the blocks were securely in place, I scooted back and took a quick look.  It was bending nicely; it would probably take a few more attempts before we got the result we wanted.  I stole a glance at MacGyver and saw him smirking.

 

“Ok MacGyver I admit, that was a good idea.  Still can’t see the sledge, but I think maybe you’re not as crazy as I thought.”

 

He laughed.

 

“Once you’ve bent that end, you’ll need to repeat the process on the other side.”

 

“Ok.”

 

I repeated the process three more times before I was satisfied we had enough of an angle for a sledge.  I told Amy to step back while I pushed the metal sheeting up against the door, and pulled it clear from under it. 

 

I turned the metal around, and then dropped it back on the floor.  I struggled more with it this time, trying to get it under the door, eventually I succeeded and we started the whole process of bending the metal all over again.   It seemed to take ages doing this side, much longer than the other, but that was probably because I was starting to get tired, and so was Amy.  Finally we finished and I again pulled the metal sheeting from under the door, and placed it flat on the floor.  I stood back and looked at the result.  What was once a flat sheet now had 2 ends bent upwards at an approximately 45% angle. 

 

“What’s next?”

 

“Measure 2 inches from the base and 1 inch inwards of the sheet metal, then make a mark on it.  It might be worth Amy helping you again.  Once you have the location on both sides measure the distance between them and make a note of it.  I need you to take the measurements from both the left, and the right hand side of the metal sheeting.”

“Ok.”

 

I nodded to Amy and we knelt down next to the sheet metal. 

 

I measured 2 inches up and an inch across on one side, and made a mark by it.  Then I went over to the other side and repeated the process.  After that, I extended the tape, and pushed it along the floor towards Amy.  She grabbed hold of it and raised it so that it rested on top of the mark we’d made seconds earlier.  I waited for her to signal that it was ok for me to pull the tape taut before I continued.  She nodded and I pulled the tape down to my mark and took the required measurement.  We repeated the process on the other side.

 

“That’s done, what now?”

“Ok now we need to measure the steel bars.  They must to be the length you’ve just measured, if they’re not, you’ll have to cut them down to size.”

 

“How am I supposed to do that? And what if they’re too short, oh I suppose I could weld them together then, right?”

 

“Yeah, the welding equipment will both cut and weld.”

 

“Ok…I’m glad Francis showed me how to use that, otherwise we’d be stuck now.”

 

“We wouldn’t have been stuck, I’d have talked you through it, but its easier if you know how to work it.”

 

“I know how to weld, cutting is another thing.”

 

“Just use the burner.”

 

“Oh right, so you only use the rods when you weld?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

I picked up the tape measure, and a piece of chalk.  Then I walked over to the steel bars to measure them, no big surprise they were too long.  I marked out the length we needed with the chalk, and then took them a reasonable distance away from the welder, before placing them on the ground.  I walked back to the welder, turned it on, picked up the welding gun, turned the switch on the side to allow the gas through and suddenly realised I didn’t have a match; I turned it back off quickly.

 

“Ah…anyone got a match?”

 

I saw MacGyver put his hand in his pocket and pull out a lighter.

 

“You can use this.”

 

Oh great.  I really hated lighting this thing as it was, the thought of using a lighter didn’t make me feel any easier, but there wasn’t a choice.

 

“Amy can you get that for me please?”

 

Amy walked over to MacGyver and took the lighter from him, then gave it to me before stepping back.  She hated this kind of thing, anything with a flame made her uneasy. 

 

“Amy while I light this can you rest the edge of one of the steel lengths on top of a wooden block, so that the end I marked with chalk is over hanging it please?”

“Sure.”

 

I turned the switch on the welding gun to allow the gas to come through; lit the

 

gun with the lighter; and stood there until Amy had put the steel bar into the position I asked.  She stepped back and to the side, then I stepped forwards.  I knelt down on the floor and then rested one knee on top of the steel bar, holding it securely in place.  I was just about to start cutting when Amy shouted.

 

“Jo wait!”

 

I looked up.

 

“Don’t forget to use these.”

 

She handed me some goggles to protect my eyes.  I smiled as I took them off her.

 

“Thanks.  I forgot about them.”

 

“I never.”

 

I flushed with embarrassment.  She hadn’t shouted at me, but she’d told me off in her own little way.  I put the goggles on using one hand, and then lowered the welding gun so that the flame started cutting the bar.  It took quite a while to cut through, and by the end of it the sweat was pouring off me.  I repeated the process with the other bar, got up, and turned the welding gun off.  The light extinguished almost immediately.  I never turned the welding unit off at that point, coz I had the idea I’d be using it again.

 

“Ok that’s done.  Do you want me to weld the bars inside the metal sheeting now?”

 

“Yeah, make sure you put them where you made the marks earlier.”

 

“I thought you were gonna say that.”

 

I put down the welding gun, picked up the two steel bars; and then walked over to the metal sheeting.   When I put them down, I strolled over to the wooden blocks and picked one up.  It was too big for what I needed, so I measured the others scattered around on the floor.  Amongst them I managed to find a couple small enough to be supports for the steel bar, as I welded it to the surface of the metal sheeting.  It wasn’t long before they were welded into place.  As I finished, I switched off the gun, the flame extinguished almost immediately.  Then I got up, walked over to the welding unit, and turned it off.

 

“Ok I’ve done that.  What now?  Put the tarpaulin inside the frame?”

 

“Almost.”

 

“Oh. What’s next then?”

 

“Take one length of rope and push it under the steel bar so that it rests on the base of the sheet metal, ensure that both ends of the rope drape over the edge.  Repeat the process with the other 2 pieces of rope, leaving an equal space between them.”

 

“Ok I think I get it now.  After that we put the tarpaulin on top of the ropes making sure its inside the frame of the sheet metal, then place what we want to carry inside it.  When we’ve done that cover them up with the tarpaulin, then pull the ropes up against the side of the steel bar, and tie the two ends together so that they hold the things securely in place.”

“That’s it.”

 

“I just have one problem with that.”

 

“What’s that?”

 

“How are we going to drag it along, there is nothing to tie the rope to?”

 

“Well that’s what the drills for.”

“Oh I forgot about that”

 

“Find a drill bit as close to the size you want and drill a hole.  Do you know how to use a drill?”

 

“Yeah.  You know, I’ll never moan at Francis for teaching me anything again.  It’s proved quite useful today.”

 

I walked over towards the drill and heard MacGyver and Amy laughing.  I bent down and picked it up.  I pulled back on the trigger to make sure the battery still had some life in it, thankfully it did.  I didn’t fancy looking round for the electrical hook up for it.  I gathered the container with bits and put the chuck key in my pocket.  Then I returned to our homemade sledge. 

 

“Amy can you bring that other sledge over here please?” 

 

She picked up the sledge and almost threw it across the garage (maybe I should have told her how light it was before she picked it up).  I smirked.  She turned and I saw a small smile appear on her face.  My smirk turned into one huge big grin, I couldn’t help myself. 

 

I knelt down, and then placed the drill bits and drill on the ground.  Then I used the chuck key to remove the bit that had been left inside the drill.  When Amy put the sledge down, I turned it round so that the rope I’d attached earlier was facing me. 

 

I scattered the drill bits on the floor and chose the one closest to the size of the rope, then pushed the bit into the chuck and used the key to lock it securely into place.  I left the drill and picked the sledge up, moving it so that the end with the rope was facing our homemade sledge. 

 

“How high up should I make the hole?”

 

“About 5 inches.”

 

“Amy can you measure 5 inches please and make it central to the sledge?”

 

She walked over, picked up the tape and made the required measurement.  I marked the spot with the marker, then picked up the drill and pulled back on the trigger.  Amy got up and walked over to the door.  The bit ate its way through the metal and once it was through, I moved the drill around to elongate the hole to the desired size.  I pulled the drill out and tested the size of the hole before I took my finger off the trigger, and watched the bit slow down and come to a stop.  I stood up, walked over to the shelves and placed the drill down on one of them. 

 

“Almost done.”

 

I walked back to the homemade sledge, pushed the rope through the hole in the center, and then knotted it so that it was held securely in place. 

 

“That’s it.  I think we deserve a drink now. We can pack the sledge up after that.”

 

I looked at Amy and nodded towards MacGyver.  She knew what I was getting at, and started walking towards him.  We arrived at his side almost at the same time, bent down and pulled his arms up and over our shoulders.  I heard him groan, and watched the color drain from his face.

 

“MacGyver we’re gonna go back to the cabin now.  Are you ready?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

I saw him preparing himself ready for us to lift him, and noticed him swallow hard.

 

“Are you feeling ok?”

 

“I feel a bit sick, and giddy.”

 

“I think you’ve overdone it.  You’ve been sat on that chair for nearly 3 hours now.  You’ll feel better once we get you back inside, and you get some rest.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Ok on the count of 3 then, 1, 2, 3.”

 

On 3, Amy and I stood up taking it as slowly as we could, to try to avoid hurting him any more than he already was.  He leant more heavily on me this time; I looked at Amy and could see that she was trying to take some of his weight off me.  We more or less dragged him back to the cabin; he tried to help but it was as if all his energy had been sucked out of him. 

 

Once inside we took him back to the couch, and gently lowered him down so that he was in a lying position.  He was totally whacked, he didn’t even argue, the moment his head hit the pillows I saw his body go limp, and his arm flopped down by his side.

 

“MacGyver are you ok?  Would you like a drink or anything?”

 

“No thanks.  I just want to lie here, is that ok?”

 

His voice sounded really weak, as if he was fighting to keep awake.  I looked up at Amy and could tell she was as worried as I was. 

 

“Yeah, we’ll leave you alone to rest.  I’ll check on you in about an hour.”

 

He seemed to sink deeper into the couch as I watched some of the tenseness leave his body.  I grabbed a blanket off the side, and gently wrapped it around him.  I thought I heard him say something and looked up.  I could see he was trying to speak; he mouthed the word ‘thanks’ just before his head flopped to the side and he fell asleep.

 

Amy and I left the room, and went back into the kitchen.  Tammy was still curled up in front of the stove, just as she was when we’d left her hours ago, not even the chill of the air as we’d opened the door, had disturbed her.  I sat down on a chair by the table, turned to Amy, and pointed at Tammy.

 

“I wish I could sleep that well.”

She looked at where I was pointing and laughed, then turned her attention back to the task she’d set herself, making us a drink.

 

I looked around the kitchen at all the gear scattered on the floor, and could tell that it would easily fit into our homemade sledge.  I was quite proud of what we’d achieved; we’d literally made something out of nothing.  How the heck MacGyver had come up with that, I had no idea.  He couldn’t even see, he’d just listened to my description of the room, and gone from that.  I was both amazed, and impressed by the guy. 

 

I looked back towards Amy; she was looking out the window, deep in thought and if I knew her, unwilling to share them.  She was already starting to block me out, not that I could blame her, after all, I’d done nothing but push and say stupid things ever since she’d woken me up that morning.  I lowered my head into my hands, and then leant my elbows on the table. 

 

I sat there thinking about the journey we were going to take, the effect it would have on MacGyver, and how I was going to get Amy across that bridge.  The wafting aroma of coffee interrupted my thoughts; I lifted my head out of my hands.  Amy’s eyes met mine.

 

“Jo, are you ok?”

 

I smiled at her as I picked up my mug of coffee.

 

“Yeah, I’m fine, how about you?”

 

“I’m ok.”

 

I gave her a small smile.

 

“That’s good.  Once I’ve finished this I’ll go check on MacGyver, and then pack the gear into the sledge.  Is it all here now?”

 

“Yes I think so.  I’ve probably missed something I usually do, John always moans about me doing that, but I know I’ve packed up all the essentials.”

 

I laughed as I thought back to when we’d all gone camping a few years ago, and Amy had been in charge of packing the gear.  Oh we’d got everything all right, everything except one bag of pegs for the tents; tents aren’t much use without them.  I laughed out loud at the memory of John’s face when he’d realised she’d forgotten them, and the constant moaning until Francis had given us some of his, so we could put our tents up and not have to go all the way back to town and buy some.  One gust of wind and all the tents would have gone down because there were only a few pegs holding each, all of them placed strategically to enable them to stay upright.  Amy’s voice brought me back to the present.

 

“What’s so funny Jo?”

 

“I was just thinking about the last time we went camping.”

 

Her face broke out into a huge smile.

 

“Oh John had a field day with that one; I think he must have moaned for at least an hour over me forgetting those pegs.”

 

“Yeah he went on a bit didn’t he?”

 

Amy’s laughter was short lived, and the room was once again plunged into silence.  I glanced up and saw she was looking out the window.

 

“What’s it doing out there?”

 

“Its overcast, I think it’s going to snow.”

 

“I hope it doesn’t, its gonna be hard enough without having another layer to contend with.”

 

She turned her attention back to me.

 

“Do you think we can pull him all that way?”

 

“I’m not gonna lie to you Amy, it isn’t gonna be easy.  The sledge has aluminium strips on the bottom of it, so it should help glide it more easily over the snow, but its gonna take a lot of muscle to move it, especially when we first set off.  Once it’s moving, it shouldn’t be too bad.  We’ll have to try to keep to an even path, the rougher the terrain; the harder it’s going to be.  But yes, I think we can pull him all the way.”

 

“Do you think he’ll be ok?”

 

“It’s going to be tough on him.”

 

I saw a brief glimpse of remorse flit across her face as she listened to me.

 

“The inside of the sledge is pretty deep so it should offer him quite a bit of protection, plus we can strap him in, so at least he’ll be safe, and won’t fall out.”

 

I got up and started to walk out of the room.

 

“I’ll just go check on him before I start to pack the gear up.”

 

“Ok.”

 

When I got to the room where he was, I could see he was in the same position I’d left him in.  He looked at peace, as if he was pain free, as he lay there motionless.  I turned on my heel and left the room, leaving him to rest once again.  As I re-entered the kitchen, I could see Amy was still sat with her hands cupped around her mug of coffee by the table; she turned to me.

 

“Was he ok?”

 

I smiled at her.

 

“Yeah he’s still sleeping.  He has a nice smile, don’t you think?”

 

She slammed her mug down on the table causing some of the coffee to spill.

 

“What do you mean he has a nice smile?  What about Francis?”

 

I could tell she was angry, not only by the mug being slammed down, but also by the tone of her voice.  I hadn’t expected her to react like that; after all, it was only a passing comment.

 

“Just what I said, that he has a nice smile.  Actually his smile reminds me of Francis.”

 

I stopped speaking momentarily and smiled to myself, as I saw an image of Francis in my mind’s eye, then I continued.

 

“But it’s not quite as cute, I don’t think anyone’s will ever be as cute as his.”

 

“Then why did you mention his smile?  You shouldn’t even be thinking about how nice another man looks, it’s being unfaithful to Francis.”

 

“I can’t believe you just said that, I’ve never heard anything so stupid in all my life.  John has a nice smile too; does that mean I’m after him as well?”

 

“Of course it doesn’t!  You know what I mean.  Don’t try to deny that you don’t like him Jo; I can tell you do, by the way you are with him!  He’s very good looking and you’re attracted to him.”

 

“I am NOT attracted to him.  I do like the guy, but not in the way you’re implying.  He seems like a caring man and he reminds me of Francis.  He’s just like the brother I always wanted but never had.”

 

I stood up and collected a handful of blankets, then looked at Amy.

“You know how much Francis means to me, its insulting to think that you’d even imply a passing comment like that as being unfaithful.”

 

I walked towards the door.  Amy got up and started walking towards me.

“Where do you think you’re going this conversation isn’t over yet?”

 

I turned to look at her as I opened the door.

“Oh I think it is.”

 

With that, I walked out the door, not giving her or me, the chance to say another word.  As I trudged through the snow towards the garage, I heard the door slamming behind me.

 

I looked up into the sky, noticing immediately the over hanging clouds threatening to send more snow down.  I could tell that night was setting in, and decided that there was no way we’d be leaving today, but, I was determined to pack the sledge now, so that we could set off first thing in the morning. 

 

It took me about 5 trips in total before everything was loaded up and securely tied down.  I looked at my watch; it was 7.34 pm the day had flown.  As I walked back to the cabin I could tell the temperature had dropped severely, I could see every breath I took lingering in the atmosphere.  There was going to be a hard frost tonight.

 

I put my hand on the handle of the cabin door and automatically looked inside.  Amy was playing with Tammy; it was such a wonderful sight to see, what was left of my temper disappeared instantly.  I stood by the cabin door for a few minutes, not wanting to lose the moment, not wanting to return to reality too soon.  For that split second, I wanted an escape, and watching them was my escape.  It didn’t last long; Tammy noticed me and started bounding towards the door, barking as if she hadn’t seen me for years.  I smiled, opened the door and walked inside closing it behind me.

 

She was bursting with energy, running towards me and then turning round on the spot, as she stood next to me.  I ruffled the top of her head and she pushed herself hard into my legs, I almost lost my balance as I stepped backwards into the door. 

“Calm down Tammy, there’s a good girl.”

 

I could tell Amy was about to call her, so I put my hand up to stop her.

 

“Its ok, she’s just a bit excited that’s all.  Do you want to go out girl?”

 

She barked, wagged her tail frantically, and then started jumping up and down.  I smiled as I opened the door, and she charged out as if she’d been fenced in for years.  I called after her.

 

“Don’t wander off.”

 

I watched her rolling about in the snow, kicking it in the air, basically having the time of her life.  Amy came and stood next to me, I saw her smile.

 

“We’ll let her let burn some of that energy off for a bit, watch a video or something and grab an early night.  I’d like to get going as soon as we can tomorrow is that ok with you?”

 

“Yes.  What time did you have in mind?”

 

“I thought about 6.00 am it should be pretty light then.”

 

“Ok.”

 

We let Tammy play outside for about 15 minutes; she was a lot calmer when we let her in.  Amy went into the bedroom and returned with a book.  She sat down by the kitchen table and started reading; Tammy curled herself up at her feet.  I decided I’d have a bath to warm up.  While I waited for the water to heat up, I checked on MacGyver.  He was fast asleep, the blanket was a bit askew so I straightened it up, and tucked it around him before I returned to the kitchen. 

I grabbed a deck of cards off the side, and had a couple of games of solitaire before the water was hot enough.  I ran a bath and sank into the warm water, allowing the aroma of lavender to relax me.  By the time I got out, I looked like a shrivelled prune, Francis was right; I always stay in one too long.  I pulled on my night ware and went into the kitchen; Amy was still reading her book.

 

“Amy can you check on MacGyver please?  I think I’m gonna hit the sack now.”

 

“Me?”

 

“Yeah, well I’m not exactly dressed for the occasion, you don’t mind do you?”

 

She scowled at me, and for a split second I thought she was gonna say, no.

 

“Ok.”

 

“Thanks.  I’ll see you in the morning.”

 

I turned and smiled to myself as I left the room.  I climbed into bed and pulled the blankets up around myself to keep the heat in.

 

Amy Morgan

 

I watched Jo walk out of the room in silence.  What I really wanted to do was tell her to stop, that it was up to her to look after this MacGyver, not me.  I’ll give her, her due; she’d gone about it in such a way that I really had no choice.  If I’d said no, it would have turned into another row, and it was too late for that, we were both tired and needed our rest ready for tomorrow.

 

I dog-eared the corner of the page I was reading in my book, closed it shut, and then placed it on the kitchen table.  As I pushed the chair back, it made a screeching sound that woke Tammy up from her slumber.

 

“Sorry girl.”

 

I got up and Tammy unravelled herself, and then slowly got to her feet.  I looked down at her.

 

“Are you coming with me to check on MacGyver?”

 

She looked up at me and started wagging her tail.  I ruffled the top of her head, and then walked to the room with MacGyver, Tammy close at my heels.  When I got there, I saw that he was fast asleep, snugly wrapped up in a blanket.  I quietly walked across the room so as not to disturb him, Tammy ran ahead and then plunked herself down on the floor at the side of the couch.  I was surprised at how quickly she’d taken to him, she very rarely made a fuss of strangers and yet she’d let this man in freely.  What was it that made her trust him?  I sat down on a nearby chair, and let my mind drift over what we had ahead of us.

 

I must have dozed off because the next thing I felt was Tammy nudging me.  I drowsily opened my eyes and heard him groaning, the sound instantly waking me up completely.  I looked over and could see that he was becoming restless.  His head was flopping from side to side and he was mumbling.  I couldn’t make out the words, but I could tell whatever he was dreaming about was distressing him.  I sat there undecided about what to do, I wanted to help him, but at the same time, I didn’t want too.  What if I did, and I hurt him?  Everyone I’d touched lately I’d hurt, I decided to stay were I was. 

 

I watched him fighting the demons in his dream, his movements becoming more erratic with each passing moment.  Tammy started clawing at me, and every time I looked at her, she’d walk back to MacGyver and sit down next to him, before looking back at me.

 

“I can’t Tammy, I just can’t.”

 

She looked accusingly at me as if to say ‘how can you just sit there while he needs your help’ it felt as if she’d taken over from Jo, that she was trying to bring back the old Amy, the one who wasn’t afraid to care, the one who didn’t have a jinx.  At that point, I thought I heard Jo, although I knew it was my mind saying it to me, but it was so clear, ‘there is no jinx Amy, stop doing that to yourself, what happened wasn’t your fault.’ 

 

I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye, and saw him move his injured shoulder; he let out a deep groan as the pain struck him, and arched his back.  He then lowered himself back onto the pillows; I noticed his breathing alter as he tried to control the pain.  I couldn’t stand watching him any longer; I got up and sat on the edge of the couch next to him.  He turned his head in my direction.

 

“Jo?”

 

“No, it’s Amy.  Jo’s asleep.  Are you ok?”

 

“Yeah, I think so.”

 

I could almost hear the shock in his voice as he realised it was me and not Jo.  I got up and he grabbed my hand.

 

“I’m sorry I sounded surprised, I just expected it to be Jo.”

 

“I’ll go get her for you.”

 

“No, please don’t, there’s no need to disturb her.”

 

I pulled my hand away, and he let his arm drop onto the couch.  I picked up the bedraggled blanket and wrapped it around him. 

 

“Thanks Amy.”

 

“Its ok.  Why don’t you try and get some more sleep, we’ve got a big day ahead of us tomorrow.”

 

“Yeah I know.  You should get some sleep too; don’t worry about me, it’s you and Jo that need the rest.  You’re the ones that’ll be doing all the work.  I’ll just be lying there like a lead weight that you’ve got to drag along.”

 

I could hear the regret in his voice, and I felt it pull at my heart.

 

“Just get some sleep.”

 

“Ok.”

 

I bent down and stroked Tammy, then whispered quietly to her.

 

“Stay here and keep an eye on him bark if he wakes up.”

 

I got to my feet and walked to the door, as I opened it, I heard MacGyver speak.

 

“Night, Amy.”

 

 I looked over my shoulder and smiled.

 

“Night MacGyver, night Tammy.”

 

I saw him smile when I answered him, and Tammy wagged her tail enthusiastically thumping it down hard on the floor, the noise made MacGyver jump slightly.  I was about to tell him it was Tammy when I noticed him pulling his arm out from under the blanket, allowing it hang down the side of the couch.  Tammy crawled along the floor until she was near him then nudged his hand.

 

“Hey Tammy, are you staying here to look after me girl?”

 

She started licking his fingers the moment he said her name.  I smiled to myself as I shut the door, and made my way to bed.

 

Joanne James

 

I must have gone into a deep sleep because the next thing I knew, Amy was waking me up and it was morning.

 

I jumped out of bed as if I was late for an important meeting.  Amy of course was all prepared and ready to go, while I rushed round like an idiot.

 

“Is he awake?”

 

“Yes.  I gave him a mug of coffee and some toast, that was all he said he could stomach.

 

“Oh good.  So he’s ready to move then, you’re ready to move, it’s just me we’re waiting for.  What time is it?”

“6.00.”

 

“Oh, well we’re a bit behind, but nothing major.  Will you make me some toast or something?”

 

I looked at her pleadingly and she smiled.

 

“Ok.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

I quickly got dressed then went into the kitchen.  There was a bowl of porridge waiting for me, I hated that stuff, but it was probably the best thing to have going out in these weather conditions.  I forced it down, ate a couple of rounds of toast Amy had made for me, and drank a mug of warm coffee.  I looked up and saw her pushing a couple of flasks into each backpack.  I pushed the chair back and she turned to me.

 

“Don’t forget to tell Francis when we leave.”

 

“I’ll go tell him now.  We’ll be ready to leave in about half an hour.”

 

“Ok.”

 

I rushed to the radio and sat myself down in front of it, turned it on, and grabbed the handset.  I clicked down on the button.

 

“Francis can you hear me?  It’s Jo. Over.  Come on Francis wake up.  Over.”

 

I released the button and waited for Francis to respond.  It seemed like hours but I know it was merely minutes.

“Jo? What’s the matter is something wrong? Over.”

 

“No we’re ok.  We’re gonna start heading for town in about half an hour.  So start counting down from then, I don’t know how long we’ll be, but at least you can have an idea how long it’s taking us. Over.”

 

“Ok.  How are you planning on bringing him in? Over.”

 

“I found your sledge in the garage; it’s more than big enough for him but nothing else, so we made something to drag behind it out of your junk. Over.”

 

“I forgot about that.  What have you made? Over.”

 

“A homemade sledge, its big enough to carry all the gear we need. Over.”

 

“Told you that you’d find a way, I knew you would. Over.”

 

“It was MacGyver; he came up with the idea.  He also told us that there are some men after him, that want to kill him; they ran him off the road.  Over.”

 

“Kill him?  What the hell did he do? Over.”

 

“Yeah and they made a good attempt too.  He didn’t do anything Francis, he witnessed a murder and they’re trying to stop him getting to court to testify against someone called Boss Larry.  Over.”

“Be careful Jo; get here as fast as you can.  Are these men still after him? Over.”

“He thinks so. Over.”

 

There was silence on the other end.

 

“Francis are you still there? Over.”

 

“Jo I don’t like the sound of this.  Please be careful, these men sound dangerous to me.  MacGyver is in no condition to protect you; I’m tempted to tell you to stay where you are.  Over.”

 

“Don’t be silly Francis, you said yourself MacGyver needs help as soon as possible, we’ll be ok, and we have Tammy with us.  Over.”

 

“I know he needs help, and I know Tammy will protect you.  I just want you and Amy to be safe.  Over.”

“We will.  Don’t worry; we’ll be ok.  I’m sure the men who tried to kill him think he’s dead, its just MacGyver panicking.  He’s hurt pretty bad and really weak; oh and he’s still running a temperature so probably imaging things.  Over.”

 

“I hope so, be careful Jo.  It sounds like he needs some heavy-duty antibiotics to knock out that infection.  Keep a careful eye on his temperature.  Over.”

 

“I will.  See you soon.  Over.”

 

“Ok.  Bye. Over and out.”

 

I put the handset back on the side of the radio, switched it off and went into the room where MacGyver was. 

 

MacGyver

 

I heard someone approach and gave a small wave of my hand.

 

“Hi.”

 

“Hi MacGyver, how are we feeling today?”

 

I swung my legs to the side and pulled myself up into a sitting position.  I felt pretty sick by the movement, and I couldn’t help but winch as the pain struck me.  I wasn’t about to let Jo know that though.

 

“Pretty good after that sleep.  How long was I out?”

 

“Almost 10 hours.”

 

“Wow.  I must have been tired.”

 

I shifted on the couch and knocked my shoulder, I bit back the moan wanting to escape my lips.  I grabbed hold of my arm as if to try to ease the pain.  Jo must have noticed.

 

“MacGyver, are you ok?”

 

I answered through gritted teeth.

“Yeah, it’ll pass, I’d just forgotten I’d hurt it for a while there, its ok.”

 

I don’t think I convinced her.  I didn’t convince myself, so I really didn’t stand a chance with her.

 

“Would you like a sling for your arm?  I should have thought of that before, it would help support your shoulder.”

 

I could hear the regret in her voice because she hadn’t thought of a sling.

 

“No its ok, it’ll restrict me too much.  I’ll be alright.”

 

I felt the couch move as she sat next to me.

 

“I think you should have one, it’ll be safer that way.”

 

I turned towards her voice. 

 

“Please, don’t.  I can’t do anything as it is, the sling will make it even worse.  When we came back from the garage, I was no help. I was leaning on you a lot, and as much as I tried not too, I just couldn’t stop myself.”

She touched my arm.

 

“That wasn’t your fault, you’re hurt.”

 

“I know that.  But Amy was there; she helped you.  If I’d had a sling, you’d have been on your own and I would have pulled you down with me.  I don’t want to accidentally hurt you Jo.  At least with two arms free I can make an attempt to help.”

 

“But it’ll help your shoulder and you obviously know you need the support because you just grabbed your arm yourself.”

 

“Exactly.  I grabbed it because I know I needed to, and I can keep doing that.  Lets make a deal.”

 

“What kind of deal?”

 

I smiled.  At least she gave me a chance, didn’t just tell me to shut up.  I was at her mercy. I knew if she forced me to wear one, there wasn’t much I could do about it, but she was giving me a chance, and I was grateful for that.

 

“I don’t wear the sling…”

 

“You call that a deal?”

 

“You interrupted me before I got to the deal part.”

 

“Sorry.”

I could tell she was embarrassed, I bet her face was a picture.

 

“The deal is: if the shoulder wound reopens because I’ve been moving round too much, I’ll put one on, until then I do without.  How’s that sound?”

 

“Well I’d prefer you to wear one, but I’ll go along with that for now.  Don’t want you feeling like I have all the control do we?”

 

She had a knack of making me laugh.

 

“No we don’t.  Thanks Jo.”

 

I felt the couch move as she got up.

 

“I’m gonna fetch Amy so we can set off.   I’ll be right back.”

 

“Ok.”

 

Joanne James

 

I quickly left MacGyver and found Amy, she was just about to put a backpack on.

 

“No Amy don’t do that yet, we need to get MacGyver in the sledge first.”

 

“Ok calm down, I was just testing it for the weight.”

 

“Oh right, yeah, sorry about that.”

 

As we went for MacGyver I looked at Amy, I could see she was trying hard not to laugh, I nudged her and she started to giggle.   We entered the room and he turned his head towards the door.

 

“Right then, let’s get you into the sledge.”

 

Amy and I sat down either side of him, and pulled his arms as gently as possible over our shoulders.  We told him on the count of 3 we’d get up, just as we’d done the day before.  I watched him tense up and prepare himself as we reached 3.  We got up slowly; in fact, we looked liked experts.  We raised ourselves with ease and he hardly made a sound, just a small moan as he straightened up at the end.  We walked him slowly towards the kitchen.  When we got there, I nodded from Amy to a nearby chair.  She gently pulled away from him and grabbed hold of it, bringing it closer towards us.  At the same time as she moved I felt him tilt slightly to one side, pulling me unexpectedly downwards.  I quickly managed to regain control, as he helped shift his weight more onto me.

 

“Sorry I wasn’t expecting that.”

 

“Its ok I should have told you.  I’m gonna sit you down on a chair for a while, just until the sledge is ready for you, ok?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

I lowered him down until he was sitting on the edge of the chair.  I could feel he was still running a high temperature through his shirtsleeve and indicated to Amy about it.  She nodded and looked worried.

 

“Don’t lean back until I say you can.”

 

“Ok.”

 

I held him there while Amy draped a blanket over the back of the chair, doubling it over, to ensure that it protected his back.  When she’d finished, I lowered him backwards slowly onto the support of the backrest.  He let out a small groan as the weight of his body sank into the blanket.

 

“I won’t be long.  Amy is going to put one of Francis’ jackets on you.  Ok?”

“Ok.”

 

I left him with Amy and rushed out into the garage.  I flipped the sledge we were going to put MacGyver into so that it was rested on top of our homemade one, and then used the rope between the two sledges to pull them out of the garage.  The moment the homemade sledge hit the snow I felt the difference, it was much easier to pull, and within seconds, I had it in a good enough position to be able to manoeuvre MacGyver into it, with a degree of ease.  I pulled the sledge off our homemade one and laid it on the ground, then went inside for Amy and MacGyver.

 

I opened the door and told them we were ready to go.  Amy picked up the two backpacks and passed them to me; I ran over to the sledges and put them down.  When I returned, Amy was standing next to MacGyver waiting for me.  I nodded to her and we bent down onto our knees, either side of him.

 

“Ok MacGyver, get ready.”

 

We positioned ourselves under his armpits, and then pushed ourselves up until we made contact with them, then holding his arms we pulled ourselves up slowly, taking him with us.  We stood for a moment while he composed himself, and then made our way to the sledge.  The ground was scrunching under our feet, telling us that the ice still formed a top layer as we walked along.  I was nervous of falling in case MacGyver got hurt, so we walked very slowly and cautiously along.  I hadn’t really noticed the ice until that point.  I nodded to a stump that Francis used to chop logs on near the sledge, and we made our way towards it.  When we were close enough I stopped, and almost instantly, Amy did the same.

 

“What’s going on Jo, why did we stop?”  He was shivering badly.

 

“We’re going to put you in the sledge in a moment, but first I want you to sit on a tree stump.  Amy will support you; you won’t be on your own.  I just want to check everything is ok before we start to put you into it, is that alright?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

We lowered him down and I pulled away, leaving him in the capable hands of Amy.  She didn’t look too impressed with what was going on, but she never moaned, just did what I asked.

 

I ran over to the sledge and unclipped the three nylon straps inside, opening them up fully and laying them over each side of the sledge.  Then I dug deep into one of the backpacks and pulled out a couple of blankets, and laid them on the base of the sledge, before returning to Amy and MacGyver.

 

“Ok we’re set now, are you ready?”

 

Amy nodded and MacGyver took a deep breath.

“Yeah.”

 

Again we pulled him carefully to his feet and then walked slowly to the sledge.  When he got by the side of it I asked him to lean against Amy more, and pushed his body gently in her direction.  She took up his weight the best she could.  I asked him to step inside the sledge and he raised his foot, I grabbed hold of it and carefully guided it over the edge of the sledge and downwards.  As his foot lowered, his weight shifted and he started to topple over in my direction.  I quickly grabbed him, supporting him as I did and he regained his footing.  He now stood with one foot inside the sledge, and one outside. 

I signalled for Amy to move around to the other side of the sledge so she could take his weight, while I helped him bring his second foot inside.  I pulled him towards me as Amy came round to my side, then we repeated the process with his other foot, and within a few seconds, he was standing fully inside the sledge.  We helped lower him down so that he was sitting upright with his knees bent, and feet on the base of the sledge.

 

“MacGyver we’re gonna lower you down.  We’re gonna try and not jolt your shoulder, but I can’t guarantee that won’t happen.”

 

“Ok.  If you want me to do anything just say.”

 

“Just relax; it’ll make it easier on us.”

 

“I’ll try.”

 

I unbent his knees and straightened his legs out in front of him, as Amy supported his back.  His feet were quite a few inches away from the bottom, so I tugged hard on the blanket until he’d moved down the sledge enough to enable him to lie down easily.  Then I ran to the opposite side of Amy.  I put my arm gently on the front of his shoulder blade; Amy did the same.

 

“I need you to lie back now.  We’re going to lower you down.”

 

As we lowered him, I could see he was straining to try to hold some of his body weight, to try to help us.

 

“Stop helping MacGyver, just relax, and let us take your weight.  You’ll just end up hurting yourself; you don’t want that sling on do you?”

 

I saw him smiling at my last statement, and felt more weight on my arms as he relaxed.  Within a few seconds he was laid flat inside the sledge, he winced slightly as his shoulder hit the base.

 

“Are you ok?”

 

“Yeah.”  Despite the fact he was sweating, he was shivering badly.

 

I delved deep into the other backpack and pulled out a couple more blankets, then laid them over the top of him, pushing them down the sides around him to make sure he was completely covered.  Then I grabbed one of the nylon straps and signalled for Amy to pass me the one on her end.  She gave it to me, and I snapped the two ends together, and then pulled the strap taut until it was holding MacGyver securely in place.  I repeated the process on the other two straps until he was more or less immobilised.  I stepped back.

 

“How’s that feel MacGyver?  Are they too tight?”

 

“Nope, they’re fine.  I feel as snug, as a bug, in a rug.”

 

I smiled down at him and then went back into the garage.  As I re-emerged, I noticed that Amy had put one of the backpacks on, and was refastening the other one. As I attached the two aluminium handles to the front of the sledge Amy looked horrified.

 

“What’s the matter Amy?”

 

“We have to pull it using those handles?”

 

I looked at the handles and could imagine that after a while, it would be difficult.  Our hands would most probably be hurting and we’d want to stop.  I went back inside the garage again, and came out carrying more nylon straps.  I bent down and pushed them inside my backpack.

 

“We’ll take these with us.”

 

“And what will they do?”

 

“We’ll make them into shoulder straps.” 

 

“Ok I like the sound of that.  I don’t think I want to drag this sledge for too long.  This bad elbow of mine just won’t last long and I’ll need both arms to drag it.”

 

“Yeah, I know.  I think that’s it, we’re ready to go, right?”

 

“Almost.”

 

“Almost?”

 

“Yeah.  I’ll just go get Tammy, lock up, and we can go.”

 

“Ok.  Hey Amy, bring your wrist strap.  It’ll help support it when you pull. ”

 

I watched her walking up to the cabin, picked up my backpack, and put it on.

 

MacGyver

 

I heard Amy and Jo talking as they got the final preparations ready before we left.  I felt totally helpless.  I couldn’t move, not even if I wanted too, Jo had strapped me in pretty well.  I felt the sledge move as they pulled it to get some momentum.  After a few attempts, one big jerk finally got them moving, the movement sent a jolt of pain through my shoulder, and I couldn’t help but moan.  

 

“MacGyver are you ok?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Sorry about that.”

 

“Its ok.”

 

We were moving at a fair pace, I could tell by the gush of wind against my face.  I hated lying there knowing they were struggling to pull me, slipping while they tried to keep their balance.  I could tell it was taking its toll on them, their breathing altered and the sledge moved much slower.  I heard someone slipping a lot too, the thud as they hit the snow became more noticeable after a few times.  I was pretty sure it was Jo this time, it sounded like her moaning.

 

“Jo is that you slipping?”

 

“No.”

 

“Yes it is Jo, don’t lie to him.”

 

“Well I’m not the only one slipping on the ice, am I Amy?”

 

“It wasn’t me who slipped that time Jo, it was you!”

 

I could tell by Jo’s voice she was getting tired and frustrated, Amy didn’t sound like she was far behind.  It wasn’t surprising considering the physical exertion they were demanding of themselves.

 

“I’m sorry Amy.  I’m just tired.”

 

I never heard Amy reply but felt the sudden jerk as the sledge was pulled from the left hand side; it took me all my restraint not to shout out. 

 

“Hang on Amy.”

 

I felt someone touch my forehead.

 

“MacGyver, are you ok?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Really?  Coz you know, you look a little pale to me, for a moment I thought you’d disappeared.”

 

“Disappeared?”

 

“Yeah with all this snow, you need to keep those cheeks rosy red so we know where you are, we don’t want to lose you, after going to all this effort.”

 

“That bad huh?”

 

“If you go any whiter we might mistake you for a lump of ice.”

I couldn’t help but laugh.

 

“There you go, that’s better, I can see you now.”

 

I felt the sledge move simultaneously this time, and we set off again.  I didn’t hear any of them slip after that, whether it was because they took more care, or whether it was because the snow was melting under the heat of the sun, I didn’t know.  They continued to pull me in silence, the odd word spoken only between Jo and myself.  If I hadn’t known Amy was with us, I might have thought it was only the two of us.  After a while we suddenly stopped.

 

“What’s the matter?  Why did we stop?”

 

“Oh nothing much, just a little drop that’s all.  I’m sure we’ll be ok.”

 

I could tell by her tone she wasn’t convinced.

 

“What do you mean a little drop?”

 

“I mean a small descent, a downward slope, the opposite to up, a…..”

 

“I think I got your point Jo.  What’s the gradient of it?”

“I’m not sure, I’m not good with that kind of stuff; let’s just say it’s really steep.”

 

I heard her fiddling with something, mumbling under her breath.

 

“What are you doing Jo?”

 

“I’m just moving the handles to the back of the sledge.  We’re going to have to lower it downwards, if we try to go down the slope forwards, we’ll lose control and I hate to think where you’d end up.  You’re lucky you can’t see what’s in front of you.”

 

“Are you going to uncouple the other sledge and do them one at a time?”

 

“I wasn’t going to, do you think we should?”

 

“Yeah.  It’ll be less weight for you to hold on to, hopefully it won’t drag you down as much, and you should have more control.”

 

“Yeah you’re right.  Oh well, I guess I need to lose a few pounds anyway.”

 

“What?”

 

“I was thinking about the long climb back up, as I said, its pretty steep.”

 

“Are you able to get back up safely?”

 

“Yeah, it’ll just take us a while that’s all.  I was trying to avoid that, but you’re right, separately is the safest way.”

 

I heard her trudging past me and attach the handles at the opposite end of the sledge, and then I heard a loud thud.

 

“Jo?”

 

“What?”

 

“Are you alright? What was that noise, it sounded like you fell over.”

 

“No it was just me dumping my backpack on the ground, sorry.”

 

“Oh.”

 

I heard her rummaging round and talking quietly to Amy.  I felt the sledge moving up and down slightly.

 

“What are you doing?”

 

“We’ve just looped a couple of nylon straps through each handle and made a shoulder strap for ourselves.  It should help us when we’re lowering the sledge down, hopefully give us more leverage.”

 

“Sounds like a good idea.”

 

“Ok we’re gonna start making our way down now.  We’ll try not to jerk the sledge around too much.”

 

“Ok.”

 

“Tammy you stay here, don’t follow us, stay here!”

 

I was glad Jo had told Tammy to stay at the top.  It would have been unwise to let her run ahead of us, she could have got in the way accidentally.  I felt the sledge move and then suddenly drop backwards.  The shock of the descent made me catch my breath.

 

“I thought you said a small descent, a downward slope, it feels like a 50% angle to me.”

 

I heard Jo laughing.

 

“Yeah well I did also say it was steep.”

 

“If I wasn’t strapped in here I’d be feeling pretty unsafe right now.”

 

“Oh don’t worry we won’t let anything happen to you.”

 

Just as she said that, the sledge seemed to slide quite freely downwards.  I could hear her shouting to Amy to dig in, to get a grip, to pull on the straps, and to push as hard as she could against the snow to try to slow them down. 

My heart was pounding hard in my chest, and I could feel the blood rushing through my veins, I broke out in a cold sweat.   I wanted to get out, I wanted to get out right there and then, but I couldn’t.  I couldn’t move an inch, Jo had made sure of that, she’d made absolute sure there was no way I could fall out.

 

Just like there was no way I could get out.  I felt ever ridge in the bank as the sledge slid downwards, my shoulder was screaming out, but I ignored the pain and tried hard to listen to Jo.

 

“Amy we have to stop it before we lose control, pull, pull hard now.”

 

“I’m trying.”

“I know you are we’ve almost got it, just once more Amy, pull.”

 

I felt the sledge slowing down and then it came to an abrupt stop.  I wasn’t sure if we were at the bottom, half way down, or only just at the top.

“Jo, were are we?”

 

“Still on the slope.”

 

“How far?  How far did we go down?”

 

“Ah….about three quarters of the way.  We’re almost there, don’t worry, you’re going to be ok.”

 

“I’m trussed up like I’m some turkey waiting to go in the oven for thanksgiving, and I can’t see.  I’ll try not to worry but it’s easier said than done.”

 

“You know what Macgyver; I think I’m rubbing off on you.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“You’re becoming more sarcastic by the second, hang on we’re gonna try again.”

 

I felt the sledge move as they released their tight grip on it, and it began its descent down the slope again.  They definitely had it under control this time, it glided down at a nice steady pace, and as we neared the bottom, I could feel the sledge becoming straighter.  When it came to a stop, I couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief.

“That wasn’t so bad was it?”

 

“No, it was just like being on a ride in Disney World.”

 

“See we saved you a fortune, the thrill of a lifetime, for free.”

 

“I think I could have lived without that thrill, thank you very much.”

 

I felt the sledge being dragged to the left, to the right, then it came to a stop.

Once again, I felt the sledge moving up and down. 

 

“Jo?”

 

“We’re going up for the other sledge now.  We’ve just unhooked the shoulder straps from the sledge, and moved you away from the bottom of the slope, just in case we can’t hold our homemade sledge back and we lose control.  This way you’re safe no matter what, if we lose it, it will just smash into the trees at the bottom.  Once we get to the top we’ll send Tammy down to you.”

 

“Jo, are you and Amy going to be ok with the other sledge?  Maybe you should leave it behind.”

“Can’t, we need the gear on it, don’t worry we’ll be ok.”

 

I heard them leaving and lay there waiting for them to return.

 

It wasn’t long before I felt the long, sloppy tongue of Tammy across my face.

“Good girl, they won’t be long.”

I laid there for what seemed like hours.  I could hear them getting closer because Jo was screaming at Amy to stop.  I wasn’t sure if they’d lost control or not, it was hard to tell, as I lay there scared out of my mind.  What if they got hurt?

I couldn’t even go and help them.  I was trapped.  As Jo’s voice got closer, I was sure they’d lost control, she sounded frantic.  I couldn’t hear Amy at all.

 

“Amy dig in, dig in now!”

 

Still no sound from Amy, but Jo’s panic was starting to seep into me, she was always in control, why was she panicking?  I could hear the whooshing noise of the sledge and by the sound of it; it was travelling pretty fast.

 

“Amy, I can’t hold it on my own much longer.  Help me!”

 

I could hear the muffled sound of someone trying to talk and realised it was Amy, it sounded like she was tumbling along with the sledge.  She must have lost her footing and Jo from what I could gather was the only one stopping the sledge from sliding completely down the bank. 

 

“Amy!”

 

I heard the whoosh suddenly stop and I waited to hear the impact of the sledge hitting the trees at the bottom.  Nothing happened, the next thing I heard was Jo.

 

“I thought you were going to tumble all the way to the bottom then.  Are you ok?”

 

“Yeah I’m ok, sorry about that Jo.  You did really good, if it hadn’t been for you the whole thing would have gone.”

 

I could hear the pride in Amy’s voice as she spoke, giving her friend the praise she deserved, and assuring her that she was all right.

 

“Lets take it slow Amy, we’re almost there.”

“Ok.”

 

I heard them continue their descent; the strain on them was obvious by their ragged breathing.  I could tell they’d arrived at the bottom and were coming towards me, by Tammy’s reaction. 

 

“See I told we’d be ok MacGyver.”

“Sounded like a bit of a rough ride down, from here.”

 

“Well it wasn’t as easy as bringing you down, the other sledge was heavier and we only had the one hole in the centre to put the straps into, so the weight was uneven.  Amy lost her footing as we lowered it over the edge, but we managed in the end.”

 

I heard them dragging the other sledge round, and felt someone fiddling near my feet, then heard the sound of the straps being pulled through the hole.  I felt someone knock my calves as the two sledges were hooked back together, then movement as the handles, and straps were put back into place, so I assumed Jo was hooking the two sledges back together.

 

“Ok lets go, hopefully we won’t find anymore slopes like that.”

They pulled at the sledge and we started moving again.

 

The Hotel

“So you’re saying they’re going to try and bring this guy into town on a sledge?” said Graham the receptionist at the hotel, his voice showing his surprise.

“That’s what she said,” answered Francis.  “Sounds like he’s hurt pretty bad and has something wrong with his eyes.  Now in which room did you say this guest was who wasn’t feeling too good?”

“Oh yeah, Room 24,” answered Graham.  “He was going to come along to your office, but he looked a little grey to me.  You don’t mind do you?”

“No that’s fine.  It will take my mind off Jo and Amy bringing this MacGyver through the snow.  She said they’re just about to start and that track is the only way in and out now.  If the roads hadn’t been blocked, I’d have sent an ambulance.  A chopper would have been the best thing, but they’re all grounded.  They’ve 24 hours before this storm really hits.  Should be enough time.  Both of them know that bit of country pretty good and there’s that other cabin if they need to wait out the night somewhere.  They’ll be fine.”

“So if they can bring him here, why can’t you get to them?” asked Graham as he handed his waiting guest his key.  “Surely it works both ways.”

“You’d think so wouldn’t you,” answered Francis.  “And I did think of that at first, but there have been so many accidents on the roads and two of the doctors at the hospital are stuck in LA and can’t get a flight so we’re short handed and I’m needed here as much as they need me.  I could send someone else I suppose, but he needs specialised treatment so they’d still have to bring him.  It sounds like flash burns to me.  Best thing is usually to keep the person still, but they have no choice, the sooner he gets hospital treatment the better.

“Pretty gutsy to do that,” said Graham.  “Hey when are you going to get Jo to marry you?” he asked laughing as Francis headed for the escalator.

“When I hog tie her and carry her up the aisle by the looks of it,” Francis answered as he pressed the button.  “She says she’s ‘thinking on it’.”

“They’re an odd couple,” said Graham as he watched him.  “That Amy’s so quiet and Jo, well Jo will take on anybody if she’s rattled enough.”

“Yeah well life has bashed Amy around a bit over the last few years, knocked all the fight out of her, but don’t count her out.  She’s still the woman she was.  She’s just hiding inside, licking her wounds so to speak. She lost four close friends and a sister all within six months, that’s enough to defeat anyone.”

“Wow, I didn’t know that,” answered Graham as the escalator doors opened.

“Room 24, right,” said Francis as the doors slowly closed.

 

“Did you hear that?” Harry asked Stuart as he handed him the key to their room and they headed for the stairs.  “He’s alive, he’s actually alive.”

“Will you keep your voice down,” Stuart told him as they reached their room, entered and shut the door.

“Now what do we do?” asked Harry as he looked out of the window.

“We go after him, that’s what we do,” answered Stuart.

“You’re joking right?  Out there, in this?  We’ll never find him,” said Harry in horror as he watched the snow.

“You heard the guy, only one way in and one way out.  All we need is the right gear and a map.  Either that or you tell the boss we let him get away.  It’s your choice,” Stuart told him as he took his gun from where he’d hidden it.

“Yeah, but what do you know about tracking in snow?” Harry asked as he followed quickly.

“Just the same as tracking without snow, you just look for the signs.  Remember last year, that hiker.  No trouble finding him and he knew what he was doing.  These are two women bringing him in by the sounds of it.   Shame they’ll all get lost in a blizzard.  It happens all the time.  Now let’s find a shop and get geared up,” Stuart told him as they got outside.

“But I hate snow Stuart; I told you I hate the snow.  It makes me bad tempered.” “You’re always bad tempered Harry, the snow just makes you worse,” Stuart replied as he walked away.  “The snow makes you vicious.”

 

The Journey

 

“He’s shivering again,” said Amy as she looked back at MacGyver.

“Yeah I noticed,” replied Jo as they struggled through the heavily falling snow.

“How far away did you say this cave was?” she asked.

“Not far now, just beyond these trees.  Why doesn’t he say something?  I’ve not heard him complain once since we started out and he doesn’t look at all well,” Amy said as she looked back at him again.

“Well I don’t know do I?  Why do you always think I know the answers to all your questions?”  As soon as the words were out of her mouth Jo regretted them, she saw Amy withdraw back into her shell and could have kicked herself.  They’d been the first words she’d spoken for an hour and shed come back with a smart aleck reply, it was a bad habit and one she had to start learning to control.

“Sorry Amy, I’m just cold that’s all,” she apologised looking at her friend.

Amy shrugged. 

Jo hated it when she did that, it meant she’d put the barriers back up and wasn’t going to talk any more.

“Here Tammy, here girl,” she called to the dog as it began to wander.  “You keep an eye on your new friend and stop running off, we don’t want to lose you.” 

Looking up at Jo the dog turned and began to walk alongside the sledge, nuzzling MacGyver so he knew she was there.  “Good dog, good girl,” he said his voice shaking with the cold as he did.

“There it is, just as you said.  I can see the cave from here,” Jo told her as they headed towards the dark opening.  “I sure hope there aren’t any bears in there,” she added trying to make her friend smile.  Amy didn’t answer, didn’t even indicate she’d heard her.

 

As they set up camp inside the cave for the night because they were exhausted, glad they’d brought lamps and stoves with them just in case they had had to stop at the old cabin, Jo saw Amy keep touching her shoulder.

 

“What’s wrong with your shoulder?” she asked as she came up to her as she helped MacGyver sit down on the blankets she’d placed near the stove for him to get warm.

“Nothing,” came back Amy’s quiet reply.

“Let me look Amy,” said Jo as she reached out to her.

“It’s nothing, leave me alone Jo,” she said moving away from her outstretched hand.

“Let her look Amy,” said MacGyver as he got to his feet and tried to find where they were standing.

“Please sit back down,” Amy told him as she caught his arm, “you’ll knock the stove over and burn yourself.”  He didn’t move.

“Ok, stand or sit.  I don’t care,” she told him angrily.

“Show Jo your shoulder,” Mac told her kindly.  “Amy, show her your shoulder.”

“It’s just sore that’s all,” she answered as she uncovered it for her to see.

“Just sore!  Amy it’s bleeding, why didn’t you say something?” Jo asked horrified.

“It’s the straps for the sledge, I bet your shoulder is hurting as well,” she answered as she made MacGyver sit down by pulling on his sleeve.

“Well if it was bleeding I wouldn’t be such a martyr...”

It was too late; the words were out of her mouth before she could stop them again.

 

“Shouldn’t you make sure our tracks are hidden so they can’t find us?” Amy said as she covered her shoulder as if Jo hadn’t spoken.  “I’ll get a fire going; they won’t be able to see the smoke because it’s getting dark now.  He needs to get warm.  Don’t take Tammy with you; she’ll just leave more tracks.  Tammy stay.”

“Amy I’m...” It was too late; she knew it was too late

“Oh Jo, you and you’re big mouth,” she said to herself as she left the cave.

 

Amy Morgan

I watched her out of the corner of my eye as she left the cave, scared to my very marrow that something would happen to her out there and fighting back the panic.  I knew she was regretting the things she’d said, that it was just her way and once upon a time I would probably have come back with a remark or two of my own.  Still that was once upon a time, not now.  Everything I touched, everyone I touched... I stopped my brain going any further in that direction.  I had to get away, leave John and leave her before something... I pushed the thoughts away again.  There was no time for that now.  MacGyver was huddled in a ball shivering and I had work to do.  I lit both the stoves, hoping that before long the cave, which wasn’t very big and had a nice outcrop that should shield prying eyes from the fact that we were inside, was freezing.  I toyed with the idea of making a campfire, but although it was dark and his enemies wouldn’t be able to see it, it would just fill the cave with smoke if I made it inside, so I gave up on the idea.  Collecting some fresh snow from outside I filled two containers and placed one on each stove, lighting up two more lamps as it got darker and took every blanket we had and covered him with them.  He didn’t look right to me.  Although he was shivering violently I could see he was sweating.  I knew it had to be the shoulder.  He agreed to let me take a look at it, but I could see he was also dreading me doing so.  As I got Francis’ jacket off him, grateful for the fact that it was a winter jacket he’d left in the cabin, MacGyver jumped.  By the time I took off the bandage from the wound he was shivering uncontrollably, and I got scared.  Perhaps I should leave it alone and wait for Jo.  No.  I was sick of the world of fear I was living in and pushed my mind away from it.  I was right it was the shoulder.  It was red raw and puffy.  As I touched it, he flinched but never made a sound.  I cleaned it as best I could and then put on a new dressing.  By the time we got his things back on, he could hardly sit up.  I propped him against the wall and covered him over. I wanted him to get back in the sledge, or at least lie down, but he refused and when I tried to get him to drink some warm water he just pushed my hand away, said he felt sick.  I could feel the panic growing inside again.  ‘Flaming hell,’ I thought to myself.  ‘Is there nothing I touch that I don’t mess up?’  Once more nudging the thoughts to the back of my head, I went to the front of the cave and looked out.  No sign of Jo.  For a moment, I wondered if she was deliberately taking her time to teach me a lesson.  To make me worry, prove to her that I still cared.  No, she wouldn’t do that I knew she wouldn’t.  I really loved that girl.  Loved her like my own sister...back came the thoughts.  I pushed them away as I became aware that Tammy was nuzzling my hand and whimpering.  “What’s wrong?” I asked, “Don’t worry, Jo will be fine.  You know Jo.”  She whimpered again and walked back towards MacGyver and then looked at me.  He was still shivering violently.  She wanted me to do something I could see it in her eyes. “I can’t Tammy, I just can’t,” I told her as she sat next to him and he didn’t cuddle her as he normally did when she was that near.  I wasn’t sure if he was asleep or unconscious with his eyes covered and those glasses, but something was definitely wrong.  “No Tammy, I can’t,” I told her as she looked at me accusingly. 

 

I knew what she wanted me to do.  If Jo had been there, we could have put him back in the sledge and he’d be warmer, but now he didn’t respond when I spoke to him and I got scared. Tammy whimpered again.  I had no choice.  I couldn’t just stand there.  ‘Where the hell is Jo?’ my mind screamed as I sat down

“It’s Ok,” I told him.  “It’s me, Amy.”  Then, carefully putting my arm around him and trying not to hurt his shoulder I pulled him slowly so his head was resting on my shoulder and covered him with the blankets once more.

“Cold, so cold,” he groaned and crumpled against me and I realised he was barely conscious. “Tammy come,” I told her and indicated she should lay across his outstretched legs to help get him warm.  She knew exactly what I wanted her to do and gazed up at me trustingly.  “I can only try girl,” I told her as she watched me.  For a moment the shivering became less but then started up again and he groaned once more as I held him tight. 

 

I released my grip, realising I was hurting, not holding.  It was then it happened.  As I looked at him, it was no longer MacGyver I saw.  I was once more holding my friend Carl who was dying right in front of me and I could do nothing to stop it.  I heard Tammy whimper.  “It’s all right,” I told her as I tried to push the image away only to have it replaced by the face of my sister Paula. 

I jumped and MacGyver moaned as my grip tightened around him again.

‘What the hell are you trying to do to me?’ I screamed at God in my head.  ‘If you hate me that much, hurt me, stop hurting those around me.  Leave him alone, he’s nothing to do with me.  Stop hurting everyone I care for.  I don’t like him; you don’t have to hurt him.  I’m only helping because Jo’s not here.  Leave him alone.  I’m sorry if I did something bad and you feel you must punish me for it.  But punish me; leave my family and friends alone.’  Suddenly the image of Paula disappeared and I was looking at MacGyver again.  ‘Sorry God,’ I said quietly inside my head.  ‘I know it’s not you, it’s just me feeling sorry for myself.  I know you don’t do things like that, but please can’t you help him?  He seems really nice.  I promise I’ll go away when we get back so I don’t hurt anyone else, but please help him, because I don’t know what else to do.’  Tammy whimpered again and I smiled at her.  She needed to be safe from my jinx too, I was going to miss her terribly, but she’d be ok with John, he loved her as much as I did. 

 

How long I sat there with my arm around this stranger, I had no idea, it seemed like ages.  I closed my eyes and begged Jo to hurry up and return.  I was so scared she’d get lost out there that I was willing her safely back to the cave.  I felt his shivering slowly start to diminish as I dozed off to sleep.

======

Jo was tired when she came quietly back into the cave, glad of the warmth that now filled it and stopped dead in her tracks barely able to believe her eyes as she saw Amy, sound asleep, her arm around the injured man, and Tammy lying across his legs, obviously in an effort to get him warm, but nonetheless, still a sight that filled her heart with hope.  Tammy wagged her tail furiously but stayed where she was as Jo put down her things.

“Stay Tammy, stay,” she whispered as she saw the tin of melted ice and put it on a stove to heat up, trying her best not to wake Amy or MacGyver but failing as Tammy wagged her tail even harder and Amy opened her eyes. On seeing her, she smiled, pleased to see her safe.  Then as MacGyver began to move, a look of panic replaced the smile and carefully, but quickly, she laid him gently down.

“Where have you been?” she demanded of her friend in a whisper.  “I’ve been worried sick.”

“I had a good look round,” Jo whispered back.  “How’s he been?”

“Cold,” answered Amy as she pulled Jo away from where he was.  “You should have come back sooner.  I’ve had to deal with him myself.”

“And doing a pretty good job of it too,” Jo answered proudly.  “Lucky John didn’t walk in on you though.  Might have got the wrong idea.”  She spoke with amusement in her voice but Amy was not amused.

“I was just trying to get him warm.  Tammy was helping.  Do you understand Jo? I thought he was going to die...You should have come back sooner.  What were you trying to do, scare the living daylights out of me?”

“I told you, I was having a good look around, you’ve been doing fine.  He looks better than he did when I left.”

“That’s not the point,” said Amy, her voice getting louder.

“Amy?” came MacGyver’s voice as he awoke and struggled to sit upright.  “Amy where are you?” he asked, as he felt around trying to locate her.

“Jo’s back,” she answered, as her friend grinned happily at her.

“You should have come back sooner.  I thought something had happened to you,” she whispered angrily.

“So what do you care?” Jo asked loudly in retaliation, remembering the garage.

“I don’t, you’re right there.  I don’t,” she answered just as loudly as she headed for the front of the cave.  “I don’t care.  I don’t give a dam.”

 

Joanne James

 

I was glad we’d left the other sledge by the cave, there was no way I could have dragged both of them on my own, it was awkward enough with just one.  I almost cheered aloud in relief when I saw that the cabin was, at last, in sight.  I was totally shattered, my arms felt like they were gonna drop off.  I’d been dragging the sledge on my own for nearly a mile now, and boy was I gonna pay for it later.  I should have known better than to try to get Amy across the bridge.  Why the hell I’d tried to force her I don’t know, I should have known it was just asking for trouble.  I looked behind me, and past MacGyver; there was still no sign of her.  I thought she might have caught up considering how long it had taken us to get here, obviously not.  I was glad I told Amy we’d wait for her at the Old Cabin.  It had taken us out of our way a bit, but at least I could be sure she would join us, and not sneak off somewhere, somewhere I couldn’t find her.  As I pulled to a stop, MacGyver spoke.

 

“Are we at the cabin?”                                     

 

“Yeah.  Still no sign of Amy though.”

 

“I’m sure she’ll be here soon.  She can look after herself, and she’s got Tammy with her for company.”

 

“I know that.  Its just…I worry about her.  She’s up too something.  She made a weird comment in the garage, said I should take you to town with Tammy, and send a car when the storm lets up for her.  That it could collect my things at the same time, not our things, my things.  Why just my things?  She’s up to something, I know she is, and it’s worrying the heck out of me.”

 

“I can see that, well ok I can’t see, but you know what I mean, right?”

 

His remark broke the tension in the air, and we both laughed.

 

“So that’s why you told her to meet us here, she said it was out of our way and stupid for us to make the stop, it seemed to make her pretty mad that you insisted.  Maybe she intended going to town another way.  How do you know she’ll come here?”

 

“Because I know Amy, her conscience won’t let her leave me waiting for her.  Ok, I think it’s about time we got you out of there.  Are you ready?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

I knelt down at the side of the sledge, removed the straps securing him, and then pulled him gently into a sitting position.  Using one hand, I supported his back and with the other, I pulled his legs over the edge of the sledge and towards me, then placed his feet on the ground, to enable him to support himself. 

 

He immediately bent his knees and placed his elbows on top of them, before resting his head in his hands.  I touched his uninjured shoulder.

 

“MacGyver are you ok?  Did I move you too fast?”

 

“Maybe a bit.  I feel a little dizzy.”

 

“Oh…I’m sorry.  I’ll try to be more careful next time.  Give me a minute to figure out the best way to get you out of there.”

“It’s ok.  I think I can get up on my own.”

 

Before I had a chance to stop him, he pushed himself up and his legs gave way. He flopped back down hitting the edge of the sledge as he did so, his body weight causing the opposite end to turn upwards and towards his body.  I quickly grabbed the edge of the sledge before it hit his back, then manoeuvred him back inside it, so that he was once again, in a sitting position with his feet placed solidly on the ground, outside the sledge. 

 

“That was rather silly of you.  What on earth made you try that?”

 

“I’m sick of lying here while you and Amy do everything for me.  I wanted to help, I know you’re on your own, and getting me out of here would be difficult.”

 

“Difficult but not impossible.  I know you want to move around more, but you’ve been immobilized in the sledge for almost 3 hours, you’re probably feeling a bit unsteady as a result, now really isn’t the time to try something like that.”

 

“I think you’re right.”

 

He raised both arms waiting for me to help lift him, and I pushed them gently back down.

 

“I don’t think I’m strong enough to lift you up and out of the sledge like that, we’ll have to think of another way.”

 

I stood up and stepped back, so that I could evaluate what our options were.  I stood there for a few moments deep in thought, each plan being scrubbed as I saw the possible dangers for MacGyver.

 

“Have you thought of another way yet?”

 

“No.”

 

“Well I have.”

 

I looked down at him.

 

“Really?  What?”

 

“This.”

 

He leant forwards and again the sledge moved under his weight.  The opposite side to where I was standing suddenly turned upwards and came at a speed towards his back, I tried to stop it, but it was too late, it hit him with a thud.  The shock of it caused him to arch his back slightly, and he let out a small groan.

 

“Are you ok?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

I noticed that he was sitting on the edge of the sledge, half inside it, and half outside.  I made a quick decision and decided to run with it, knowing now that putting him back inside the sledge wasn’t going to help me at all.  I grabbed both of his ankles.

 

“Jo, what are you doing?”

 

“I’m getting you out of the sledge, it’s your own fault, you made the first move, and now I’m running with it.”

 

I tugged gently at his ankles, he moved slightly forwards, nothing much, just enough for him to get a clue as to what I had in mind. 

 

“Oh I see you’re going to drag me out of the sledge.”

 

“Yeah, get ready coz next time I’m gonna tug pretty hard.  I’m gonna pull you until I see the sledge hit the ground, it’ll probably drag itself down your back but its very light so it shouldn’t hurt you, just be prepared for it.  Try and keep yourself upright as much as possible, as I pull.”

 

“Ok.”

 

“Just one more thing, make sure you support your shoulder with your arm during the whole process, I don’t want it to cause you any more pain than necessary.  On the count of 3 then….1, 2, 3.”

 

When I said 3, I pulled back really hard.  MacGyver slid out of the sledge and across the ground.  The top part of his body jerked and for a moment I thought he was going to fall backwards, but he quickly composed himself.  I continued to pull him along the ground, and watched the sledge drag its way down his back until it landed upside down on the ground, and then I came to a complete stop.

 

“MacGyver, are you ok?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Good.”

 

I walked past him to the sledge, flipped it over, took off my backpack and placed it carefully inside, then pushed it out of the way.  I stole a quick glance in the direction I expected Amy to approach from, but still there was no sign of her.

 

“Jo?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“What are you doing?”

 

“I’m just moving the sledge out of the way.  We need to get you higher than ground level before I can attempt to pull you to your feet, so I thought that we’d pack some snow behind you and raise you gradually.  Once you’re high enough we’ll try and stand up, you ok with that?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

I knelt down and gathered a pile of snow into a heap, then pushed it behind MacGyver.  I tried to make it form a small gradient behind his back, ensuring that it wasn’t too high and that with my help, he’d be able to wriggle himself up it.  Then I got up, walked to his feet, and tapped them.  He jumped slightly.

 

“What?”

 

“Dig your heels into the ground as if you were pushing yourself up the mound behind you.”

 

He dug his heels down, and pushed back slightly.

 

“Stop, that’s enough.”

 

He stopped immediately.  I bent down and packed snow under the soles of his feet, to try to help give him more leverage, to move up the mound of snow behind him.  When I was happy there was enough snow under his feet, I straightened up and went and stood by the side of him, so that I could support him as he moved.

 

I knelt down at his side; then wrapped my left arm across his chest and under both armpits, to help get a good grip to both pull him back, and support him at the same time.  I let my right hand rest on the center of his back.

 

“Ok, I think that’s it.  Are you ready to try and edge your way up the snow?”

 

“I think so.”

 

As he finished speaking he pushed his feet against the snow, and we made our first move up the mould, it was difficult, but at least we made progress.  We stopped for a quick breath before he pulled his knees up and dug his heels back into the ground; at the same time, he pushed and I pulled, and once again, he moved higher up the mound. 

 

I made him stop momentarily for a breather, as I packed more snow behind him. We repeated the previous motions a couple more times before stopping again, for me to repack the snow, and for him to have a breather.

 

Once more, he pushed and I pulled, as we made our way up the mound behind him.  I noticed he was starting to run out of legroom, as his feet got closer to the mound. 

 

“Just a couple more and I think we’re there.”

 

“Good, coz my butts starting to freeze here.”

 

I laughed as I flattened the top of the mound ready for him to use as a seat.  He pushed hard with his legs, and I could see that he wasn’t far away from the top; I decided that with one big heave we’d easily reach it.  I wrapped my right arm around his back and intertwined my fingers, locking both hands into a clenched fist.  Then I heaved him up the last bit of the mound, ensuring that I took most of his weight on my left arm, to avoid jarring his shoulder any more than necessary.  Once I made sure he was sitting steadily on top of the snow I stepped back, he was about 12 inches off the ground, with his knees bent.

 

“We’re there!”

 

“Great.”

 

“Ready to get up?”

 

“You bet.”

 

I moved so that I was kneeling to his right hand side.  I put his right arm over my shoulder, and felt him cringe; then I circled my left arm around his body, and grabbed hold of his belt.

 

“Ok, on the count of 3 we’re gonna stand up….1, 2, 3.”

 

When I reached 3, I stood up and pushed my shoulder up and into his armpit to try to give me more leverage.  He started to lean heavily on me, and I could tell I was going to lose my balance. 

 

I grabbed more securely onto his belt and tugged hard on it, to try and pull him off me.  He realized what was going on and managed to steady himself, taking most of his weight off me.  I took the advantage and stood up fully.

 

“Sorry.”

 

“Its ok…you couldn’t help it.”

 

We staggered towards the cabin, helping each other with each stride.  As we got closer, I thought I saw a movement inside.  I stopped.

 

“What’s the matter?”

 

“I thought I saw something.”

 

We made our way up the steps to the cabin and I sat MacGyver down on the floor, leaning him against the wall of the cabin.

“I’m gonna take a look inside.  Stay here.”

 

He waved his hand around in the air aimlessly; I grabbed hold of it.

“Be careful Jo.”

 

“Some good advice there MacGyver.  It’s a shame it’s too late to do her, or you, any good.”

 

I spun round and saw two men, both had guns, one was pointed at MacGyver, and the other at me.  They waved their guns towards the cabin.

 

“Inside. NOW!”

 

MacGyver pushed himself to his feet and started staggering around, shouting at them.

 

“This has nothing to do with her, leave her out of it!”

 

“It’s too late now MacGyver.  You should have thought of that before you got her involved.”

 

The one doing all the talking rushed towards us with his gun pointed directly at MacGyver, while the other one kept his aimed at me. 

 

MacGyver moved himself in the direction of the voice, and I grabbed hold of him.  He pulled away from me and put his hand up as if to stop me from interfering further, then he tentatively ventured forwards.

 

“Let her go.  You can do what you want to me, just don’t hurt her, she doesn’t know anything.”

 

“She knows what we look like and that’s too much already.  Enough of the small talk MacGyver.  Inside. NOW.”

 

Again the gun was waved at us and towards the cabin.  I walked behind MacGyver and put my arm around his waist, he lifted his good arm up, put it around my shoulders, and I led him inside the cabin.

 

We walked inside and were faced with a row of chairs set out in the center of the room; they’d obviously been expecting us.

“Take a seat.”

 

I took MacGyver to a chair and helped him sit down.  One of them quickly ran behind him, and tied his hands behind his back, he groaned at the pain the movement caused him. 

 

I sat down on the chair next to him.  I felt someone grab my wrists and pull my arms behind my back, and then I felt the rope against my skin as my hands were tied together.  I glared at the man holding the gun on us, and he walked towards me. 

 

He grabbed my hair, yanked my head back, and shoved the barrel of the gun under my jaw line. 

 

“Don’t look at me like that.”

 

I squealed and he laughed.  I thought he was going to kill me; I thought I was dead; he pulled back on the trigger. 

 

MacGyver’s head spun round at the sound of it, and he went crazy.  He started pulling at the ropes restraining him, kicking out blindly in all directions.  What was a few minutes ago, a weakened man; now had the strength of an ox, the adrenalin surging through his body.  He managed to pull himself free and lunged towards the man with the gun.  The guy stepped to one side and I could tell MacGyver was going to charge straight past him.

 

“More to left, he’s moved.”

 

MacGyver changed direction the same time the guy did; I shouted instructions to him to try to help.  The guy became annoyed and shouted to his partner.

 

“Harry.  Shut her up!”

 

“With what Stuart?”

 

“Use that cloth; hurry up, before I hurt MacGyver.  We need it to look like an accident.  Just shut her up!”

 

“Ok.”

 

“Look out MacGyver he’s going to…”

 

Before I had a chance to finish my sentence, Harry shoved what felt like a knotted cloth inside my mouth, he pulled both ends of the cloth back ensuring I could no longer speak, before tying it securely behind my head.  I sat there unable to do anything, except watch MacGyver crash to the floor. 

 

He tried to get up again, but Stuart unknowingly, put his foot on his injured shoulder and pushed him back down.  MacGyver rolled himself onto his back and grabbed his shoulder.

 

“Aaarrrggghhhh.”

 

He was hauled to his feet and man handled over to the chair next to me.  I could see blood on the floor where he had laid seconds earlier, and knew they’d reopened the wound in his shoulder. 

 

They plunked him down on one of the chairs and he groaned.  They tied his hands once more behind his back.  Stuart came and stood in front of us.

“Where’s the other one MacGyver?”

 

“What other one?  There’s only us.”

 

“Don’t give me that, I know there are 3 of you!  Now where is she?”

 

Oh crap, they meant Amy; they wanted to know where Amy was.  I panicked when I realized she could turn up at any second.  I prayed that she’d take her time; that her temper would make her walk slower; keep her away, keep her safe.

 

“There’s just the two of us.”

 

Stuart was getting impatient; he was pacing backwards and forwards, throwing his fists in the air in frustration.  He stopped directly in front of MacGyver and bent down close to his face as he spoke his next words.

 

“Tell me where this Amy is MacGyver, tell me now!

 

My heart hit the floor when he mentioned her name, and I saw MacGyver’s body tense up, I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

 

“Yes MacGyver you see I know all about you and your friends.  So cut the crap and tell me where she is.”

 

“I don’t know who you’re talking about.  I don’t know anyone called Amy.”

 

He was getting angrier; every time MacGyver answered, I could see his temper rise.

 

“Yes you do.  Tell me where she is.  Tell me now!”

 

“I can’t tell you what I don’t know.  Ask me something I do.”

 

He grabbed hold of MacGyver by the scruff of his jacket and pulled him slightly forwards, the restraints stopping him from being dragged totally off the chair.  The sudden movement took MacGyver by surprise and his head lolled backwards by the force of it, making him look like a rag doll in the hands of his captor.

 

“Don’t play with me MacGyver.  I want to know where she is!”

 

“I’m not playing with you; I don’t know who you’re talking about.”

 

He let go of MacGyver, flinging him backwards into the chair, it rocked slightly on its legs for a few seconds before it settled back solidly onto the floor.

 

Stuart stepped back from him, narrowed his eyes and clenched his fists, then looked accusingly at me; I avoided his eyes.  He came and stood in front of me. 

 

“Is MacGyver telling the truth?”

 

I nodded. 

 

He pointed the gun straight at me.

 

“I’ll ask you again and think carefully before you nod or shake your head. 

I know there was an Amy with you because in the hotel in town, a doctor mentioned the fact that 2 women had found an injured man.  A woman called Jo; and another one called Amy.  Two women.”

He prodded me in the shoulder as he spoke his next words.

 

“You’re obviously one, so where’s the other?”

 

He raised his hand towards my face and I pulled away from him as far as the chair would allow, he smirked and then removed my gag.

 

“I said.  Where is she?”

 

I never answered him.  Infuriated, he raised his hand and pulled it back ready to strike.

 

“Still don’t know Jo?  I know your name is Jo, I heard him call you it.”

 

Again, I didn’t answer.  He pulled his hand down with a speed, and struck me across the head.  The force of the blow pushed me into MacGyver as the chair went on 2 legs, then fell forwards onto the floor.  I landed hard on the ground and ended up looking at his feet.  I heard MacGyver shifting on his chair, trying to get free, and then I heard a muffled noise. 

 

My chair was pulled back up and placed onto its 4 legs in front of Stuart.  I turned my head to look at MacGyver to see if he was ok; his head was turned to the right as if he’d just been struck.  Harry’s fist was still held up in the air.

 

“Harry, bring him here.  I want to try a different technique.  Now remember MacGyver, we have the girl so don’t try anything clever, or I might be forced to kill her.”

 

He pointed his gun at me, while Harry bent down and cut the ropes restraining MacGyver.  As his arms became free they hung lifelessly at his side, and I knew he was unconscious.  Harry didn’t notice and pulled him roughly to his feet, then pushed him forwards towards Stuart; he fell in a crumpled heap on the floor.  Stuart starting pacing back and forth ranting to himself and then suddenly spun round, pointed at MacGyver and started yelling at me.

 

“Now see what you made us do.”

 

He pointed to MacGyver, then grabbed my chin and forced me to look at him.

 

“You better tell me now where she is or we’ll kill him.”

 

He nodded to Harry who promptly pushed his gun into MacGyver’s back.

 

“Tell me.”

 

I sat there in silence.  There was no way I was going to tell them where she was.  I prayed they didn’t kill him, I prayed Amy didn’t walk in the door at that moment; I prayed we’d all live through this.

 

Stuart was getting impatient, I could tell.

 

“I’ve had enough of this.  If you don’t tell me by the time I count to 3 you’re gonna be sorry…..1, 2, 3.”

 

I never said a word.  I closed my eyes at the count of 2 and waited for whatever Stuart had in mind, to happen.  As I heard him reach 3, I felt the chair being pushed backwards, my eyes automatically flew open.  My head hit the floor with a thud and I scrunched my eyes shut tight; I opened them to find Stuart glaring down at me.  His eyes were full of hate and I could tell that anger was now fuelling him. 

 

He walked around to the side of me and I watched his foot pull back and then swing forwards.  I moved my head to the right to try to avoid it, but it hit me in the side of the jaw, I tasted the blood in my mouth almost instantly.  The force of his kick caused the chair to lift slightly off the floor; he hooked his foot under it and flipped it over, so that I was face first on the floor, then he stamped down on top of it.  I felt the chair dig into my back as I was crushed under his weight and pain shot through me. 

 

He lifted his foot off the chair and I gasped for air.  I leant to the left and fell onto my side on the floor.  I noticed his feet approaching me again and tried to shift out of his way but it was difficult, especially when Harry pushed his foot into the back of the chair, so I couldn’t move anywhere.  Stuart kicked me in the stomach and I hunched forwards as much as the restraints would allow, then started coughing and spluttering.  I lifted my head slightly, and he pushed it down sharply with his foot, it hit the ground with a thud, everything started to phase in and out and voices became hazed as I fought to keep awake.  I could feel the blood running down the side of my face, across my eyes and over my lips.  My eyes became heavier and heavier as they slowly closed, and I drifted into unconsciousness.

======

“You lost your temper there Stuart,” Harry told him as he bent down and checked for Jo’s pulse.  “Could have killed her, we’re never make this look like an accident, especially stamping on her like that.  I thought we were going to make it look like the women had got lost in the snowstorm with him?”

“I realize that you moron,” answered Stuart angrily.  “I just can’t stand it when women don’t do as I tell them, makes me see red.  Always has done.”

“Yeah, so I see, but you’ve made a right mess of her.  Can’t let them find her like that.  If they suspect she wasn’t just lost in the snowstorm with MacGyver and the other one, they’ll come to the right conclusion.  They’ll know the boss had something to do with it, even if they can’t prove it,” replied Harry.  “It’s cold in here.”

 

“Shut up about the dam cold,” Stuart answered as he paced up and down.  “She shouldn’t have made me lose my temper like that.  It was her own fault.  When he wakes up I want you to take off those pads and shine your torch in his eyes, that should hurt him enough to tell you where the other one went,” said Stuart as he walked towards the door.

“And you call me evil and vicious, shame we didn’t think of that in the first place,” answered Harry rubbing his arms and glaring at him.  “Where you going?”

 

“To find the other one, this Amy.  She can’t be that far behind,” replied Stuart as he buttoned up his jacket.  “Boy his back is bleeding pretty bad.  Must have happened when the car went over the cliff.  Bit of luck them turning up here though.  Saved us finding and bringing them.  Yep definitely a bit of luck.”

 

“Any idea which way to look?” asked Harry as he stamped his cold feet. 

“Well I don’t think she was coming the same way as these two or she would be with them,” answered Stuart as he looked out the window, the snow had stopped and he smiled as he looked back at him. 

 

“What?” asked Harry, wondering why he was grinning.

 

“I saw another track on the map that leads up the back there.  Perhaps she is coming that way.  Couldn’t make out where it went too, it was called The Road to Nowhere or something like that.  I’ll look there.  You keep an eye on these two, and talking of eyes.  If he wakes up before I get back.”

 

“Yeah I know,” answered Harry as he left.  “Mess with his eyes.”

 

AMY MORGAN

Why the hell did she do that I asked Tammy as she walked alongside, keeping close to me.  She knows I hate bridges, she knows why as well.  I don’t fear anything I haven’t been given good reason too.  She knows John and I were stopped during an earthquake in LA and the bridge in front of us collapsed with all those cars on it.  Yet she still tries to make me do things that scare me.  I’ve already crossed her dam bridge once and I shook for an hour afterwards.  I don’t cope well with heights, get giddy, and that bridge is old and made of wood and moves when you walk across it.  I never make her touch snakes and she hates snakes.  They never bother me.  She knows I’m up to something, I know she does that’s why she said I was to meet her at the Old Cabin.  Don’t need to go anywhere near the cabin to get to town.  Ok, change of plan here, I said as I looked down at Tammy as we strolled along through the snow.  What do I do with you girl?  I know; I’ll pop you into the hotel foyer when that guy who runs the place is out back somewhere.  His daughter likes you a lot and he knows you.  Should do, we’ve been in there enough with Jo while she’s been plaguing him with questions about running a hotel for her latest book.  Bet it’s a best seller like her other ones.  Even if you growl at him as you usually do, he’ll keep you there thinking one of us will eventually locate you, that you’d wandered off.  She’ll never think to look for me at that skiing hotel I booked myself into on the other side of town while I wait for my coach.  That red herring about the train was a good idea.  She’ll be looking for me at the station.  Never skied in my life.  Nope she’ll never look there.  Plans back to normal.  I’ll disappear once we hit town.  No problem.  What’s she doing being friends with someone nearly 12 years older than she is anyway?  I stopped walking.  A shudder ran down my back then was gone.  Oh well we did get on good, like sisters really, from the day when my boys were small and we found ourselves in the same hospital room, her with appendicitis and me getting kicked by that horse.  Should have had more sense than to walk behind a horse.  Didn’t do her stitches or the pain in my chest much good the way we kept laughing.  Mind you, I told Tammy, it’s about time she was married with babies of her own.  I’m always telling her that.  Drives her absolutely bonkers.  Francis she should marry Francis, I can see how much he loves her.  I think she loves him too but her and her blasted career. 

Suddenly I realised I’d walked across Boulder Crossing without even knowing it,  so caught up in my thoughts I hadn’t slipped once.  I stopped.  A shiver ran down my back and Tammy growled.  I walked on.  There it was again.  Danger, I could sense danger.  Tammy growled and sniffed the ground and growled again as we got nearer to the cabin.  I gave her the signal to be quiet, as I gave her in lambing season when the baby lambs were being born so she didn’t disturb the ewe’s.  John hated lambing season, he was worse than an expectant father hovering around, getting in my way.  He loved the little things.  Wasn’t over keen on them when they grew up, but he loved lambs.  She obeyed my command instantly.  She was a good dog.  There it was again.  Danger screamed my senses.  Ok, danger I thought.  But where?  I couldn’t see anything dangerous, but Tammy still wasn’t happy.  She’d stopped growling as I’d instructed but each time she lifted her head she was showing her teeth.  Whatever scent she’d picked up she didn’t like it, but there were no tracks, or none that I could see.  What was wrong with the pair of us?  It did cross my mind that Jo and Mac.  I stopped.  It was stronger now.  The Old Cabin was just up ahead.  I could see the tracks of the sledge and Jo’s footprints.  What the hell was wrong? I thought to myself as we walked quietly and stood in the trees where we could see the cabin, Tammy still showing her teeth and my senses screaming at me to run.  I spotted the sledge outside.  Then I saw him.  A tall dark haired man come out of the cabin and walk away towards The Road to Nowhere.  What was he going there for I asked myself.  That leads absolutely nowhere, that’s why the name.  I shuddered again and despite herself, as he disappeared from our view, Tammy growled low.

She looked up at me and I saw the same thing in her eyes as I felt.  Something was wrong, something was dreadfully wrong.

 

I didn’t like the man I had just seen on sight and I had never known Tammy disobey a ‘quiet order’ before.  Waiting for a moment to be absolutely sure he’d gone, I signalled to Tammy to ‘be quiet’ again and we moved forward, keeping down low and making no noise, even though every step I took in the snow sent my nerves jangling as it made a slight crunching noise.  If that man was one of those who had tried to kill MacGyver, the other one had to be somewhere near. 

I knew before I saw him through the window that he’d be in the cabin.  I just didn’t expect what else I saw in there. 

 

The windows were dirty and I couldn’t see exactly, but there was no mistaking the figure of MacGyver lying on the floor, or the figure of a man standing over him with a gun.  There were other things on the floor but the lower part of the window was really dirty and I couldn’t make out what they were.  Clothing of some sort.  Where was Jo, I thought and panicked.  Must be in another room, I wished, rather than knew.  I’d photographed this cabin many times and been inside a few times as well.  I signalled to Tammy to scratch the door.  It was something she used to do if she couldn’t get in to let me know she was back from her wanderings on the farm.  She was wagging her tail at the door; she knew MacGyver was in there.  I signalled again that she was to stay quiet and scratch at the door.  She gave me a funny look but did as she was told.  She didn’t win Obedience Dog of the Year at the County Show for three years for nothing.  It was just the male judges that upset her.  She was great with the female ones.  As she started to scratch at the bottom of the door, I went around the back.

 

======

Quietly creeping around the back of the cabin Amy tried to control the danger feelings rushing through her body.  She couldn’t see much through the windows round there either because they were so dirty as it hadn’t been used all summer, and it was only fully furnished when there were visitors. She did know one thing though.  There was a faulty catch on the back bedroom window and she opened it carefully, holding her breath as she did and climbed in, shutting it quietly so it didn’t alert the man guarding MacGyver by a sudden inrush of cold air.  She could hear Tammy scratching at the door and hear the man swearing.

“Wolf, that has got to be a wolf, probably smells the blood.  Great, now what do I do?”  He swore loudly.  “If I never see snow again it’ll be too soon,” he muttered as he knelt down next to Jo to check on her.  “Still alive,” Amy heard him say and wished she could see what he was doing. “Took that beating pretty good.”  Beating.  Her heart skipped.  What beating?  “He’s a real psycho that Stuart.  I hate it when the boss makes me work with him.  Yeah a real psycho.” She could see him now through the crack in the door as he checked on MacGyver, keeping a wary eye on the door where the scratching continued and he could hear the beast sniffing.  “He put up a pretty good fight, considering he can’t see.  If he’d just answered the question.  Well too late now, but if he thinks I’m killing women he can think again.  I’ll deal with this guy, but the women are his.”   He looked worriedly towards the door.  “I suppose I could shoot it,” he said to himself.  “Nah, best wait til Stuart returns.  He’ll see it and...” he turned because he thought he heard something in the cabin.  As he turned back, he realised MacGyver was coming around slightly.  He shoved him with his foot. 

 

“Not quite awake yet,” he said to himself as he went and looked out the window on the other side of the room in the direction Stuart had gone.  As he turned back, he saw MacGyver trying to pull himself towards the door. 

 

Mac knew it was Tammy out there, had to be.  He had to stop Amy coming in.  The world was spinning madly and every movement sent pain screaming through his shoulder but he had to stop her.  He tried calling out but nothing happened.

“Oh no you don’t,” shouted Harry as he moved towards him and swung down with the butt of his gun.  MacGyver lay still.

 

In the next moment, the lights went out for him too, from the chair, that Amy slammed across his head and back.  He’d been so concerned at MacGyver moving he didn’t, not even for a moment, see her rush into the room and pick up the chair.

 

She threw it to one side and quickly opened the door to let the dog in then shut it again.  Tammy rushed in and then stopped dead in her tracks and whimpered.

“Guard,” Amy yelled at her and pointed to the man on the floor.  Tammy just stood there.  “Guard Tammy, guard,” she repeated as she made for the prone form of MacGyver.  Tammy walked slowly over to Harry and whimpered.

“It’s alright girl, I’ll look after him,” she told the dog not realising it was the unconscious figure of Jo that Tammy was looking at.  She whimpered again looking at her, pleading her to turn around.

“Oh no!” she exclaimed as she saw the blood soaking through Francis’ jacket. 

“Slowly now, slowly,” she said to herself as she turned him gently onto his back, cringing as she did, hoping and praying she wasn’t hurting him even more.  Tammy whimpered.  Taking off her backpack, she took out some dressings and other things and wondered what to do next. She tried sitting him up but he was too heavy.  She needed him awake so she could get his jacket off.  “Tammy stay!” she shouted at the dog as she remembered the sledge and made for the door.  Tammy just whimpered once more.  “It’s ok girl, just getting the blankets from off the sledge.  You keep your eye on that guy, if he moves, bite him,” she told her angrily.

 

Grabbing the blankets from the sledge she rushed back inside and as the light from outside flooded into the cabin realised what the bundle of clothes on the floor was.  It was Jo.  She couldn’t see her properly, as the chair was turned away from her, just her boots sticking out.  She stopped and slowly close the door.  Tammy looked at her, then at Jo and whimpered.  The man on the floor moved.  Grabbing her knapsack and watching her friend at the same time, she pulled out one of the sedation syringes they’d brought with them, just in case they were needed and jammed it into Harry’s arm.  He lay still.

“Come girl,” she called to Tammy, “no need to watch him now.”  She walked over to MacGyver and turned him into the recovery position.  Covered him with some blankets, rolling a couple and placing them under his head as a pillow.  “Look after him,” she told the dog indicating MacGyver.  Tammy lay down next to him and placed her head on his side, watching her every move as she went to Jo.

She was terrified at what she was going to see.  There was no movement, nothing coming from her friend lying tied to the chair to indicate that she was even alive.  Bending down she undid Jo’s hands releasing her from her prison.  There seemed to be blood everywhere.  It was running down her face, which was already bruising up quite badly and she was hunched in a ball.  Removing the chair carefully and slinging it across the room she felt for a pulse.

“Thank goodness!” she exclaimed as she felt a slight, but steady one in her neck.  Still afraid to move her friend too much in case she had internal injuries of any kind, a strange look began to cross her face.  Bending down to cover her with some blankets, she sat next to her on the floor and gently, being as careful as she could, lifted her friend so that she was holding her.  She placed a piece of dressing on the cut on Jo’s head, and then tried to wipe the blood from her mouth.  Jo coughed and more blood came out.  She wiped it away and gently rocked her back and forth, as if she was a child as she watched Tammy and MacGyver.  Tammy whimpered.  She’d never seen that look on her much beloved mistresses face before. 

 

She was still sitting there rocking her when Jo woke up, jumped for a moment then realised who it was looking down at her humming slightly to herself as she rocked her gently.

“Amy,” she said, in little more than a hushed whisper.

 

“I’m here, I’m right here Jo,” Amy replied her face strangely blank and staring as she smiled at her.

“Mac...MacGyver,” Jo said as she tried to get up and nearly threw up.

“He’s over there,” Amy replied her voice monotone, no emotion, just words.

“Tammy’s watching him.  I can’t help him til he wakes up.  He’s too heavy I can’t lift him.  His shoulder is bleeding.  You should stay still, your hurt Jo, hurt.”

“Amy,” said Jo, “sit me up, you have to sit me up, I’m going to be sick.”

“It just blood, you have blood in your mouth Jo.  They hurt you bad,” she answered in the strange tone of voice again.

“Yeah I know,” replied Jo.  “Please help me sit up, I want to see MacGyver.”

“I told you he’s over there.  You should marry Francis he loves you a lot.  That MacGyver, well he’s nice, but you marry Francis.”

Jo looked at her and a kind of fear, as she had never known, not even when she thought she was going to die, rushed through her.

“I’ll think about,” she answered, “please sit me up Amy.  I can’t do it on my own.”

“Ok,” answered Amy, “but you will tell me to stop if it hurts won’t you?”  She asked.  Jo nodded and the room spun.  As she lifted Jo into a sitting position, she began coughing and Amy just in time put some tissue in front of her mouth as she spat out a large amount of blood.  Amy looked at it and looked at her.

“It’s from a cut in my mouth.  He kicked me in the face,” she told Amy as she wiped her mouth.

“Who kicked you, who kicked you in your face?” asked Amy in the same monotone voice.  “Him, did he kick you?” she asked indicating Harry lying across the room.

“Did you?  Did you do that?” Jo asked as she saw him.  Amy nodded. 

“Did he hurt you like this?” Amy asked again as Jo’s eyes rolled.

“No not him, the other one.  The other one,” she replied as she slumped backwards as she passed out.

=======

Amy was still sitting rocking Jo gently when MacGyver came round and realised Tammy had her head on him. 

“Good girl, good dog,” he said as he felt for her, giving her a pat.

“Jo!  Amy!” he shouted and wished he hadn’t as he struggled to sit up.

“I’m over here,” Amy answered and he wasn’t sure it was her, because she sounded strange.  “They hurt Jo, she’s here with me.  I can’t wake her up.”

Pulling himself into a sitting position and then using Tammy as a support, he got to his feet and made towards where the sound of her voice had come from.  She took his outstretched hand as he reached her and he knelt down on the floor next to her and felt for Jo, almost toppling over as his head spun, but ignoring it.

“Your back is bleeding,” she told him as he located her lying in Amy’s arms.

“Yes I know, what injuries can you see Amy?” he asked.  “What injuries.  How long has she been like this?”  He felt the adrenalin pulse through his body.

“Her head keeps bleeding and she’s been spitting out blood.  She said there is a cut in her mouth.  Then she went to sleep and I can’t wake her up,” she answered her voice barely a whisper.

“How long?” asked MacGyver as he tried to find a pulse and sighed with relief when he did.  “How long has she been asleep?” Despite feeling giddy himself, he knew he had to take charge.  The women needed him.  The adrenalin flowed.

“I’m not sure.  A long time.  There’s a new bruise on your cheek.”

“I’m ok,” he said as he tried to work out what was going on because she sounded strange.  “Amy, what’s her color, tell me what’s her colors like,” he asked kindly.

“She’s really pale; there was so much blood on her face.  Can you hold her for me please?” she asked quietly.  “I need to get up, will you hold her?”

“If I can,” he answered as he sat down and she gently laid Jo in his arms.

“Where are you going?” he asked as he felt the cold air on his face. 

“He hurt Jo, the other one, he hurt Jo.  I gave this one an injection.  He won’t wake up for a long time.  “Ah, here’s his gun.  Tell Jo I’ve gone to get the one who hurt her.  When she wakes up, tell her where I’ve gone, so she doesn’t worry.”

 

The Road To Nowhere

 

Amy didn’t feel the cold as she closed the cabin door behind her stopping Tammy following.  In fact, Amy didn’t really feel anything, except anger.  An anger that was growing from deep within, building and growing with every step.  She knew she should have got away from Jo earlier than this, and then her jinx wouldn’t have been able to hurt her like that.  Her mind ran through things quietly.

 

She never saw her grown up sons or their families anymore.  They understood.  John went to see them, but she didn’t and wouldn’t allow them to visit her either.  She had to keep them safe. 

 

Carl had died because he came to pick her up when her car broke down and she couldn’t get in touch with John.  If he hadn’t, they wouldn’t have been on that road.  John never went on that road and Carl would have been safe, he only took it to get her home quickly because she wasn’t feeling well. 

 

Paula her sister had needed her sooner.  Then she’d have noticed something was wrong and made her go to the doctors, before it was too late to do anything about it, but she’d been too busy with her own life.

 

Maureen, she hadn’t seen Maureen for nearly 8 years.  She should have said no when she contacted her and asked her to go to lunch.  2 days later, she had been knocked down when crossing the road to meet her at the restaurant. 

 

She pushed the thoughts of her other two friends from her mind.  She had something to do and these thoughts were slowing her down. 

 

Carefully walking through the snow, she followed the footprints left by the tall dark haired man who had hurt Jo so badly.  She knew the track so well, even covered in deep snow it still showed as it cut it’s way through the trees.  She had been down it many times.  A great place to take pictures, but it really didn’t go anywhere and she knew it, he obviously didn’t.  It had once.  Long ago, it had led down into the valley below along a narrow winding trail and had been used by loggers.  That was before the side of the cliff collapsed, taking the first bit of the trail with it.  Now there was nothing except a small path that suddenly came to a stop, in one direction.  Straight down.  He couldn’t have known or he wouldn’t have gone that way.  No reason too, nothing there but the drop to the valley floor.  Checking the gun, she found a full clip of bullets.  ‘Should be enough,’ her mind told her as she walked along smiling in a strange way as she saw where he’d fallen several times, where the snow had turned to ice.

‘I’ll hear him if he’s already started back,’ she told herself as she continued on.  ‘But I expect he’s trying the other small trails that he thinks may lead to somewhere.  Probably looking for me.  Bet he’s looking for me.  Well he’s going to find me alright,’ she smiled again.  ‘He is most certainly going to find me.’

 

‘Should have gone away sooner.  Knew it was a mistake to stay so long,’ her mind told her as she continued on her way, smiling each time she saw where he’d slipped and fell, seeing by the way he’d kicked the snow here and there that he was getting angrier each time he did. 

‘Angry,’ she thought, ‘he doesn’t know what angry is yet.  But he will,’ she told herself as the anger inside deepened until it blotted out everything else.

 

Then she heard him, up ahead somewhere, swearing as he tried to find the trail back.  Not having the sense to follow his own footsteps, trying to find a quicker way and failing.  She heard him swear again and as the sound of his feet crunching in the snow began to recede, knew he had turned back to the cliff face again.  Heading right where she wanted him to go.

 

“You can’t get down that way,” she told him making him jump as she came up silently behind him as he looked for another way down.  “You could if you jumped I suppose.  Be a bit painful, but a lot quicker.”

He spun around and glared at her for a moment.  Then smiled.

“You Amy?” he asked grinning at her.  She nodded and grinned back.

“I’ve been looking for you,” he told her trying to make his voice sound friendly.  “You’re friends are waiting for you at the cabin back there.  I was helping them out; they thought you’d got lost out here.”

“Yes I know,” she answered as she watched him carefully, the smile disappearing from her face.  “I saw how you helped.  I found them.”  He jumped at her unexpected remark and reached quickly towards his jacket pocket.

“Oh I wouldn’t do that,” she told him menacingly, pointing the gun she had been holding behind her back.  “This might go off you see, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want that to happen, now would you?”

He froze.  The look on her face told him she wasn’t kidding.  In fact, the look on her face sent the hairs on the back of his neck standing up.

“Am I supposed to believe you’d actually shoot me with that thing?” he asked condescendingly.  “Probably blow your own foot off.”

“I doubt it,” she answered as she watched the look of fear cross his face.

“Brought up on a farm, married a farmer.  Guns and me we go back a long way.  My brother taught me how to use them.  Rifles, pistols the lot.  I ended up better at shooting them than he is, won first prize once.  Now let me see,” she added tauntingly.  “Which part of you shall I shoot first?”

He looked behind himself, seeing if there was a way out he hadn’t noticed and turned back towards her.

“Jump if you want,” she told him smiling.  “Long way down.  It will hurt, but I’m sure the ground will break your fall.  Go ahead jump!”

He felt a shiver run down his spine.

“You’re off you head,” he told her as he glared at her, his eyes full of hate.

“Was getting there,” she answered grinning once more.  “Yep was getting there. You just helped get me there quicker.  Go on, JUMP!” she shouted angrily.

He swore.

“Language,” she told him.  “Remember there is a lady present.  Just watch you’re language.”

He swore again.

“Goodness me,” she said her voice strange and low.  “Didn’t your mother teach you any manners at all?  Course she didn’t,” she added her voice getting louder.

“Or she would have told you how wrong it is to hurt people, and how definitely wrong it is to hurt women.  Only cowardly men hurt women.  Especially women tied to a chair.  Perhaps she did tell you and you forgot.  Did you forget not to hurt women?” she asked her voice stranger by the minute.

“No, I think she told you alright,” she said as she saw his reaction.  “You just enjoy hurting people don’t you?  You enjoyed hurting MacGyver, probably laughed as you shoved his car off the cliff.  Was probably laughing when you hurt him in the cabin.  Made you feel big did it?” she asked as he smirked at what she said.  “Hurting a man who couldn’t see, couldn’t defend himself.  Hurting Jo.”

“If you don’t shut your mouth,” he warned taking a step towards her, “I’ll.”

“You’ll what?” she asked motioning he should stay still.  “Shoot me, is that what you were going to say?”  He stopped moving.

“I suppose you could try,” she added as he watched her finger edge towards the trigger.  “But then you see we haven’t finished yet.  Now take your jacket off and sling it over here.  Don’t try anything.  I have a very shaky hand as you may have noticed and, well you get my drift.”

He hesitated for a moment and she knew what he was thinking.  Was she near enough for him to jump her and get the gun?  Realising she was too far away he begrudgingly did as she told him, the jacket landing a few feet from her.

“Ok, now turn round,” she told him, the menace in her voice obvious.

 “Why?” he asked nervously.

“Oh don’t worry,” she told him.  “Only people like you shoot someone in the back.  Now turn around.”

He did as he was told and the moment he turned, she moved forward and picked up the jacket.

“You can turn back now,” she told him after she removed the gun and threw the jacket back.  “Put it on.  Don’t want you freezing to death.  Mind you, might be interesting to watch.  Not a bad thought,” she told him as he did so.

“Now let me see,” she said, as he stood there glaring.  “Shoulder first, I think.” she fired the gun before he had a chance to move and hit him in his left shoulder.  “That’s for MacGyver.  For the glass in his shoulder.  Hurts does it?” she asked as he reeled back trying not to fall off the edge.  “Now let me see,” she said her finger returning to the trigger.

“Now I can’t shoot you in the face, like you kicked Jo, probably blow your head off at this range, so I think,” she fired again and hit him in the left hand as it hung uselessly by his side.  “That will do nicely.  The way you hurt my friend is going to be nothing to the way I hurt you.” 

“You’re crazy!” he yelled as he held his hand, hatred for her on his face.

“You have no idea how crazy,” she replied quietly, “and all thanks to you.”

“What the hell did I do?” he asked watching her carefully, hoping she’d move just a few steps nearer so he could grab her.  “Hurt that MacGyver guy.  What’s he to you?”

“What did you do?” she asked incredulously as she moved back and to the left of him.  “What did you do?  You hurt my friend Jo.  You hurt her bad.  Now I’m going to hurt you.  I was only a little crazy until you did that.  You, you sent me all the way.  Therefore, I warn you now.  If you don’t do everything I tell you too, when I tell you, I will empty this gun into you.  Every single bullet left in it.  Do you understand me?” she asked her eyes narrowing and her face pale.

“I’ll kill you the first chance I get,” he answered as she indicated he should move ahead of her. 

“I couldn’t care less,” she answered as he moved back along the track and she followed at a safe distance.  “That’s the difference between us you see.  You want to live, but to me, death would be a way of getting some peace.  I welcome it, but first, you are going to pay for what you did to my Jo.  So I say again.  You can try to get me, perhaps you’ll succeed, you don’t know, perhaps you will reach me, but I can guarantee it won’t be before I empty this gun into you.”

“Why wouldn’t I try?” he asked as he kept moving, looking for a chance to escape.  “You’re going to kill me anyway, might as well go down fighting as get taken out by mad woman.”

“Who said I was going to kill you?” she asked as she walked along behind.  Her senses alive to every move he made.  “I’m not meaning to kill you.  I’m not like you to see.  I’m just warning you that if you try anything I will.”

“Then what are you up too you crazy bitch?” he asked mockingly.  “If you’re not going to kill me, what’d you shoot me for?  And if you’re not going to kill me, then maybe I will have a go at you,” he told her as he stopped moving and turned towards her.

She stopped and looked at him, her face taking on a strange look as she smiled.

“Let’s put it this way,” she told him as she stood watching.  “I don’t intend to kill you, that would be murder, wouldn’t it.  However, if I have too, I will.  What I intend to do is hurt you.  Hurt you a lot, so you’ll see what it’s like.  Shoot you in the knees if I have too and make you crawl to the cabin.  It’s up to you,” she added indicating he should start walking again.  “It’s quite possible you’ll get the gun off me, somehow, sooner or later.  But, I tell you now and I tell you for the last time,” she fired the gun as he turned and the bullet grazed the side of his face as it went past him.  “Stop again and I will empty this into you.  All in one place, if that’s what you want, or in different places, but empty it I will.  You see, you keep forgetting something,” she told him.

“Yeah and what’s that?” he asked as he wiped the blood from his face.

“I’m crazy, remember?  And as I said, you’ve no idea how crazy,” she answered.

 

Trying to Help

“Steady Jo, steady,” Macgyver told her as he felt her move.

“Amy, where’s Amy?” she asked her voice almost a whisper as she realised who was holding her.  “Amy where are you?” she called, trying to locate her.

“She’s not here,” he told her quietly.  “She left.”

“What do you mean left?” she asked struggling to sit up and failing badly. 

Tammy whimpered, came to her side and nuzzled her face.

“I don’t understand,” she said as she tried to lift her hand to stroke the dog and couldn’t find the strength to do so.  “Where’s Amy?” her eyes closed and she lay still.  Tammy whimpered again and touched MacGyver’s arm with her paw.

“It’s going to be alright old girl,” he told the dog as he gently laid Jo down and struggled to his feet.  “I’ll look after her I promise, but you are going to have to help me, do you understand Tammy, you are going to have to help.  Tammy brushed against him. 

“Right first I’m going to bring the sledge in here.  We need to put her in the sledge; we have to keep her warm.  Like Amy did with me in the cave, remember?” he told the dog as he caught her by the collar.  “I need to find the sledge, take me to the sledge Tammy,” he said as she began walking slowly forwards, growling at the prone body of Harry as she got to it, then took him to the door.

“Good girl,” he told her as he realised where he was and opened it, the cold rushing in on him like a sheet of ice. 

 

Twice he slipped as he made his way to the sledge, but with the help of the dog reached it and began dragging it back towards the cabin door.  By the time he’d pulled the sledge inside, tripping as he did, he was exhausted.  “Right let’s tie him up first,” he told the dog as he grabbed her collar again.  Finding the body of Harry, he tied him hand and foot with some rope from the sledge. “Where’s the other backpack?” he said aloud as went through the one Amy had left.  The next moment he could hardly believe what he felt as Tammy dragged it over from where Harry had thrown it when he’d pulled it off Jo as they entered the cabin.  “Good girl.  You are the best girl in the world,” he told her as he patted her head.  “Right, now I have to get her into the sledge.  Wish I could light a fire or something,” he said to the dog as she returned to sit by Jo. “Probably burn the place down if I tried that.  Best not too, not yet.”

Dragging the sledge behind him, he moved towards where he thought he’d left her lying and then, making it as comfortable as he could, tried to lift her into it.  It was then he found he wasn’t in any condition to lift her.  His head kept spinning, his shoulder hurt like crazy and he knew it was bleeding badly.  As he tried to lift her the second time, she suddenly came around and he felt her jump.  “Amy!” she shouted as she looked wildly around.  “MacGyver, where’s Amy?”

“Don’t you remember?” he said as he held her as she struggled to get away from him.  “She left, she went after Stuart.”

“Then go after her,” she told him trying to push him away. 

“I will,” he answered quietly, “but first I need to get you into the sledge so you can get warm, but my shoulder Jo, I can’t do it on my own.  I need your help.” 

For a moment, she didn’t say anything, just looked at him.

“I’ll try,” she replied as she struggled to get up and finally, with his help, got into the sledge and he gently covered her over.  “Amy, I need to find Amy,” she said quietly and he knew she was going to pass out again as her eyes were rolling.

“Jo listen to me,” he said as he turned her face towards him.  “Which one of these is the sedatives you used on me?  I want to make sure he stays put,” he told her as he waved his hand towards where he knew Harry was.

“The ones with the silver band,” she answered her voice getting quieter.  “My head hurts, why’s everything spinning?  Where’s Amy?  Mac... where’s Amy?”

“I’m not sure,” he answered as he tried to make her comfortable.

“Wish I could see this silver band,” he muttered as he shivered with the cold.  “Oh what the heck,” he said struggling to his feet. “This one will do.”


After making sure that Harry was going to be of no further trouble by injecting him with what he thought was a sedative, Mac pushed him to a corner of the room, removed the man’s belt from around his pants and called to Tammy.  Then as he’d done before, he used it as a leash so she could guide him around. 

“I need to make a fire, where the hell is the fireplace, there has to be one here, always are in these place,” he said aloud to himself as he began to feel around the walls of the cabin.  “I’ve had enough of this,” he shouted making Tammy stop dead in her tracks.  “Surely my eyes are better now.”  Taking off the glasses that had begun to annoy him, Mac lifted the padding over one eye carefully, but the pain as the light came flooding in made him replace it immediately.  “Was worth a try.” He said to Tammy as he stroked her gently and continued with his search.  Finally, he came across the fireplace, more by tripping over the hearth than by touching it and realised it was not far from where he’d placed the sledge and that it was all made up with logs and kindling ready to be lit.  “Now there’s a bit of luck,” he told the dog who was waiting for his next command.  “About time we had some luck, don’t you think so.  Backpack Tammy,” he told her as he let her go and in the next moment felt her place it on his feet.

 “Best dog in the world,” he said scratching her ear and sitting down.

Six matches later, he managed to ignite some of the kindling and felt the heat from it as it began to burn.  Then pulling the sledge to one side he yelled as his shoulder screamed.  Checking Jo, he realised her skin felt clammy and cold.

“Wish I could see,” he said as he felt a cut on her head and she moaned and pushed his hand away. “It’s Ok Jo,” he told her as she began struggling to get out of the sledge.  “But you must stay still, you probably have concussion and I’ve no idea if you’ve any internal injuries.  Do you hurt badly anywhere?”

“Get away from me MacGyver,” she said loudly, as she tried once more to get up.  “I’m going to find Amy.  Tammy will help me.”

He held her back and she groaned again and hunched forwards.

“What’s wrong with your stomach?” he asked realising she was hugging herself.

“It just hurts that’s all,” she told him angrily, “Stuart kicked me.  Now let me get up.  I want to go and find Amy.”

“Jo what injuries do you have?  Remember I can’t see.  Tell me exactly what injuries you have.  If you do,” he told her gently.  “I’ll go find Amy for you.”

“Men are such liars,” she replied.  “But first, can you put something behind me so I can stay sitting up slightly?  Lying down flat is making me feel sick.” 

He agreed and after locating the other backpack emptied it, filled it with blankets and placed it behind her so she could lay back comfortably.

“I’ve a cut on my head,” she continued.  “I feel sick, very sick and I’m cold, but I see you managed to make a fire.  Lucky they always leave those things ready for the next visitor.  My face feels swollen and I have a bad cut inside my mouth which, thankfully, has stopped bleeding.  My stomach and back hurt the most,” she added.  “He stamped down on me when I was in that chair.”  She saw him shudder.  “It’s Ok,” she told him, “I don’t think I’ve got any broken ribs, I broke a couple once before and this doesn’t feel like that but there is something wrong inside somewhere, because every now and then it sends a wave of pain through me.  My visions not right either,” she added, her voice getting quieter.  “Sort of blurry sometimes and I feel fuzzy...” she stopped speaking and he realised she’d passed out again.  Tammy brushed against him for comfort.

“Yeah I know,” he told her, stroking her gently.  “But don’t worry I’ll think of something.  I could make a harness for you and perhaps we could get her to town that way but it sounds like she has some internal injuries, if she has, I could make her worse.  No, I have to do something.  I’ll fix this dam shoulder and see about a harness.  Then it will be down to you to find the way to town.  Sure hope you know the way.”  The dog brushed against him as if to confirm she did as he rummaged in the backpack for some bandages, something to use on his shoulder and was extremely angry with Amy for leaving them to go find Stuart.  Jo needed her.  He needed her.  By the time he got his things off, he was shivering violently and glad of the fire which was now warming the room up nicely.


Bringing him back

“Move,” Amy told Stuart as he tried to slow down as they saw the cabin.

“Why didn’t you just wait here for me to return?” Stuart asked as he tried to stop his hand bleeding, feeling sure it must be attracting wolves.

“Good question,” Amy replied as she followed.  “Oh, ok, then.  I was going to kill you,” she laughed.  “I knew you couldn’t go anywhere along this track.  They call it ‘The Road to Nowhere’ and I was going to shove you off it, the cliff I mean.  That was my intention at first.  However, as I was following your tracks I changed my mind.  Thought I’d let Jo decide what happens to you in the end.  The very end.  Anyway, shoving you off that cliff was too easy and I wanted you to suffer.  Shooting you was just to slow you down so you didn’t get any bright ideas.  Show you I was serious.  Now move!”

-----------

MacGyver jumped as Tammy suddenly got up and moved away from him.  He could hear her sniffing at the cabin door and then she began growling.  As he got to his feet she came back and nearly knocked him over.  He could tell she was excited about something. Then the door opened and the cold air rushed in and he grabbed one of the logs he’d place near the fire, ready to fight, even though he couldn’t see, but thinking Stuart had returned.

“It’s alright MacGyver,” came Amy’s voice.  “It’s me, Amy.  How’s Jo? She asked her voice still strange and distant as she indicated to Stuart that he should sit down on the chair on the other side of the room and gesturing to Tammy to watch him as he crossed the room.

He watched her nervously. The dog looked as mad as the woman.

“Not so good,” MacGyver answered.  “Where have you been?  Jo needed you here.  I needed you here.  What kind of fool idea was it to go looking for that Stuart?” he asked angrily as he followed her voice as she came towards him.  “Who’s that with you?” he asked as he realised he’d heard two sets of footsteps and jumped nervously.

“Just Stuart,” she answered as she knelt down next to her friend and touched her swollen face.  “Don’t worry Tammy’s keeping guard on him.  He’s no threat,” she told him.  “He’s not exactly in the condition he was in when he left.  He’s hurting more than you and Jo are right now, much more,” she whispered.

“Why?  What happened?” MacGyver asked as he felt her move next to him.

“I shot him,” she answered her voice sounding amused.  “A couple of times actually,” she said, in the way that always annoyed Jo so much.  “He’s much quieter now.  How are you?” she asked, as she straightened his clothing where he been trying to stop his shoulder bleeding, as if he was a young child.  “Your shoulders bleeding again,” she said as she tried to see to it and he pulled away.

“Slow down Amy,” he told her as he caught her hand to stop her.  “What do you mean, you shot him?” he asked.

“Oh you know,” she answered smiling strangely to herself, as she saw her friend’s eyes open.  “Bang, bang.  The usual way.  How you feeling Jo?” she asked as she bent down next to her.  “Look!  I brought you a present.”

“Amy,” said Jo quietly.  “You’re safe.  Thank goodness.” 

“Course I’m safe silly,” Amy answered as she caught her as she flopped sideways.  “Do you like your present?”

“What?” Asked Jo as she tried to steady herself.  “What present?  Where?”

“Over there,” Amy answered as she pointed towards Stuart.  “He’s all yours.  You tell me what you want done to him and I’ll take care of it for you.”

“What happened to him?” Jo asked in astonishment as she saw his wounds.

“You’re going to regret asking that,” MacGyver told her as he wobbled slightly.

“I shot him,” Amy replied.

“You shot him,” said Jo, her voice showing her disbelief.  YOU shot him.”

“Yeah, you know bang, bang,” answered Amy, an innocent look on her face as she grinned at her.

“Want me to shoot him some more?” she asked sweetly, pointing the gun.

“No trouble.  I’ve got loads of bullets left.”


“Amy,” said Jo in total disbelief at her friends words as she struggled to stay awake.  “Stop pointing that gun, it could go off, you may kill him next time.”

“You’re being silly again,” answered Amy as she grinned mischievously at her.  “I’m a crack shot remember.  If I do shoot him, it will be because I want too.  Like I’ve already done.  I wanted to shoot him and I did.”

“But it’s wrong Amy, it’s wrong.  You know that,” replied Jo as she watched her as she glared angrily at Stuart.

“Why?” Asked Amy as she tried to see to Mac’s shoulder and he pushed her hand away again.

“Because it is.  It just is,” she answered as she saw her friend’s reaction. 

“You go to sleep now Jo,” said Amy ignoring her words as she gently laid her back against the support.  “You don’t look right to me.  I’ll punish him for you.”

 “Like you did Harry?” asked Stuart as he looked across to the room to where his colleague lay.  “Shoot him did you?  Probably in the back.  You’re crazy enough.”

“He’s not been shot,” answered Amy as she stood up and glared.  “He didn’t hurt Jo, you did.  Not shot, just asleep.  Now shut up before I get really, really mad.”

“Oh, you’re already that,” replied Stuart as he moved slightly and Tammy growled and slunk closer towards him.  “Like this blasted dog.  Yours is it?”

“I’d be careful what I said if I were you,” MacGyver told him. 

“I may not be able to see, but even I can tell she’s not very happy with you and I bet you a million bucks she’s taught this dog to attack.”

“Not me,” answered Amy smiling strangely and looking at her friend.  “Jo, she taught her, didn’t you Jo?  A couple of years ago when John had to go away on farm business and I was left on my own.  She taught her good.  So you should listen to MacGyver you evil, evil...I swear I’ll shoot you if you say another word,” she told him as she got to her feet.  “Or better yet, set her on you.”

“Amy don’t,” begged Jo as she pulled her to make her bend down.  “Please don’t talk like that.  It’s not you, I don’t like it you’re scaring me.”

“Your face is all swollen and different colors,” Amy said gently touching it as if she hadn’t spoken.  “Boy is Francis going to be mad when he sees your face.”

She paused for a moment then stood up and pointed the gun at Stuart.

“Think I’ll shoot him again.  Maybe in the leg this time, cause he hurt your face.”

As Stuart began to get to his feet at her threat, Tammy growled low and long and he sat down again quickly.

“No Amy, no!” said Jo as she pulled on the leg of her jeans to make her bend down again.  “Please stop, please no more shooting, no more hurting.”

“Why?” asked Amy, her voice sounding like a small child asking a question.

“Amy.  Give MacGyver the gun,” said Jo kindly, but sternly.  “Give him the gun.”

“Why?” she asked puzzled, the child’s tone still in her voice.

“Because I ask you,” said Jo.  “For me.  Just for me.  Give him the gun.”

“I don’t want too,” she replied, and then whispered in her ear.  He doesn’t like me.  I don’t want to give him the gun.  It’s mine; I want to keep it so I can look after you.  You’ve always looked after me and now I’m going to look after you.”

“Of course he likes you,” said Jo as she looked towards MacGyver who was standing quietly listening to them.  “Why do you think he doesn’t like you?”

“Because he won’t let me help him.  He won’t let me look after his shoulder or do anything to help him.  I’m not giving him the gun.  I’ll take care of you.  He can’t protect you, he’s hurt too.  What’s the point of giving him the gun?”

“For me Amy, for me,” replied Jo, her voice sounding desperate.  “Give him the gun, please.”

“Nope!  He doesn’t like me, I’m not giving him the gun,” she answered.

“Does it matter if he doesn’t like you?” Jo asked as she beckoned for Amy to come closer.  I thought you didn’t like him.  Have you changed your mind?”

Amy grinned and looked at MacGyver.

“Amy Morgan, what would John say?” laughed Jo and began coughing.

“Don’t be silly,” said Amy standing upright.  “Not in that way.  Ok, I’ll give him the gun.  If you promise to be good.  But you have to promise.”  Jo nodded.


“Seems stupid to me,” she muttered as she slammed the gun into MacGyver’s chest knocking him backwards because he wasn’t expecting it.  “Giving a gun to a blind man.  Really stupid.”

“Thank you Amy,” said Jo as she tried to get comfortable.  “It’s for the best, you’ll see.”

“What are you doing?” Amy asked as she watched Mac feeling around for something on the floor.

“I don’t like guns,” he replied.  “Have nothing to do with them.  I’m looking for the backpack.  I was sure it was around here somewhere.  I thought I’d stow this away in it.  Out of harms way.”

“Well you’re not getting this one,” Amy answered as she removed the second gun from her jacket pocket.  “It’s nice and warm in here for you now Jo.” 

Oh Amy,” said Jo, her voice sounding defeated.  “You didn’t say anything about having another gun.

“It’s his,” she answered pointing to Stuart.  “And I’m keeping it.  You be good now, I gave MacGyver the gun and you promised you’d be good if I did.”

“But it’s wrong to hurt people,” Jo told her, her head spinning as she watched her friend in fear.  “You know that.”

“Not wrong to hurt him,” said Amy as she looked out the window and added matter of factly.  “You make a good fire, I’ll say that for you,” she told Mac.  “Mind you, it’s a wonder you didn’t catch yourself alight.  I don’t think that storm’s coming at all.  It’s not even snowing any more and the sky is clearing up.  As soon as you’ve rested a bit Jo, I’ll take you to town.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” MacGyver told her as he felt around for the backpack.  “Where the hell is it,” he asked her.

“Oh talking to me now are you,” muttered Amy as she came back to the fire and moved it away from him so he couldn’t find it, grinning mischievously as she did.

“Amy!” said Jo loudly as she watched her friend’s behaviour.

“What?” Asked Amy just as loudly.  “Why do you keep saying ‘Amy’ like that?”

“If I have to tell you, then you really are ill...”  Too late, it was too late; the words were out. 

“I’m taking Jo to town and you’re not going to stop me,” she informed Mac, her voice now showing the hurt Jo’s words had given as she handed him the pack and watched as he put the gun away.  “I’ll sort him out before I go,” she added pointing at Stuart.  “You’re not well enough to pull the sledge and I can’t pull it with both of you on it, I’m too tired, so it’s best you stay here and I’ll send help.”

“It’s not a good idea for you to be bouncing Jo across the snow in the sledge at the moment,” Mac answered as he pulled out two syringes and began to try and work out which one had the morphine in and which the sedative, because he could hear from Jo’s voice that she was in a lot of pain.

“Why not?” Asked Amy as she came to his side.  “What’d you want those for?”

“I think Jo’s in pain,” he whispered as he placed a hand on her shoulder.  “But I think she’s pretending not to be.  I was going to give her some morphine, you said before we left there was morphine in some of these things.”

“It’s this one,” she told him taking the other one from his hand.  “She won’t let you give it to her though.  She hates injections, and unless you give me a good reason why not, I’m taking her to town,” she added quietly as she guided him towards Jo, then moved away and stood watching Stuart.

“Bite him, bite him good if he so much as moves one inch,” she lent over and whispered in Tammy’s ear, but loud enough for him to hear and Tammy replied with a deep growl, showing her teeth.

“Get away from me you mad bitch,” shouted Stuart as he fidgeted in the chair.  “Hey MacGyver get this crazy woman out of my face.”

“Don’t tell me you’re scared of her,” said Mac. 

“What me, scared of a woman.  That’ll be the day,” answered Stuart angrily.  “But she’s crazy, look at her, anyone can see that.  Look at the way she’s staring at me.”                                                                                                       “Wish I could look,” answered MacGyver as Jo pushed the syringe away so he couldn’t give her an injection.  “Just wish I could.  I’d love to see you cringing at the way she’s looking at you.”

“I’m not cringing,” answered Stuart angrily.  “I just don’t trust her.  Her setting that dog on me is what worries me.  If she tries anything, I’ll tear her apart.”

“Big talk for a little man,” answered Amy as she moved across to her friend.  “Very little man and I don’t mean your height.  Little inside.  Like a worm.  Slithering about, making everything slimy.”

“See what I mean,” shouted Stuart as he fidgeted and Tammy growled.  “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“You think you’re so smart, you figure it out,” said Mac as he smiled.  “She’s right though, she’s so right.  What a great way to describe someone like you.”

“Why don’t you let me give you some morphine?” Amy asked Jo as she knelt next to her and saw how much pain she was in before she had time to hide it.

“You know I don’t like injections,” Jo answered pushing her hand away.

“Doesn’t stop you making me do things I don’t like, you’re always...” she stopped speaking as she saw Jo wince and her face go pale.

“Please Jo, please let me help stop the pain,” Amy begged, her eyes filling with tears. “I didn’t mean what I said in the garage or at the cave.  You are my best friend and I do care.  You just get me angry and I lash out.”

“Oh Amy don’t cry, you know it makes your eyes all puffy,” Jo told her.  “I know you care.  Maybe later, when you take me to town.  Is that Ok?”

“You promise?” she asked.

“I promise,” answered Jo.

“Oh this is all very touching,” muttered Stuart as he fidgeted and Tammy growled deep.  “But you don’t honestly think you’re going to get away do you MacGyver?  You’re in big trouble and so are they.”

“I think not,” answered Mac as he looked towards where he knew he was sitting.  “If you took up a contract on me then you’ve failed and we both know what it means if you fail to fulfil a contract don’t we.  If not and you’re one of Boss Larry’s thugs then he won’t be very happy with you either.  So it seems to me that you’re the one in big trouble.”

“Nah I’m not worried,” answered Stuart as he watched them carefully hoping that for one moment the dog would take it’s eyes off him.  “By the looks of you lot, you’re in more trouble than I am.  I doubt very much if she’s going to last much longer and you, well you’re not in tiptop condition, the eyes and all.  And this crazy woman, I think she’ll go wandering off before long. Not in her right mind.”

“If she wasn’t in her right mind,” said Jo speaking to him for the first time.  “You’d be dead by now.  She’s the best shot ever, with a rifle or a handgun, but she is hanging by a thread, thanks to you, even I can see that.  You keep dragging on it, it’s liable to snap.  So if I were you I’d leave her alone.”

“Yeah, be quiet Stuart,” MacGyver told him angrily but knowing he was probably right.  He himself was only on his feet due to the adrenalin pumping though his system because of the danger they were in.  He was hot, his shoulder was burning, and his head kept swimming.  Unless they got help soon, unless Jo got help soon... he stopped the negative thought before it could take hold.  He also knew they couldn’t keep Harry unconscious indefinitely, not without the risk of killing him, and then there would be two of them to be dealt with.  

“Amy,” he said indicating she should move towards him.  “You need to go to town and get help.  I hate to say it, but he’s right.  Neither Jo nor I are in any condition to go traipsing through the snow.  You need to take Tammy and go to town and get help.  Bring help here.  Amy do you understand?” he asked, as she didn’t respond to his question.

“Of course I understand, I’m not stupid,” she answered as she touched his arm reassuringly.  “I’ll take care of both of you, but I’m not leaving Jo.”

“You have too Amy, you have no choice.  She’s hurt bad. She needs help.”

“How did she get hurt so bad?” Amy asked quietly.  “And you look sick again.”

“She’s just hurt, that’s all,” he said afraid to tell her the truth.  “I’ll be fine.  As long as you get help, we’ll both be fine.  But you have to go now.”


“I don’t suppose anyone is bothered by the fact that I’m bleeding to death here,” muttered Stuart clutching his hand.

“Oh you’re not hurt that bad,” answered Amy.  “I just winged you.  You’re not even bleeding much, now shut up.”  Her eyes narrowed as she watched him.  He’s was up to something, she knew he was, she could feel it.  Her danger senses were working overtime telling her he was planning something.

“How about a drink of water then?” he asked smirking.

“Talking of water,” said Amy as she bent down next to her friend.  “Would you like a drink Jo?  I’ll melt some snow for you.  Have a nice fresh drink.”

“No thanks Amy,” replied Jo her face white as a sheet.  “I feel a bit sick at the moment.  You have one and get MacGyver one too.  He’s been on his feet for ages.”  As she finished speaking, she cringed, doubled over and began coughing violently.

“Jo what’s wrong?” asked Amy as she watched in horror.  “MacGyver, something’s wrong with Jo.”

“Take it easy,” he told her as he gently moved her to one side.  “Jo what’s wrong?” he asked as he bent alongside her as she continued to cough.

“Feel sick,” she whispered.  “Stomach hurts and I feel sick.”  As she stopped talking, he could smell blood and knew for certain that she was bleeding inside.

“Sorry Jo, it’s my fault,” Amy told her as she bent down and gave her a gentle hug as the coughing subsided.  If you hadn’t decided to wait for me here, you’d probably be in town by now.”

“It’s not your fault Amy, stop blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong,” Jo told her, as she laid back against the support utterly exhausted.

“We were already looking for you,” butted in Stuart, smirking again. “Sooner or later we’d have...Knocked old Harry out pretty good haven’t you?  You sure he’s not dead?  I haven’t seen him move once.”

“Amy you have to go get help,” Jo gasped and doubled over again.  “Oh hell, my stomach,” she cried as she tried to hug the pain away.

“What’s wrong with your stomach?”  Amy asked her voice frantic.  “Jo what’s wrong with your stomach?”

“Nothing,” she replied as she straightened up and tried to smile.  “It’s ok, it’s gone now.”

“Easy Jo,” said Mac as she sat back.  “Try not to move around too much.”

“What happened to your stomach?” Amy asked, but louder this time.  “Did he do something to your stomach?”

“No, I’m fine.  Don’t worry so much,” said Jo as she realised MacGyver was sweating and looked as ill as she felt. 

“WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER STOMACH?”  Amy shouted loudly at Stuart as she moved away and stood menacingly in front of him, making Tammy growl because it was obvious he was making her angry.  “The other one didn’t do anything.  You did, didn’t you?  What did you do?” she asked once more, her voice cold and threatening as she returned and knelt down by Jo as she began coughing again.

“Gave her a good kicking, that’s what,” he answered mockingly.  “Shame the chair stopped me breaking every bone in her body.  So what?  She deserved it.”

“You’re a bloody fool,” MacGyver told him as he placed a steadying hand on Amy’s shoulder and felt her shaking.  “What the hell did you tell her that for?”

For a moment Amy didn’t move, didn’t even look and then, her face showing her shock and horror at his words got shakily to her feet.  Jo grabbed her hand as she did to stop her moving away and felt it go cold.

“Amy, it’s alright, I’m Ok, don’t listen to him.   He’s trying to hurt you, trying to get back at you for beating him.  For being the person he can never be, for being kind and gentle and nice.  Amy please, please listen to me!  Don’t let him win.

I need you so much.  MacGyver needs you,” Jo told her.

She could feel Amy shaking, her hand getting colder and colder as she bent down, seeing, but not seeing, not registering her presence. Then an icy cold hand reached out and gently touched her battered face, and she knew, as she looked into her friends eyes, that she’d lost her.


Slowly Amy got to her feet then looked down, seeing her friend as if from a distance as she cringed under the pain brought by the evil man sitting on the chair, knowing she had to try to find a way to help her, and to help MacGyver, this stranger in their lives who had found his way into her heart, despite all her attempts to keep him out.  Down, down, down, she went, looking for the knowledge that could help them, looking for something that would make her strong, strong enough to stop the same thing happening to them that had happened to the others in her life.  It was there somewhere; she knew it was it had to be.  She’d already felt it stir. It was there when she followed Stuart through the snow as she sought for a way to protect Jo from him, pushing her fears away so she could become strong again, and when she climbed through the window of the cabin and attacked Harry, it had been there, helping her, urging her on, taking away the fear so she could do what was needed to stop the man hurting MacGyver lying unconscious on the floor. 

------

Then he was gone and Jo was gone.  All that was left now was the voice of Stuart as it pursued her, swirling around and around inside her head like an evil smelling mist, taunting her, mocking her as she looked for strength.

------

Jo couldn’t see the battle going on inside her friend, or her desperate search for the strength and knowledge to help.  All she could see was Amy’s face getting blanker and blanker as she stood beside her, her hand ice cold, her body trembling with shock, shuddering every now and then as if something terrible was taking place inside her head.  Then a look of shock and horror crossed her features and Jo knew she’d lost her battle, that she couldn’t cope, that her mind, struggling to deal with what Stuart said he’d done to her, had withdrawn. 

------

As a single tear rolled down Amy’s cheek, the shaking stopped.  She pulled her hand from Jo’s and shrugged Mac’s off her shoulder. The look of shock and horror faded, and, like the face of a marble statue, hers went blank, blind and unseeing.  Slowly, deliberately, she removed the gun from her jacket pocket and aimed it at Stuart.  He was so pleased with the effect his statement had on her he didn’t even notice the gun until Jo shouted.

“No Amy, don’t!”

------

She hardly heard her friend’s frantic plea.  Her mind, seeking the strength to deal with the situation had lost its battle as Stuart’s words caught up with her, blotting out her search, tearing into her like a sharp knife, ripping away like a crazed animal.  On and on came his words, echoing like the sound of distant footsteps inside a tunnel forcing her mind to protect itself.

 “What’s happening?” came MacGyver’s voice from a long way off, barely reaching her as the words continued to echo inside her head.

Gave her a good kicking.’  Amy shuddered.

“She’s going to shoot him, stop her MacGyver please stop her.  She’s right here next to you.  Something’s wrong, something’s terribly wrong.  Please stop her.”

Jo’s voice pushed its way into her thoughts and were brushed aside by Stuart’s repeated, ‘Gave her a good kicking.’  Amy shuddered once more.  She could see him, grinning, smirking at her through the wall that her mind had set up to protect her from the outside world.  She felt the gun and her finger moved towards the trigger.

“No Amy, he’s not worth it.  You’ll never forgive yourself,” came MacGyver’s voice as he placed his hand over the top of hers in an attempt to take the gun.

Stopped me breaking every bone in her body’, echoed Stuart’s voice.

“Amy listen to me,” came Mac’s voice through the horror.  “Don’t do this.  Jo needs you to go to town to get her help,” she felt his hand tighten as he tried to take the gun from her grasp without causing her to pull the trigger. ‘Gave her a good kicking, she deserved it,’ came Stuart’s echo again and she felt her mind go deeper, trying to block out what he was saying, trying to bury the visions in her head, the visions of him hurting her friend.

“Amy, give me the gun,” came Mac’s voice again.  “Jo’s hurt bad, needs help.”

Good kicking good kicking,’ repeated the words that shocked her to the core.

She shuddered and felt sick.

“Amy help me, please help me!” she heard Jo’s pain filled voice enter her mind as her friend doubled over in pain.  She blinked as it reached where she was hiding. Then she blinked again as she began to fight her way through the echo, back towards reality, back towards Jo.  MacGyver felt her shudder.

“Amy?  Can you hear me?” he asked as she shuddered once more.

“Your hand’s hot, you’re sick again,” she said as she turned her face towards him, her features still strange and unmoving but now vaguely aware of where she was.

“I know, I know,” he answered.  “Give me the gun Amy.  Please give me the gun.”  She looked at his hand held tightly over hers which was pointed at Stuart, whose white face showed he knew he’d pushed her too far.

“He hurt Jo bad,” Amy said quietly. “How could anyone do that to her, I don’t understand,” she told MacGyver as she continued to hold on tight to the gun.

“I know you don’t Amy,” MacGyver said and wished he could see if his words were having any affect.  “That’s because you’re kind and gentle and he’s just like you said.  A worm, slithering about making everything slimy.”

He couldn’t see the hand she raised towards his face and jumped at how cold it was as it touched his cheek.

“You’re bad sick again.  You’d best sit before you fall down.  Let go of my hand I want to look after Jo.”  Her voice sounded weird and he wasn’t sure if she was going too, or just wanted him to let go of her hand so she could shoot.

“I will, if you give me the gun,” he told her gently.  “Let me take the gun for you.  It scares Jo; you don’t want to scare her do you?  She needs you.”

For a moment she didn’t move, and then he felt her hand relax.

“He’s a bad man,” she told him as she turned her hand inside his so he could take the gun.  “A very bad man.  Hurting Jo like that and her tied to a chair.  Wicked, just plain wicked.  I’ll send Francis back; he’ll know what to do.  You sit down, you’re sick again and Jo needs some morphine.  She promised to let me help.  You sit down now, and keep away from that man.  He’s bad,” she told him as if he was small child.

“I will,” answered Mac with relief as he felt her bend down.  “I will.  Later.”

------

“No Amy, you know I don’t like injections and I hate morphine,” Jo told her as she pushed her hand away.  “Aren’t you coming back with Francis?” She asked.

“No, I don’t like it here.  I’ll send him and you promised,” answered Amy.  “You’re in pain and you promised you’d let me help.”

“I know I did and you can, before you leave, but only if you promise me you’ll stay in town, that you won’t go anywhere til I get there.  Before we talk.”

Amy shrugged, put the syringe in her pocket, picked up a bowl and went outside.

“Had that before I take it,” said Mac with amusement in his voice.

“You could say that,” she answered.  “Had it once and once was enough.”

“How’s Amy doing?” Mac asked before she returned.  “She sounds really strange.”

“If you think she sounds strange you should see her face.  She’s not right, she’s not right at all and I’m worried sick.  Did you notice she wouldn’t promise?” Jo asked.  “Amy always tries her best to keep any promises she makes.”

“Then do you think she should go to town, if she’s not right I mean?” He said as he bent down next to her, speaking quietly as he did.

“Well at the moment I think she’s on autopilot.  You know, just doing what needs to be done and well, let’s face it, we have no other choice.  You look as bad as I feel.  You really should sit down for a while,” she told him.

“That bad?” he asked.

“Yeah, that bad,” she answered.  “As to what will happen with Amy when she’s done what she needs to do to get us help, I dread to think.  She paused and looked towards the cabin door, listening carefully for any sound of Amy’s return before she continued speaking.

“She withdrew completely for a while when she was holding the gun.  I’ve seen

her do it before, but not like that.  This time there was something different about it.  Amy actually pulled her friend Carl from a burning car, burnt her hands badly?  He was trapped inside.  She did everything she could to save him, but he was too badly hurt.  She spent six weeks in hospital, shattered elbow, broken wrist, internal injuries, but it didn’t stop her getting him out of the car.  She went on autopilot for a while; didn’t speak a word for two weeks.  This time it’s worse, I saw it on her face.  When this all comes crashing down on her we could lose her for good.”  She cringed as she finished speaking and he heard her sharp intake of breath.

“I think you should have the morphine,” he told her as Amy came back in.

“Don’t know why you don’t like it,” said Amy as she placed the bowl near the fire so the snow would melt and busied herself with putting things in the backpack, deliberately keeping her eyes away from Stuart.  “That’s how you met Francis.”

“Yeah, well that was stupid,” answered Jo blushing, glad he couldn’t see her.

“Come on tell,” he said as he stood up and listened to Amy’s movements, and knowing each time Stuart moved because of Tammy’s growling.

“Oh some stupid dog fell over a cliff around here, when I was researching one of my books, and I tried to reach it.  The ground gave way and I needed rescuing as well.  Broke my leg in two places.  Francis was on Mountain Rescue duty and they lowered him down to me so he could assess my injuries.  Gave me morphine for the pain.  It made me stupid.  Some of the things he told me I said to him.”

“He was winding you up, like he always does,” said Amy, though her voice showed no amusement at what she said as she laid the bowl down in front of Tammy so she could have a drink.  “I should know, I was there remember.  John told you to wait for a rescue team to get the dog, but you had to be the hero.  Always the hero.  Super Girl.”

MacGyver knew that Jo was right, he couldn’t see her but it was still obvious to him that Amy was on autopilot, she spoke, but the words were flat, worse than the first time it happened, before she went after Stuart.  “Francis calls her Super Girl,” Amy continued. “She should marry him and have lots of lovely babies.”

“Surely that dog wants to go outside?” butted in Stuart and wished he hadn’t because it brought Amy’s face straight in his direction and the look she gave him made him shrivel inside, forcing him to be quiet.

“Well that’s my things ready,” she said as she turned away.  “There’s a lovely blue sky out there.  Francis will be here in no time.  Now what shall I do with you?” she said looking towards Stuart, the look of hate back on her face.  “Oh I know just the thing.  It’s night, night time for you,” she said as she rummaged in the backpack and brought out a syringe. 

“Just the very thing. When I throw you’d better catch it, or else.”

“You don’t seriously think I am going to inject myself with that do you?” Stuart asked as she stood looking at him.   “You are crazy and if you so much as come near me I swear I’ll...  MacGyver get her away from me will you.”

“Oh what’s she doing now?” Mac asked as he looked towards where he knew Stuart was sitting.  “Leave her alone.”

“She wants me to give myself an injection, that’s what she’s doing now.  Probably contains poison,” answered Stuart and MacGyver heard Tammy growl long and deep and he knew he’d moved.

“What do you have in mind Amy?” Mac asked as he held out his hand as he tried to locate her and felt her cold hand reach his.

“He needs to go to sleep.  I’m not going anywhere with him awake.  Did you think I was going to take Tammy with me and leave him sitting there?”

MacGyver smiled.  He had to admit he hadn’t thought about it.  She was right. He himself was beginning to have trouble standing.  It was only Tammy that was holding Stuart in the chair.  Despite his own injuries, Stuart was still a danger.  If he for one moment suspected how ill Mac felt.  But she couldn’t go to town alone.

“Well as far as I can see it, not that I can see anything,” MacGyver told him as he stood next to Amy.  “You have two choices.  Either you inject yourself with this stuff, or she sets the dog on you.  Your choice.”


“Three choices,” Amy said as she watched him as he fidgeted once more and knew he was planning something.  “Three choices.”

“What three choices?” Jo asked as she saw her friend’s blank expression.

“Well he can either inject himself.  I set Tammy on him, or and the one I like best of all.  I shoot him.”  Amy’s answer was unexpected and Jo saw Stuart jump.

“Yeah and how you gonna do that?” asked Stuart mockingly.  “You gave both guns to MacGyver here.  He has this rep about guns.  Never uses them.  I’m pretty darn sure he’s not going to give you one so you can shoot me, are you MacGyver?  One of your weaknesses guns, so I was told.  You gonna give her a gun to shoot me?”  He eyed the dog nervously as it growled at him.

“He doesn’t have too,” Amy told him as she picked up the backpack at her feet and moved slightly away from Mac.

“He put one in here didn’t he?  You saw him.  Yeah I like shooting the best.  Just enough to slow you down some more.  The knee I think, like they do in films.”

“Amy no!” shouted Jo as she pulled herself up out of the sledge and took a step towards her, collapsing before she took another.

“Why’d you do that?” Amy asked as she moved to help her friend up. 

“You know why, you know why I did it,” Jo answered as she tried to stand and her legs gave way again and her face screwed up as a fresh wave of pain came.

“MacGyver can you give me a hand over here?” Amy asked.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, as he made his way towards her voice.

“Oh Jo’s been silly and tried to stand up,” she told him as she reached for him.  “Help me get her back into the sledge.  Silly, really silly,” she said as if she were a child, as they put her carefully back in.

“What’d you go and do that for?  Why do you keep stopping me?  I don’t understand you anymore,” Amy told her as she covered her over.

“Yeah, well I don’t understand you either,” answered Jo gasping for breath.  “You weren’t really going to shoot him in the knee were you?  Please tell me you weren’t,” she asked, as she looked up pleadingly, hoping to see some emotion, then grabbed a tissue as she began coughing violently and brought up blood.

“You really don’t want me to shoot him?” Amy asked staring blankly at the blood but trying not to see it.  Jo shook her head and coughed again.

“If you don’t want me too, then I won’t.  Unless he gives me no choice of course,” Amy told her as she glared at Stuart. “So it’s the injection then.  And don’t try anything funny, because if you do I will shoot you,” she told him as she pulled MacGyver with her as she moved away from the sledge.

“Get that dog away from me first.” Stuart told her.  “I don’t want that mutt going for me as I try to catch it.  Better still, get it out of the way and roll the darn thing.  I don’t trust that dog of yours not to go for me when I move.”

“Oh I wish you would be quiet,” Amy told him as she watched him carefully.

“I know you’re up to something so just sit there and be quiet.”

“Up to something.  Up to something,” he laughed.  “In the condition I’m in?  You shot me twice remember.  I’m pretty sure there’s an infection in my shoulder and my hand’s gone numb.  I’m dying of thirst and my back’s hurting from sitting here all this time and you think I’m up to something.  I’m pretty sure that when I’ve used that stuff I’ll probably fall of this chair and hurt myself even more.  Up to something.  Yeah, course I am.”

“Pretty long speech for a man who claims he’s not feeling well,” said MacGyver as he heard him shifting around and Tammy growled.

“Yeah, up to something,” repeated Amy as she continued to watch Jo, aware she was having trouble staying awake, staying conscious, and also becoming aware of something else.  Something happening to herself. 

-------

Though she’d shut her mind off from everything, but the task of getting to town and sending Jo help, deep within there was something growing.  She was tired and it was an overwhelming tiredness.  After taking care of Jo and Mac, all she wanted to do was to close her eyes and go to sleep.  No more stress, no more fighting, just sleep.  Dreamless, peaceful sleep and the feeling was beginning to

build and drain the hate from her.  Her hate for Stuart, and hate for herself.  Hate for failing those she loved.  It was all beginning to fade.  In fact, as she stared at the man responsible for the horror they had been through, she began to feel sorry for him.  ‘What kind of life had he led that left him so pitiless?’ she asked herself as she watched his angry white face staring at MacGyver and realised that he was blaming him for his situation.  Not her, but MacGyver.

“Stop staring at him like that!” she told Stuart.  “If you don’t stop staring at him like that, I’ll make Tammy bite you.  Do you hear me?” she shouted, making them all jump at her sudden burst of emotion. 

 

“Should have killed you on the road,” Stuart muttered to MacGyver.  “Crushed the life out of you there and then.  You’ve been a thorn in the side of the Boss for months and now it’s through you I’m here being threatened by this, by this woman whose sick in the head.  I’m amazed she doesn’t shoot you instead of me.  If you hadn’t come into their lives, these two wouldn’t be here.  Wouldn’t be hurt.  I don’t go much for women normally, always found them a pain in neck, more trouble than they’re worth.  Still I have to say it.  These two have my admiration.  Pretty gutsy ladies helping you MacGyver, yeah pretty gutsy ladies.  Shame they’ve had to pay for it.  Especially this one.  Told me I’d made her crazy when I hurt her friend. Yep, shame, real shame.”

“You pushed him off the road!” yelled Amy and then went to help Jo as she began coughing violently again.  “You started it, and then you hurt Joe!”

“Easy there,” MacGyver told her as he wondered how Stuart was looking at him.

“It’s alright Jo,” Amy told her as she tried to make her comfortable as she stopped coughing.  “I’m here.  I’ll take care of you.  Just rest.  I’ll try not to fail you again.  I swear I’ll send Francis, but you have to rest now.  I won’t let him hurt you anymore.”  She moved to the fire and put some more logs on it.

“Amy you’ve never failed me, where did you get that idea from?  Did I make you feel you’d failed me?  I’m sorry if I did, I didn’t mean too,” Jo answered quietly.

“Rest now,” Amy told her as she tucked the blankets around her.  “You’re always strong. You’ve always taken care of me.  I just keep failing you that’s all.  I’m sure you want me the way I used to be,” she added as she stood up.  “But I don’t think I can be Jo, I think the old Amy died back there with Carl.  This guy just buried her.  By hurting you, he buried the old Amy.  Buried me.  You just rest now.  I’ll make sure he can’t hurt you anymore and then I’ll go get Francis.”

“Please don’t talk like that,” Jo told her as she grabbed her hand and wondered why it was so cold as the room was nice and warm now.  “I need you as much as you’ve needed me.  You’re my strength Amy, my reassurance that there is good in this world.  Please don’t talk about being dead.  I need you.”

Amy smiled down at her friend and removed her hand.

“You’ll’’ be better off without me,” she said as she moved away from the sledge.

 

Joanna James

My head was spinning and things were beginning to fade as I tried to take in Amy’s last statement and found myself looking at Stuart.  I jumped.  She was right, he was up to something.  I could see it on his face as he watched her walk back to MacGyver.  I opened my mouth to call and nothing happened.  No sound, not even her name said in a whisper.  I tried again.  I thought the name, but nothing about me responded to my command to speak, to warn, to get up. 

‘I have to get Amy’s attention’ I told myself as darkness began closing in and my arms wouldn’t move.  ‘I have to warn Amy,’ my brain continued to scream, but still nothing happened.  No movement, nothing.  My body refused to obey my commands because it was beginning to shut down.  Slowly, and inevitably, from the shock and loss of blood, it was failing, and I knew it.  The blankets that Amy had tucked in so tightly felt like they were made of lead as I began losing consciousness, but fought with every last ounce of strength as everything started going dark.  No, no, not now, please not now, I shouted angrily at myself as Amy’s words rang in my head.  ‘You’ll be better off without me.

 

Then I found myself staring at Stuart.  I could see him smirking as he’d done before, when he knew he was going to hurt me, but this time he was looking at MacGyver.  Whatever it was he had in mind for him, he was enjoying the thought.  Vainly I tried to push against the blankets and they continued to defy my efforts as my mind screamed in desperation. 

‘Amy look at me, listen to me.  You’re in danger, please look at me!’ 

 

“I want you to roll the syringe to him,” Amy told MacGyver as she reached his side and touched his hand so he was aware she was there.

“How am I supposed to do that?” I heard him ask and knew he wasn’t going to be able to stay on his feet much longer because he was exhausted.

Amy saw me watching them and shook her head at me.

-----

“You roll it and I’ll keep the gun on him.  I don’t trust him he’s up to something.  I don’t know what.  I just feel it.  I feel danger,” she told Mac as she rummaged through the backpack at her feet and pulled out the gun and a syringe.

“I’ll guide you.  Tammy here girl, here,” she called and the dog obeyed, though she continued to watch Stuart as she came to her side. 

-----

I could see Tammy didn’t like this stranger at all, as she sat next to Amy her tail thumping madly, waiting for her instructions.  She seemed to know that it was Stuart who was making her mistress sad, and growled menacingly at him.

-----

“Can’t you put that mutt outside?” Stuart asked as he realised the dog was still watching him closely.

“I may be crazy,” Amy answered looking down at the dog and patting her head, “but I’m not stupid.  Now when this reaches you, you pick it up and no tricks.  You move wrong and I swear I’ll shoot.” 

-----

As she spoke, she looked across at me and saw I was trying to push the blankets off.  “No Jo, you’ll get cold,” she told me gently, emotion back in her voice.  “Leave the blankets alone.”

 

Then, standing MacGyver directly in front of Stuart Amy made him bend slowly so he could place the syringe on the floor and roll it.  As it left his hand, he stood up and Stuart reached down for it. I could see Amy watching him like a hawk.  It was as he went to straighten up I saw his hand move quickly and knew, without even seeing it properly, what had been strapped to his right calf. Something small and silvery.  A Derringer.  As he straightened up, he pointed it straight at MacGyver.  Amy saw it too and reacted instinctively. 

 

What happened next seemed to me to be happening in slow motion as I watched helplessly as she grabbed Mac by the arm, and began pushing him away as the first shot rang out.  I saw her reaction as the bullet slammed into her shoulder nearly knocking her off her feet.  It wasn’t a look of pain or shock but a look of anger as she turned and threw herself bodily at MacGyver, taking him completely by surprise as she desperately tried to get him out of harms way.  Then came the sound of a second shot and they crashed to the floor together and both lay still.

At that moment, my vocal cords and my body at last obeyed my commands and I yelled loudly and pointed weakly towards Stuart.

“Tammy guard! Tammy guard!”

For what to me seemed like an eternity, nobody moved.  Stuart was back in his chair as Tammy, lying low now and snarling angrily towards him, held him firmly in the seat as he glared back and saw the gun that Amy had dropped lying a few feet from her, but still way out of his reach with the dog threatening to attack him every time he so much as moved.  I could see him cursing himself for not moving quicker, for not having a gun that had more than two bullets in it strapped to his leg.


Then he smiled to himself and looked towards me as I gradually began to extricate myself from the blankets and I knew what he was thinking.  All he had to do was wait.  Wait for Harry to wake up.  He knew, as I did, that he wouldn’t be asleep for much longer as he was beginning to stir already.  He also knew the damage he’d inflicted on me was taking it’s toll and I couldn’t last much longer without help.  He smirked once more as he looked towards the two still figures on the floor and I knew he was convinced he’d hit both of them. 

He grinned evilly back at me, and Tammy growled as I saw MacGyver struggling to sit up.  Adrenalin or whatever it is that surges through the body at times like these pulsed through mine as I hauled myself out of the sledge and hit the floor. 

I heard Stuart laugh as I crawled slowly and painfully towards Mac and Amy. 

-----

“Amy?” said MacGyver as he struggled to sit up and realised it must be her lying across his legs.  “Amy, you alright?  What happened?” he asked, as she didn’t move.  His hand reached out and he felt something wet as he touched her.  “Amy?” he called again and still she didn’t move as he gently began to lift her off his legs.  “Oh no,” he said as he realised he could smell blood and now knew why his hand was wet.   “What the hell?” he asked as he felt more blood.

-----

“Let me take her,” I said as I reached them.  He didn’t respond just turned her gently onto her back and laid her carefully down.

“MacGyver, she’s been shot,” I told him, as he turned towards me.  “Stuart shot her and she’s bleeding badly, let me look at her.” 

For a moment he hesitated, but then must have realised, that without being able to see there wasn’t much he could do to help and moved to one side so I could.  Kneeling next to her, I lent over to locate where she’d been shot and doubled up as my stomach lurched in pain and I coughed up blood.

“Jo you alright?” MacGyver asked as I wiped my mouth.

Again I tried to lean towards Amy, and the same thing happened; only this time I thought I was going to pass out as my head swam crazily. 

“Jo, what’s wrong?” came MacGyver’s desperate question as he reached out and touched my arm.

“I can’t bend over,” I said as I tried again.  “My stomach, it keeps cramping up every time I bend over and I’m coughing up blood.  You’ll have to help get her into my lap;” I told him as I sat on the floor.  “I’ll to see to her wounds that way.  I have to stop the bleeding,” I said as I watched him feel for her and then gently lift her slightly from the floor and I took her, “she’s bleeding badly.”

“Why’d you shoot her?” Mac yelled as Stuart as I reached for the backpack lying nearby and began searching for the first aid kit.

“I wasn’t shooting at her,” came his mocking reply.  “I was shooting at you.  If she hadn’t pushed you... You’re one lucky son of a bitch MacGyver.”

“Amy wake up,” I begged, as I tried to stop the bleeding from the bullet wound in her back.  “Please wake up.” 

“Where’s she hit?” MacGyver asked as he sat in front of me and touched my arm.

“Twice, she was hit twice,” I told him as I choked back the tears.  “Once in the shoulder, when he first fired and in the lower back.  Must have been when she pushed you.  That’s bleeding the worst.  It won’t stop bleeding.”

“Let me help,” he asked as he reached for Amy. 

“No! You get your hands off her!” I yelled, glaring at him for a moment and then wished I hadn’t spoken that way as I saw his hurt reaction. 

“Sorry MacGyver.  I didn’t mean to shout like that,” I told him as I reassuringly touched his sleeve.  “I didn’t mean anything by it, I swear.”

“Jo, let me help,” he asked, causing a lump to come into my throat as I heard, and saw how upset and exhausted he was.  “Please let me help.”

“Can you put pressure on the back wound while I see to her shoulder?” I asked as I handed him a wad of dressings and guided his hand.  “The shoulder isn’t too bad, but the wound in her back is, and I can’t wake her up.”

“This is all my fault,” I heard him say as he did as I asked.  “If it wasn’t...”


“Shush,” I told him in the way Amy always did with me when she was trying to tell me not to get upset.  “Not your fault.  In fact, I think you’ve helped her.  She cares for you MacGyver, and it’s the first time I’ve seen her let anyone new get near her for a long, long time.”  He grinned, but I could see he didn’t believe me.

“Jo,” came Amy’s voice as she began to come round and tried to remove my hand from her shoulder.  “You’re hurting me Jo.  Let me go.”

“Sorry Amy,” I answered as I smiled down at her.  “Over enthusiastic.  You know me.  Heavy handed...”   My voice died out as I choked back the tears.

“MacGyver?  Is MacGyver all right?  Did I hurt him?” she asked as she tried to see, but stopped and cringed in pain, her voice trailing off into a whisper.

“I’m fine, I’m right here,” he answered quietly as he continued to put pressure on the wound as she cringed once more and her eyes began rolling, closing again.

“Amy don’t die, please don’t die,” I begged in panic.  “Promise me you won’t.”

“Can’t promise,” she said smiling slightly, the blank look gone.  “I promise I’ll try, but I hurt, and I’m so tired.  Oh no Jo, don’t cry, don’t cry,” she told me as she raised her good arm and touched my face.  “You know it makes your face go puffy.  I promise...try...” She gasped as pain shot through her again and her arm flopped back down.  Then her eyes closed and I felt her body go limp and heavy.

“Amy?” I said shaking her slightly to make her open her eyes.  “Amy wake up.”

No response.  I lifted her so her face was close to mine and couldn’t feel her breath and my hand was shaking so much I couldn’t locate a pulse.  Placing it on her chest, I waited for the rise and fall as she breathed.  There was nothing.  My mind reeled as I tried to deal with what it meant.

“No Amy, no!” I sobbed as I clasped her in my arms trying to squeeze life back into her.  She didn’t move. 

“Jo what’s wrong?” MacGyver asked as I pushed his hand away and drew back.

“Let me look,” he told me as he reached out and I moved away again.

“Amy, please wake up,” I ordered her quietly as I looked down.  My mind reeled once more as I heard Tammy growl and knew Stuart had tried to move.  I looked up at him as he sat smirking at me, but the smirk soon disappeared from his face as he saw the look that had been on Amy’s face was now on mine.  I understood now for the first time what had been happening to her since this all began.  She hadn’t changed, hadn’t become someone hurtful.  She’d just been trying to look after me, fighting evil the only way she could.  Bad for bad, like for like but it wasn’t already inside her.  Everything he did, she responded to in kind, even then not like him at all, or he’d most certainly be dead by now.  I realised the conflict it must have caused in her usually gentle nature as she fought this man, and what it must have cost her to protect us.   Coldly and without conscience, I raised my arm, pointed at him and said quietly and sternly.

“Tammy protect, protect Amy!”

----

Instinctively and immediately, the Labrador obeyed her instructions.  Stuart didn’t see the dog move as Jo’s words echoed around the room as she sat glaring at him.  All he saw was the blur of orangey yellow as she obeyed and leapt at him, sending him and the chair backwards under her weight.  He did feel pain though, the pain as he hit the floor and the awful pain as she sank her teeth into his good arm as he used it to try to cover and protect his face.  He yelled and felt the teeth sink deeper in as she angrily began pawing at his arm so she could reach his throat, and then he felt the cold air as he disappeared underneath her onslaught as the cabin door flew open.

------

MacGyver had felt Amy go limp and knew she was unconscious, but didn’t know why Jo had pushed his hand away wouldn’t let him help any more.  He could hear Tammy attacking Stuart, but Jo wouldn’t answer when he asked what was happening.  Then he felt the cold air as the door opened and struggled to his feet and placed himself between the two women and whoever had entered the cabin.

“If you lay hands on them I swear I’ll...” he wobbled and nearly fell.

“It’s ok MacGyver,” said Jo as she looked up.  “It’s Francis and John.  It’s ok.”


“What the hell has been going on here?” Amy’s husband asked as he moved quickly towards them and caught MacGyver as he fell.  “Easy, easy, I’ve got you,” he told him as he sat him against the nearest wall and turned towards his wife and her friend and bent down.  Jo pulled back holding Amy tightly.

“Jo, let me see her,” came Francis’ voice through the haze threatening to engulf her as Stuart yelled for help as Tammy continued to hold tight to his arm.

 

“Leave Tammy, leave,” John told her as he looked at his wife, desperately wanting to touch her, check on her.  “Tammy come, here girl, here,” he called as he reached out for Amy and Jo backed away again shaking her head, as one of the three officers who had entered with them held his gun on Stuart and ordered him to get up, slowly, and another officer made his way towards Harry.

“Jo,” came Francis’ quiet voice again through the mist as he lifted her face so she could see him and grimaced as he saw the bruising and swelling and how pale she was.  “Jo, do you have any other injuries.  Do you hurt anywhere else?”

“She’s bleeding internally,” answered MacGyver, as Tammy came to his side and licked his face and he put his arm around her and felt the animal shaking. 

“Ok Jo, let me check Amy first then...” began Francis as he watched her.

No!” she yelled, “get away!  You’re too late.  She’s dead; can’t you see she’s dead?  He killed her.  You’re too late.  Leave her alone, leave us alone.”

“She’s not dead Jo, I can see her breathing,” he told her as looked towards John nodding and saw the relief on his face as he knelt, not knowing how to help, but wanting to do something, wanting to hold his wife.

Jo looked at Francis and he saw her intake of breath as she tried to stifle a sob. 

“But she is hurt bad and I need to help.  Will you let me take her?” he asked gently as he touched her arm.  “Get a chopper here immediately,” he told the officers as Jo shook her head.  “Tell them we have three badly injured people and we’ll need to winch them out, there’s no place to land at the moment.” 

“Four,” came Stuart’s voice.  “Four people.”

“Quiet,” the officer told him, as Harry began to stir.

“You’re lying,” Jo whispered as she hung on tight.  “She’s dead I know she is.”

“Now why would I lie to the woman I love?” Francis asked as he once again reached for Amy.  “Please let me look after her for you.”

“You won’t let her die will you?” she asked him as she released her hold.

“Do my best,” he answered as he lay Amy gently down.  “Do my very best.”

“Steady Jo, steady,” John told her as moved quickly too her side as she toppled backwards.  “Lay down,” he added quietly.  “Before you fall down.”

She shook her head. “How did you get here John?” she asked, as she watched Francis looking after Amy, as he cuddled her carefully and felt her shivering.

“Pretty simple really,” he replied as he too watched, his heart dying inside him.  “The last two conversations I had with Amy she sounded really strange.  She was up to something I knew it.  It’s taken me four days just to get into town and when I did I found Francis here about to leave.”

 

“But how did you know to bring the police?” Jo asked as her voice began to slur as the room began swimming.  “How did you know?”

“I checked,” answered Francis as he continued to administer medical aid to the still unconscious Amy.  “What you told me over the radio, before you left, got me worried, so I went to the police station and checked.  The storm was no longer coming our way and we managed to send out wires.  Back came the information about MacGyver here being missing, and the trial he was due to be a witness at.  Back also came a couple of mug shots, cohorts of this Boss Larry who is due to stand trial for murder.  I recognised these two from the hotel lobby and around town.  Graham told me they’d been staying at the hotel and had left after buying loads of equipment from the supply store.  I put two and two together and knew where they were going.  Just before we left John turned up in the first snowplough to get through.  Gave me the surprise of my life.” 


He stopped talking for a moment and got up to retrieve some of the blankets from the sledge, covering Amy over with a couple and smiling at them.

“Is she going to be alright?” John asked his voice barely a whisper as he reached out and took his wife’s hand.

 

“Well she’s holding her own at the moment John, but she’s lost a lot of blood and is very weak.  The sooner we get her to hospital the better her chances.  Now how about you young lady,” he said smiling at Jo as he bent down in front of her.  “You going to let me look at you?”

 

“No,” she answered to his great surprise.  “MacGyver first, look after MacGyver.”

“But Jo,” said Mac as he continued to cuddle the shaking dog.  “You’re hurt worse than I am.  Let him help you first.”

“No!” she shouted and wished she hadn’t because it made her start coughing and her head swim.  “You first.  You first.”

 

“Best not argue with her when she’s in this mood,” Francis told him as he came to his side.  “Just makes her worse.”

“Yeah I noticed,” answered MacGyver trying to smile as Francis began to examine him, cringing as he touched his shoulder.  “Strong willed lady you’ve got yourself there,” he added, as he felt an injection go into his arm. 

“I know,” said Francis.  “If she ever agrees to marry me, life won’t be dull.”

“You can say that again,” answered Mac as his strength finally gave out and he flopped sideways.  Francis laid him down gently and covered him. 

“This place looks like a scene from a horror movie,” he added as he watched surprised as Tammy lay down alongside MacGyver, her head resting on him.

“She’s in love,” Jo told them as she saw his and John’s reaction to the dog.

 

“Well she’s not the only one,” Francis said as he came to her side and John left her with him and sat close to his wife, holding tightly onto her hand.

 

“So now for you.  Where do you hurt?  Beside your poor face,” he asked.

“My stomach,” she answered white as a sheet.  “But it’s nothing to worry about.”

“Hey I’m the doctor around here,” he said as he knelt in front of her and carefully pressed her stomach and saw the pain on her face as she pulled away from him.  “Sorry Jo, I didn’t mean to hurt you.  Why don’t you lie down for a while, until the chopper gets here?  Let me take a proper look at you,” he asked gently.

“I don’t want too,” she answered as she looked first at him, then at Amy.

“John’s taking care of her now.  You rest and let me look after you,” he told her as he heard the distant sound of a chopper heading their way.

“No, I don’t want to lie down, I told you,” she answered as she swayed in front of him.  “I have to look after Amy, she’s my best friend, and I love her.  Francis, she saved both our lives, Mac’s and mine.  Please help me take care of her.”

 

“Ok, ok, I won’t force you,” he told her smiling.  “But will you let me put a blanket around you, you’re shivering?  I’ll be careful, I promise.”  Jo nodded and smiled.

“I can’t take my eyes off you for five minutes can I,” he said as he wrapped her in the blanket.  “What am I going to do with you, my Super Girl?”

 

“You could marry me!” she whispered as her eyes closed and he caught her as she toppled sideways.

 

“I thought you’d never ask,” he said, his face showing his concern and love as the sound of the rescue chopper droned overhead.


Later, much later.

 

“Amy wake up, you promised me you wouldn’t die, that you’d try.  Don’t break your promise.  You never break promises, so wake up!  Please wake up,” came Jo’s desperate voice through the dark.

-----

Amy didn’t want to wake up.  She liked it where she was; it was dark, warm, and comfortable.  No stress, no trying to keep up with other peoples expectations of her.  She moved away from the voice and further into the darkness.

-----

“Please Amy, I love you.  I need you,” came John’s voice as she felt him squeeze her hand.

-----

“Yeah, like the Titanic needed the iceberg,” her mind said as she pushed away his voice and kept heading towards the darkness. “Why can’t they leave me alone?”

-----

Amy Beth Morgan!  If you die I will never speak to you again!” came Jo’s agitated voice.

-----

Somewhere deep inside her Amy laughed and step back from the dark. 

-----

The heart monitor jump slightly then began showing a stronger beat and Francis smiled and indicated they should carry on talking to her.

“Besides,” came John’s voice once more.  “It will be lambing time soon.  You know what a mess I get into at lambing time.”

-----

She laughed again and step back further.  He felt her hand move in his.

-----

“And I need you to be my Matron of Honour when I marry Francis,” came Jo again.  “I wonder if you get a discount with the bill when having babies, if your husband is a doctor.  What do you reckon Amy, three or four babies?”

-----

The darkness was beginning to turn grey.

-----

“Talking of babies,” came John’s voice.  “Fancy letting Tammy run around on her own like that.  Trust her to find a male friend somewhere.  What the hell am I going to do with all those puppies when they arrive?”

-----

Amy laughed, way, way down deep and the grey became lighter, almost white.

They could see her returning to them.

-----

“Come on Amy,” came MacGyver’s voice for the first time.  “I dread to think of it.  If they take after their mum, I’ll be licked to death.  I’ll be lucky if I have any skin left on my face.”

-----

She opened her eyes and smiled as she saw him looking down at her.

“Your eyes look better,” she whispered through the mask on her face.  “Do you feel any better?” she asked as she squeezed John’s hand and grinned at Jo.

“Not really,” he answered.  “Pretty rough actually,” he said imitating her.

“Me too,” she replied, and he smiled again.

-----

‘Jo’s right,’ she thought to herself.  ‘He does have a nice smile.  Nice eyes too, now they’re not all red and puffy.  Really, really nice eyes.’

 

THE END