Danger in the Jeweld City

Danger in th Jeweled City

 


 


Danger in the Jeweled City
a Matt and Heather thriller

by Mary Tomasi-Dubois







CHAPTER 15

The Germans tried mimicking Heather and Matt, but in spite of their agility, though not as pronounced as that of the two children, and in spite of their strength, the truth was they were adults, and all the fear that goes with adulthood befell them. No matter how much they tried to balance themselves with their outstretched arms, they couldn’t run up the moving ramp. Loosing his balance, Max’s companion dropped to his knees instead and held onto the sides of the ramp as it made its slow progress upward.

Max wasn’t about to look cowardly. He stood, one leg in front of the other, balancing his weight. He slowly walked up the moving ramp, inch-by-inch, stepping over boxes being transported by the system and looking down to be assured of his footing, looking up only long enough to be assured that his prey was still within sight.

A small group of fair goers who had entered the area to start queuing for the next demonstration, noticed the commotion and gathered to watch the strange goings on, thinking it was staged for their amusement.

The slope of the conveyor gradually began to flatten out, but now it was high in the rafters, moving slowly through the length of the large building.

Max’s companion appreciated the level progress the ramp was making, but was now afraid of the height and held on even tighter.

Max took advantage of the situation and picked up his speed, closing the gap between him and the children.

“Matt, he’s gaining on us again,” Heather yelled.

Matt looked around, hoping for an escape from this new dilemma. Just below their moving ramp was another conveyance system. But, this one consisted of rollers rather than a solid rubber surface. It was meant to move fruits and vegetables.

“Heather, do you think you can jump down to those rollers?”

Heather looked in the direction that Matt was pointing. “You want me to jump down on that?”

“Yes, we haven’t got much time. Can you do it?”

“Y, yes, I think so.”

“Do it – NOW!”

Without further thought or delay the two jumped. Matt landed squarely on the moving rollers, straddling them. But, Heather landed on her knees, and because of the scrapes she had gotten on her first fall at the beginning of their adventure, the landing caused her to wince at the pain and she reacted with an almost imperceptible jerk. Before she or Matt knew it, she was falling from the rollers toward the floor some twenty feet below.

The audience, which had swollen to a group of about thirty, let out a unified gasp.

Matt instinctively reached down. Fortunately, he made contact, grabbing Heather by the wrist.

The audience stood spellbound. In spite of their belief that this was all staged, they were thrilled at the highly professional gymnastics taking place above them and applauded Matt’s last feat.

Matt and Heather were oblivious to the adulations of their audience.

Matt was strong for his age, but Heather’s weight, combined with the unsteadiness of the rollers now jeopardized his position on the system too. He grabbed the edge of the moving system with his left hand and held on tight, pulling with all his strength with his right to try and lift Heather upward.

Heather reached for the edge of the system with her free hand and, as unladylike as it was, threw her left leg up, locking it into position. She was finally able to sit up, and just in the nick of time - Matt couldn’t have held on any longer.

The crowd roared with cheers and applause.

Meanwhile, Maximilian, distracted by what the children were doing, and oblivious too to the viewers below, didn’t notice that the conveyor belt was moving towards the outside of the building through a small opening. Before he knew it, Max was knocked off the ramp by the wall surrounding the opening.

The crowd laughed and applauded this new surprise in the program.

Max’s fall was broken by the roller system Matt and Heather were on, and he landed just a few feet in front of them, squashing three tomatoes in the process. So intent was he in his pursuit, he didn’t notice the stain that was slowly creeping across the front of his pants.

This caused the crowd to howl with laughter.

Matt and Heather, both now straddling the system were startled by the unexpected landing of Max. The three moved along in the same direction, Heather and Matt moving forward and Max moving backward. A look of bewilderment covered all three faces in reaction to this sudden turn of events.

When he finally regained his composure and returned to his purpose, an expression of determination slowly over took Max’s features.

The roller system was beginning a gradual decent, and the two children could see that it was making a slow progress through large rubber flaps into another room, probably where the produce would be separated and boxed and transported to the Palace of Horticulture for processing and canning.

Max, sitting backwards, of course couldn’t see anything but the children.

Matt hopped off, pulling Heather along with him. Before Max knew what had happened, he was hit in the back again, this time by the rubber flaps as he moved unwittingly through them into the adjoining room.

The crowd applauded even louder and cheered the two children as they approached.

“We have to find an exit,” Matt whispered.

Filling the roll their audience had given them, the two smiled and bowed to their fans as they walked along, and the crowd parted, giving way for their departure.

 


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