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The Fugitive - Short Story

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´╗┐The Fugitive It?s such a cold night. The air is still and freezing and the streetlight provides no warmth, simply a harsh pool of sterile light. Underneath the light she?s huddled, sucking as much heat as she can out of her only cigarette. Her hands shake as she brings it up to her pale lips, takes one last drag, and flicks it away. The cold extinguishes the glowing spark at once, and all that is left is the smoke, spiralling up past the light to mix with the night air. It starts to rain. Slowly at first, but gradually getting heavier. Eventually, she pads out of the light and down the street to where a derelict warehouse sits. She?ll be dry there if not any warmer. Her eyes dart about between the dark, tangled locks of hair that covers most of her face. She?s looking for something, though she looks terrified of finding it. ...read more.


It?s a while before she is found. She?s on the crumbling roof, right on the edge. Below there is nothing, simply a deep abyss. She turns to face him as soon as he appears, her face hidden in shadow. Trees that were mere seeds when the warehouse was being built have swelled and grown to become giants. She holds a smooth leafless branch on one hand, as much for comfort as support. He smiles quizzically, waiting for her to speak. Finally, the words come. ?I?m tired,? she whispers. ?I?m so tired. Tired of running, tired of living.? She pauses for a moment, letting her words twist and flow across the void between them. Only the white of his shirt is visible in the dark, and he looks like a ghost. She takes a shuddering breath and her voice grows in strength. More people appear on the roof as she speaks, waiting, listening. ...read more.


?It?s when all the beautiful things die, or sleep. But they?re always back. Always.? She pauses, turning her gaze down into the black. It?s lit up for a second by the moonlight and she realises, at last, that this is the end. Not just the end of the hiding, the pain and the terror. It?s the end of the beautiful things too, the end of days on the beach and nights under the stars. Her arm is raw where the bullet has clipped it and blood runs down her arm, dripping and pooling on the floor. ?But I?m not like the flowers,? she murmurs, her eyes on the blood, ?and I won?t come back.? Leaving the men and women standing on the roof, she jumps. She misses the trees and falls down and down. The moon has gone in again and it?s like she?s going to fall forever, into a pool of ebony. When the morning sun finds her body, she looks asleep, her lips slightly parted and her eyes closed. Beside her broken form is a tiny, exquisite flower, petals open to the winter sun. ...read more.

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