The Girl & The Wild White Yonder

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  The Girl is running, tripping over the countless stairs as she hears the hunters making their way after her. She glances at the timepiece as she continues to stumble ever upwards. Two minutes left. She’d been running for the last hour. Her legs are numb and unresponsive, her chest a heaving chamber of fire. She gulps greedily at the air as her heart desperately tries to keep up with the overtime. Everything screams that two minutes is two minutes too long. The hunters never stop. Never tire. Their wholly alien architecture seem designed for one thing – to destroy her.

  She reaches the landing and falls to the floor. She cant face another flight. She has to make her final stand here. She crawls away, slipping on the loose tiles and remnants of broken furniture as she scrabbles to her feet again. She limps towards the door at the far end of the hall. She looks behind her to see them appear at the top of the stairs, as unrelenting as she knows them to be. The hallway is dark but their features are prominent; the flat slope of their heads. Their jewelled eyes wet and glistening. The hiss of their breath. Their figures – twisted and deformed – begin loping towards her.

  She tries the the door handle without success. One thing in this mess of the destroyed that time and dilapidation have decided to preserve. She curses fate as she slams wearily against the wood, her shoulder as tired as the rest of her, every impact sending fresh ripples of pain washing over her frame. On her third attempt the wood around the lock splinters and swings open and she falls into the room with a thud. The handle and lock hangs, suspended in place against the frame.

  They’re outside now and it takes all of The Girl’s remaining strength to kick the door shut again as they appear. She’s on her back as they try to get in, desperately holding the door closed  with her aching legs. It’s a battle she will ultimately lose and she knows it. There’s still thirty seconds on the clock. Tears bleed from the corners of her eyes as her legs get pushed up against her chest. A few more seconds and they’ll be in, and she has no energy left to stop them.

  There’s a silence in the cacophony – her head clearing in the light of her demise. The pounding at the door and wailing of the hunters dims as she begins to accept her fate. Like so many others she will die at their hands, their hands that now appear around the frame and slowly, inch by inch, they pry it open.

  The Girl suddenly lets go, lifts her legs out of the way and the door flies open, her would-be killers falling into the room in a heap of alien limbs. It would be funny if she wasn’t about to die. In a burst of she-doesn’t-know-what – God knows her adrenaline ran out a half hour ago – she summons the strength to kick one of them in the face – hard – and pushing off from this gets to her feet. They’re up far faster than she was and raise their sickle-like hands in unison, ready to end her. Ten seconds.

  With one last lurch of desperate willpower she hurls herself backwards. There’s a deafening crash as the glass shatters around The Girl, it’s shards tumbling with her as she falls from the window of the ninety-eighth floor, looking up at the faces that appear instantly. Even at this ever-increasing distance she can tell they’re enraged. Their cries echo off the buildings all around her. She twists in mid-air, looking down. The cracked and broken sidewalk is approaching and approaching fast. She dares not open her sweaty palms to check the timepiece. In all she can only of been falling for three seconds but it feels like an eternity, waiting for the flash, desperately hoping that she judged it right.

  She’s so close she can see the dying weeds breaking through the concrete below before it finally comes, enveloping her in a warm and safe light as she jumps, somewhere, anywhere but here, through space and time, into the wild white yonder.

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~ by Joseph Blame on October 7, 2010.

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