At first there was silence.

Then, the quiet slapping of bare feet against linoleum broke the still air, with laboured breathing fuelled by adrenaline. Alarums suddenly blared somewhere as an alert was sent up. Seconds later, the loud pattering of dozens of footsteps echoed down the same hall behind me. A few yells and orders were called out as well, angrily. A few clangs clashed through the noise in pairs, doors closing and locking, but I beat them. I beat them.

The last one cut it close. I had fall back and skid under. My fingers were millimetres from being caught. I stumbled back up and kept running. I could feel my lungs compressing and relaxing, heaving each burning breath in and out of my system. My mouth was sticky and hung open a little, taking in and out the cold, clean air of the hallways. I slipped as I turned a corner, shoved myself up and continued on, panting. My blood pounded, I could feel it. The thick liquid pulsing through my veins, propelling me forward, slamming in and out of my heart. I could feel it.

The guards caught up to me. I didn't stop. There were only a few. Seeing that I wasn't going to slow down, the closest to me swung his baton in a wide arc. I grabbed it, gave him a sharp kick between the legs, spun and cracked him on the back of the head with his own weapon. The other two went down as easily. Soon I was running again, tearing through the hallways. There was a little dash of red on my white cotton shirt. I think I had knocked someone's tooth out.

I leapt down a staircase, bounded through more corridors, and finally emerged in what looked like the main entranceway. There were more men waiting for me. The woman behind the counter was on the phone, calling the police. I needed to leave, and fast. I had kept one of the batons, and with it was able to bring down the first guard. After knocking him quite unconscious, I snatched his pistol from his limp hand and aimed it at the others in the room, specifically the woman who had the phone in her hand.

I wiggled the weapon in a 'put it down' sort of gesture. She swallowed, blinked furiously, then shakily set the phone down. I then turned to the other guards, walking forward quickly and keeping my eyes on them. When I reached the door, I shook my head, a tiny quirk back and forth. A warning. Kicking open the door behind me, I finally turned my back and ran again.



"Leah . . ."

"Anna? What the fuck are y—"

"No time. I'm coming over."

"But why? How did you get out? Where are you going, what's happening?"

"Sorry, Leah."

"Anna, wa—"



The door was open when I arrived on the front step of the house. Leah glanced behind me before quickly closing the door behind me. I breathed in the familiar scent of my friend's house, my eyes assaulted by the bright green and black colour combination. I marched past Leah and into her kitchen, banging through cupboards and fridges. I snatched a bag of chips from the pantry and began shoving the salty crisps into my mouth. From the fridge I snatched a Coke and drained three-fourths of it without taking a breath.

"By all means, help yourself . . . Anna, what in the name of god are you doing here?" Leah asked incredulously, weakly following my trail around her kitchen.

I turned to look sadly at Leah. "I ran." I mumbled through the food in my mouth. I swallowed to maintain some dignity, and set my foodstuffs on her kitchen table. My voice lowered to an urgent hum. "Leah, I need to go somewhere. I don't know if I'll ever be back. But I'm going to leave here in exactly three minutes and six seconds and whatever you do, no matter how tempting it may be, you must. Not. Follow me. Do you understand?"

"Yes, I-I understand, Anna. But why?"

I emptied the chip bag and drained my soda, and then cracked open another one of the latter. "There's a point in time I need to find. Call it a-a crack. A wrinkle, where two parts of time should never have touched. Like-like puzzle pieces someone jammed together." I made a motion with my hands to demonstrate. "When they're taken apart again, fixed, repaired . . . hopefully it'll take me where I need to go."

"And if it doesn't?" Leah was slapping peanut butter and jam on pieces of white bread in an assembly line, creating six sandwiches in no time flat. "What then?"

I laughed humourlessly, accepting the backpack stuffed with food Leah handed to me with a smile. "Well, then I guess I'm pretty much fucked, aren't I?"


Yes, I'm back! Formerly known as AltairsFan123, now Winged'Pollution, I have all-new ideas and stories and romances and adventures planned ahead! Stay tuned for more, and REVIEW!

W'P (AF123)