While I ran

I should have paid more attention to my map but the night air was far cooler than I expected. I had to move before the chill reached my bones.

A figure in robes dragged his feet behind me. And here I thought it was only the fluttering of my own robes in the wind that I heard. Maybe it was, but I knew I had to run. In the maze of mud buildings and cobbled streets I could not see where my path would end, where it would go.

The sweat cooled my back as I turned, a roof here and wall there but not a single lamp to guide my way. Within windows the light would mock me. I knew I would not run far. On a roof someone took my hand and said “Let’s swim to eternity.” I looked again and the flat, walled roofs were covered with water. But I dared not look at who held my hand.

The air was warmed by fire but my fingers cold and dead like wood.

I leapt and flew, to an old man’s store. How could I have known? In the darkness I never saw the strings. In my fear I could not see him like the spider on her web. I heard people watch and shadows dance as the old man pulled his strings.

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