For someone who has been living in the city for years—and without means of personal transportation—one would expect that I’d know the streets not too far from my home, but I’m moving through unfamiliar territory. I’m also really bad with directions when I’m stressed out, and let’s just say that watching that crazy get flattened into a bloody pancake doesn’t help to ease my mind.
That could have been me.
Actually, if I hadn’t stumbled from getting pushed, that would have been me.
Why of all things that’s the thought my brain sinks its teeth into, I don’t know, but it’s not very comforting.
Just to be sure that near-miss becomes a real one next time, I skip onto the sidewalk as I keep trotting down the street in haphazard burst of speed, as much as my aching legs and screaming lungs will let me.
It’s not much of a progress, but at least I keep moving.
The sungazers are everywhere. On front steps; in the street; between cars—parked or wrecked. At random intervals they are standing packed together, almost as if one has decided to join the other, and then more and more got that same idea.
It’s creepy as fuck, seeing those clusters, but since they completely ignore me—both me in motion, and my insanely loud huffing and puffing that I can’t avoid because it’s the one thing that keeps me alive—I don’t give a shit.
Looking back uphill, I see two more crazies coming from that direction, but they take the next alley turning away from the broad street, heading in my initial direction once more. Since most people went that way, maybe they are simply hunting.
That, or they like that the small alleys are bathed in shadows yet, while the street is full of sunshine and those seeking it out.
I’m utterly lacking interest—but also brain capacity—to start making sense of any of that.
There are maybe fifteen people running ahead of me, spurned on by the very same panic that keeps me going. I decide that as long as nothing picks them off the road, I’ll keep running after them.
Just as that conviction settles into my mind, a woman jogging in the middle of the sidewalk gets assaulted by a crazy coming out of nowhere. Rationally, he must have been lurking behind a dumpster, but it looks like he materialized out of thin air, only to body-slam her onto the road.
She barely has time to scream before his teeth tear into her jugular. Only wet gurgling comes after that.
I immediately abandon my safety-concerned route and fly past her, smack in the middle of the street. Her body is still twitching, but the pool of blood spreading around her looks gigantic. She must have smashed her head in when she got taken down.
I don’t check.
I frankly don’t really care.
My mind is screaming with the need to get away, and there’s no room to look out for anyone else but myself.