Hello to you.
The next part of “Cleave” is coming up, and if you’d like the very beginning, you can find it here.
The rain is light. Marianna scrambles between trees. She realizes within moments that she left almost everything in the car. She has no money. No ID. Her phone shifts in her pocket as she runs, probably the most important item she owns. She didn’t leave that with Kate. Pavement emerges a few feet away. A single streetlamp stretches above a bench. Marianna erupts onto the walkway, understanding immediately she should become as invisible as she can. No one is walking. She hears nothing but her breathing. Another streetlamp shines ahead, but there is plenty of darkness. She moves with determination and senses the vacancy in her pocket as she pushes herself along under waning light. Marianna sees someone moving ahead. An umbrella branches out over most of the pavement. The person walks steadily toward her and she decides only respectable people use umbrellas. She convinces herself there is no threat to her, a woman, alone, walking at night. As the person approaches, Marianna instinctively keeps her eyes down and squeezes to the side of the path. She braces for something she doesn’t quite know. The person passes. She shivers. Marianna rushes, now, not caring who might notice. As she does, she senses other people. One or two, maybe more, behind her. They aren’t speaking. Marianna wonders what time it is. She knows it’s well past midnight, but she can’t recall how much time they spent in the house. She wonders where Kate is. Maybe she followed her. Maybe she called Marianna in, and now the others are out for her. Maybe none of that is true and these people are simply an unlucky dessert. Marianna stops and turns.
Thank you for reading. I am endlessly frustrated by how unpredictable life is, but! I will continue on with another 278-word installment next time.
And, more stories.