Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Sine Animus" -- Installment Three

She looked up at the sky, trying to calm her nerves. It was still cloudy, but slivers of sun peeked through every now and then. She decided to take that as a good omen--

Until she passed by an internet cafe and caught sight of the man she'd seen at the apartment entrance.

She began to pick up the pace, making sure to note every nuance of her surroundings. Everythinglooked normal; a woman was walking her dog, two small children were dueling with toy robots, a teenage boy was parking a hover car recklessly as his girlfriend looked on--

The man was casually strolling a little ways behind her. She turned to face him.

It was then that Ami's supposed good omen revealed its true colors. A single drop of rain slid through the air and landed neatly on the ground, coaxing a legion to follow. For a long time, Ami and her shadow stared at each other as if one were trying to make sense of the other. The action around them seemed to halt. Their eyes burned into each other, and neither one dared to speak. It was then that Ami thought she saw the man move his lips; what was he saying? She couldn't read lips well, but it looked like he was saying, "Come here."

And suddenly, the hustle and bustle of urban life exploded all around them. Ami's stalker had disappeared before her eyes into the crowd.

She broke into a jog, trying to put distance between herself and her pursuer; something told her that he was still out there. But she made slow progress, and she felt stupid running from nothing. I'm losing it; I need to go back to work or something, she thought.

Ami stopped after she turned the corner, leaning against the brick wall of a pizza parlor, catching her breath, listening. She heard the diverse sounds of the city: the beep of car horns, the shouts of tourists and vendors arguing over prices, the pattering of the rain, the plod of footsteps, the yowl of cats scuffling in alleys...

Footsteps, louder this time. 

Ami peered around the corner and let out a gasp. The man had found her.

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