All in all, my services made everyone happy. I was a hero to the girls, and enigma to the boys. I was content. I should have known there would be consequences.
In a daze, I continued to run, choosing random pathways and praying that some exit would reveal itself. No matter how far I ran, however, I was greeted with looming masses of books, watching me eagerly for signs of distress.
“All washed up in rivers, lakes, officially listed causes of death range from exposure, alcohol poisoning and mostly commonly, drowning. All written off as accidents. College guys who got too drunk, wandered off on cold nights and fell into bodies of water or froze out in the woods. But that’s not what everyone thinks.”
My loins trembled as the scent of toupee adhesive and spray tan swept through my nasal cavity. I wanted nothing more than to turn around and see the golden god behind these scents, but I couldn’t move.
My mind was racing. I wanted to run for the door that was swinging open on its hinges, but I couldn’t. Not with Tracy still in the apartment. The thought of her trapped in my room made me sick to my stomach. No, I had to protect her, I had to.
“It’s in the flesh, it’s in the blood, it’s Black Magic.”
Before his words could sink in, Daniel pushed me towards the approaching fire and was back out the door before I could turn around to catch a glimpse of him. I ran up to the door, tried to open it, but he must have managed to lock it tightly from the outside.
I scrambled to my feet, swinging the backpack onto my back, leaving the flashlight – which had turned back on – in the dirt. I lunged for the rope and pulled myself up with a strength I didn’t know I had. A few moments later, I was out of the chicken coop, gulping in gallons of fresh air.
We’re trying to stay alive, here, you know?
“I saw you on the news. That guy got shot at your house and now they are looking for you, but can’t find you. A lot of people think you are dead, but then I was looking at our security camera from a few days ago and I saw you.”