Boom-boom, boom-boom, boom-boom, the sound of his heart beating, loud and fast in his ears, mixed with heavy breathing made him forget the sounds of the world around him; he has been running for a while, trying to get as far as possible from the dead body of his friend, he couldn’t stop, he knew they would be searching for him.
He was alone with his friend, he knew he didn’t killed him, but they would never believe in him, and why should they?
James was mixing walking fast and running, in his mind, he was trying not to bring too much attention to him, so he decided to run through quieter streets, changing it to fast walking where people were around, he kept looking back to check if they were already behind him. His legs were hurting with every step and his feet felt numb. James knew he couldn’t stop now, “almost there” he thought.
He could have stayed to see it through, he had no reasons to kill him, he been helping him, why would he commit this atrocity with his friend, but now he made is decision, he couldn’t go back, fleeing the scene made him suspect, fear made him run, everything that his friend have been telling him, was true, the plan failed, that is the only reason someone would kill an architect, there’s no way for him to stay, he knows too much, they might come for him and kill him, he isn’t a agent yet, so much more to learn, but now, all is lost all his plans destroyed, now there’s nothing, only hiding.
Crossing a road, he was almost hit by a taxi; when trying to avoid the taxi he slipped and fell to the ground, hitting it hard. He tried to stand up but his knee failed him, hitting the ground again, a sharp pain shooting up and down his leg.
- I can’t stop, they must know by now. The killer, he saw me! - he said between his breath.- Can’t stop, come on James.
Helped by a stranger he stood up, pushing the man away without even looking back, he carried on, initially limping then walking faster, then running, it was already painful but now with his keen pounding was even worse.
-Almost there. - he muttered to himself. - A few more blocks.
“But then what... where do I go... they must be hunting me... they know I was there and then I ran! Why did I ran, I am so stupid, I could explain it wasn’t me...can’t go back, I must disappear... there’s no escape is this the end?...” - he thought and carried on walking as fast as he could, limping.
Light hurting his eyes, a headache in the back of his head. He had transitioned, there’s no way to track to where he had travelled, he had a sense of relief thinking he is safe, quickly ruined by a image of his friend dead body lying in the ground, “if they killed an architect, they could force the shop staff telling where he had travelled to, No! he said no one could track this way of travelling!”. He closed his eyes as fast as possible but all he could see was the dead body laying there, lifeless. Shaking his head, he forces himself to open up his eyes again and, as the light hits him again, he thought “I’ll need to be moving soon, I am a seating duck here’ will feel safer leaving this place behind.”
He tried to go through his memory, remembering how he got here, a headache still pounding in his head. Concentrating on the breathing, making it slower and deeper, he could still feel the soreness in the lungs from all of the running. He remembered running from the Architect’s room to the shoe store some blocks away, it felt closer to him, but the pain proved differently, the knee hurting made him remember falling down hitting the ground.
“Arghh....grrrrr” he moaned. Was like if pain was numb and as he remembered it, would hurt more.
His instinct was to grab the knee but the body wouldn’t be responding yet. Back to his thoughts, “why did they kill the Architect and leave me alive? I should have stayed behind, I ran like a coward, now they suspect I am the killer, I can’t go back, I need to hide somewhere”. He continued tracing his steps, after falling, pressing on arrived at the shop, he tried to walk normally, but the pain in his knee wouldn’t allow it, mostly limping.
He approached the counter, customers were looking at his figure all dirty and sweaty, he noticed his reflection in the mirror behind the counter, eventually the other customers stoped looking at him and carried on with their shopping, a young lady, with a beautiful smile, soft pale skin and burgundy lips, comes to the counter greeting him with a gentle head move.
-How can we help you today sir - she said smiling at him as if she wasn’t paying attention at his state.
He showed her the key the architect had given him when he joined him, she nodded looking at the key in his hand and she pointed her arm to the right side of her and asked him to follow her, she lead him to the back of the store where the fitting area was, “very posh shoe shop” he thought, carpeted floor, comfortable sofas and plenty of staff around to give a personalised service, she opened a door and a small corridor appeared with a few doors and a mirror at the end, she walked to it, pressed in the wall and the mirror moved backwards revealing a hidden room this was where the transition room was, a single wooden bench in a cubicle, wall was a shoe rack with several pair of shoes, he picked up a pair after seating and put the shoes on, the young lady closed the mirror leaving him alone in this small cubicle.
He thought what a great idea having this transition stores as a shoe shops, no one would ever look at it and think that this type travelling happens here or even exists. He disappeared.
He started to feel the movement of his muscles and vision was much better, very similar room to where he was just now, the shoes were in the opposite wall, that made him feel it worked, and he is close to safety, he managed to open up the cubicle door, still feeling sore and limping. He moved out of the cubicle and looked back at it thinking that it was way bigger than what it felt.
There were customers in this shop too, they seemed to be everywhere, He felt self-conscious that everyone was looking at him, being all sweaty didn’t help his case, and in his mind he was a fugitive, the others could be here waiting for him, we just wanted to get out of the shop as soon as possible and become one more person in the streets. One of the employees noticed him and the key in his hand, approached him and helped him move quietly and smoothly through the store, he realised this store, was in a basement, as he could see light and shadows of legs and shoes of the passers by through a small window, at the back wall. It was not a sunny day, looked quite dim and somber out there but we wasn’t surprised by that.
With help of this young man he directs himself up the stairs holding onto the handrail as well, with each step he took a shooting pain travels across his body, the effects of the transition affecting his entire body, and to make it worse, his knee is very sore; when he reached the ground floor, he looked out, recognising the pavement he smiled, muttering to himself - ‘Home!’.
Trying to shade away the day light, a covered sky with clouds was still too bright for his eyes, stepping out of the shop, breathing the cooler air he knew the running was over, now he needed to find somewhere safe to hide.
This was the first place that came to his mind when he thought where to go, and was a easy choice for him no one Knew where we was from here, apart from the architect, and now he was dead, that gave him a sense of security. Many years had come and gone since he was last here, but it was the only place he knew he would be safe.
Looking around, he sees a tall proud stone monument a line of trees with a beautiful garden behind it, covered in grass, its history goes back to a time where a there was a lake but not of fresh water. It looked even more beautiful now. Then, the city skyline, above the top of the trees, the most dramatic and beautiful city in the whole world. Not that he had travelled much in his life but, for him, no other could be more beautiful! This city looked sad, strong, dark, scary, safe and magic, all at the same time!
Looking right, a castle; sitting still, on the top of a hill, a place he could spend hours admiring. He’d seen it many times before but it always feel as if it were the first time his eyes saw such beauty.
Suddenly he’s mind shifted to the body of his dead friend and that was a reminder he was not here visiting