Friday, March 21, 2014
Short story project: Unidentified Flying Object, Part 4
The man latched onto my wrist again. “No need for thanks? You saved my life. The least I could do would be to buy you a drink—I think I need a whiskey at least.”
I continued forward, swinging my arm as I tried to free myself from the man’s hold. I couldn’t get into the air with someone hanging off me. “No thanks, I don’t drink.” Breaking his grip I broke into a run.
“A coffee then?” The man jogged along beside me, then cut in front of me, blocking my path.
I stopped, but checked over my shoulder to see if anyone had appeared at the far end of the alley. “Look,” I scanned the space in front of me, calculating whether or not I had the room to side step the man and take off. “It was nothing. Forget it and definitely don’t mention it.”
“Of course I won’t, but—”
“Good.” I knocked shoulders with the man as I pushed past him. Time was wasting and I needed to get in the air, it was a miracle that the man with the gun hadn’t caught up with us already. I started to jog.
“I can help you.”
I tripped and stumbled into a pile of boxes, but managed to stay upright. Pausing only a second to catch my breath, I continued down the alley. If I couldn’t get air born, I could walk to the nearest subway station and take public transit like a normal person. “I don’t need help.”
The man caught up to me, but rather than trying to get me to stop, he kept pace with me instead. “I know what you are, I can—”
“I’m a librarian, nothing more,” I said as I reached for a cigarette. “The only way you can help me is by saying nothing, just like how I won’t tell anyone you were…trespassing, at least.”
“I can help you,” the man said quietly.
We walked the remaining length of the alley. I smoked, while my companion remained silent. When we reached the street, I dropped what remained of my cigarette to the ground, then viciously stomped it out with my heel. “I don’t want help, I don’t need saving, I’m just Claire, nothing more.”
Then I turned, took two hard steps generating as much momentum as I could, and launched myself into the air. I shot up as fast and as hard as I could to get out of easily identifiable range. It was risky to take off from the street where I could be seen, at least it was late Friday night, and most of the pedestrians out were probably drunk. I had to get home. I was starving. The two jet-paced accelerations this evening had drained me. At this point I’d be lucky if I made it back to my apartment without tumbling from the sky.
To be continued...look for more of the story next Tuesday, March 25th, 2014