Saturday, 6 May 2017

Run Michaela Run

[Media prompt] White Arkansas father calls his teen daughter a “f***in’ wh***” for taking her “subhuman” black friend to prom in vitriolic racist rant that has shocked America.
Run Michaela Run

Michaela ran. She ran through rain that fell heavily enough to bounce off the pavement. A fog rolled in off the ocean and the rank odour of salt and rotting kelp made her gag. Street lights shone in the darkness like far away moons out of focus. Her shoes slapped loudly in the slick black puddles. It was the only sound she heard over the ragged breathing of the man chasing her.

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At college Michaela had run track. Long distance. Her coach said she could have been nationally ranked if she trained harder. He always said she had the best stride he ever saw. She still ran every morning. In the cold. In the rain. On mornings when the birds sung and the sky was so clear she felt she could see all the way into the eyes of God. When she felt like that, she could run forever.

But tonight was different. This time she was running for her life.

❖❖❖

The man chasing her could run between two street lights faster than anyone else she knew. He had run track, too. A sprinter. It’s how they met. He was as fast with his mouth as he was on his toes, and she fell for him in less time that it took her to stretch. He always said he couldn’t run more than two hundred metres. She believed it for as long as they had been together.

Tonight, though, he was running for another reason. Tonight he wanted to kill her.

❖❖❖

Michaela ran. The street lights swam into and out of the fog. She could not tell if they were blurred because of the fog or her eyes. She ran across an intersection with barely a look. There was no traffic, and the man behind her was closer. The rain was starting to ease. She wiped water from her face.

Michaela ran. 

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