The Chase

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I’m standing outside my parents house. I look down the street and wonder if that’s the safest way to go. Turning, I look up the other side of the street. No, I can’t go that way. They’d expect it. The school and the park are down there. I turn and start running down the street towards Rose Ave. I’m not sure why I’m running, but I feel that someone, something is coming for me and I have to go. Reaching the intersection, I have to decide which way to go. Do I go down Rose? Too much traffic. Too easy to see me. I keep going straight, running down Kruger as far as I can. Eventually I’ll have to cut over if I’m going to get to the shopping center. Why am I going there? I don’t know why, but I’m drawn to that place. Suddenly, I find myself running down Orangeburg towards Oakdale. I’m almost to the shopping center. I get to the signal and cross the street. Running, running, until I’m at the back side of the center. I sprint through the parking lot, past the Round Table, past the ice cream shop. I slow down as I approach Raley’s. It’s here. It found me. I have to find somewhere else to run, somewhere else to hide.

Going towards the intersection back towards home, I find myself sitting on a skateboard. I’m no longer running, but “driving,” powering myself along the street on the skateboard with the rest of the cars zooming by. My palms and fingertips feel the heat of the asphalt as I grind my way down the street. I’m steering now, going fast enough to not scrape my hands raw, but not fast enough to outrun them. I dart down the first street I can off of Orangeburg, desperately searching for a house to hide in.

Running again, I’m sprinting through yards, hopping over fences. I know the people in some of these houses, but they aren’t home to help. I stop briefly behind a hedge, trying to catch my breath. I see them turn the corner. They’ll see me here. I run crouching until I reach the fence, then I jump over. Through another yard and I’m in front of a house that beckons me. I can hide here. This house will provide my escape. I run in, shutting all the open drapes, making sure the doors and windows are locked. I crawl along the floor, looking for a place to hide in case they find a way in.

I open the closet and crawl in. I feel safe, but not safe enough. Have I been here before? It feels like I’ve been in this place, in this closet. I’m always hiding in closets it seems, always escaping through closets. I hear the footsteps. Feeling my way along the walls and floor of the closet, I know there is an escape through here. I find the secret wall and quietly slide it open. Squeezing through into the tunnel, I close it behind me. They might not see it. I make my way through the tunnel to a door. Through the door and down the stairs. How do I know this place? At the bottom of the stairs, there’s another door. I go through it and enter a cavernous room. There are several cars in this place. Is this garage mine? Is this my personal hideout?

I jump into one of the cars and start it. This is the best one to get away in. It’s fast and apparently it flies. What did I watch last night? I zip out of the cavern and out onto a road. I’m driving down a road I don’t recognize, but I feel as though I’ve been on it before. The houses are all expensive and well maintained. The setting is almost tropical. Where am I? Suddenly the car comes off the ground and I’m flying over the houses, looking for a place to hide. They could still find me. I have to get there at a certain time if I’m going to be safe. Looking down at the houses below me, I see palm trees and the ocean in the distance. There. That’s the house. I drop down out of the sky and I’m driving along the road again. I pull into some secret garage and hide the car. I’m in the house. All the windows are covered and I feel as if I’ve escaped for now. I made it in time. They can’t find me for at least a little while. I can rest. But somehow, I know I can’t rest for long. They are coming. A large shadow passes by the windows. They are above. Searching. They can’t find me right now. But they won’t rest until they do. Somehow, I know there’s  a closet to hide in, and in there is another escape, another secret room, another get away. Will I always be running? Will I always be hiding?

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