The gravel thrashed against her feet, gray and white, biting bare flesh. The soles were scraped clean. She hadn’t bothered to put shoes on. Every second that put distance between us, was precious.
I watched as her breath came short and fierce. Her knees seemed stiff and heavy. Her galaxy green eyes darted over her shoulder. Tears painted her cracked face. They brushed her lips in savory, salty strokes. Her mouth was twisted. Her palms trembled. Her elbows rustled against her jacket as she ran.
I followed as she reached the end of the driveway. We turned right towards the city limit. Sharp needles began to shoot through her numb feet. The concrete sidewalk eased them. She lifted the back of her hand to brush the fire from her lips. The salt had swirled in their raw, worn fissures.
The evening Wind brushed back her tangled hair. Its’ desperate, soothing serenade was sickening. Her trembling hands reached out in front of her. They pushed past the lamenting song. Her heavy footsteps still plotted escape. I had gained too much ground.
The tips of my slender fingers tugged at her jacket. I longed to hear her footsteps lighten. The hair on her arms stood. Her eyes narrowed. It was impossible that she not see me. Her palms met her temples. She tried to shake herself free. What I wouldn’t give to embrace her…
The thundering black of my looming figure pressed deeper into her. I could feel the rhythmic thud of her heartbeat. The hot breath from her constricted lungs wrapped me in fog. The pallor of her high cheekbones was smudged in candy red. The heat charred me.
“Are you okay?” a neighbor’s shrill voice warbled across the street. “What happened? Why were you running?”
Running. It was something she was so familiar with. She wouldn’t dare stop now. Our 20-year romance was inking its way back through her veins.
That’s why she called to me this morning, the moment he walked into the bedroom. I saw her jaw clinched like chiseled stone. I felt her frantic scream, warm upon his neck. She clambered for release from the tangled thorns that leapt from the tip of his tongue.
His chilled fingers had wrapped roughly around her small hand. His fingernails pressed deep into her flickering tendon. He licked her glinting savage-red sores. They flashed their teeth at me, homage to my timely arrival.
I was the one to guide his unsteady hand. We meticulously ran her cold metal friend straight into her poisoned heart. He cut her free, free to run straight into me.
Now, my chill washes over her glittering skin as she stops to cross the intersection. Her weight shifts from one foot to the other. Her arms hang helplessly at her sides. Her fingers ball into loose fists.
The flashing car jerks to a stop beside the sidewalk. The Officer’s eyes scan her thin body. He jumps from the car. The door thumps closed behind him. She ignores his call. Her eyes fixed on the metal monsters that shimmer across scorching asphalt.
The officer grabs her wrist. Her forearm twists. He meets toxic veins coursing black from infected sores. “Ma’am, I need you to place your hands behind your back.”
I stroke her exposed skin. I jerk her wrist away from him. She is mine. I meet her eyes as they widen and freeze, vapid. A bitter groan escapes her gritted teeth. The cheap lemon scent of her hair fills my nostrils as she violently turns. Her pulse quickens, and her movements are fluid. Her discolored feet fly from the sidewalk and into the road. She runs.
The metal monsters’ breaks squeal. There is a crack and loud clap as her body crumbles into the sea of black. I fall beside her. Her hair is sprawled like the branches of a Sakura tree. She is my melting angel, and I leave her, entangled in her last breath.