four point one

She ran. She was scared and she ran. Sarah knew in her bones that she had killed that guy. He didn’t deserve it, she only wanted to get him away from the kids and their pancakes and it didn’t matter, in the end. She had killed him. And then she ran. Like a coward.

Everything LOOKED slow, but it wasn’t. She’d tripped twice before she got the hang of lightly hitting the ground with her foot before pushing off with it. It was like walking on clouds might feel, if she had ever walked on clouds. It also had the distinct air of walking on ice. Ice on a pond that had just frozen over. Ice that you weren’t sure would hold your weight. ALL of the ground felt that way now.

The first time she tripped, she slid across an actual pond. Good thing it was frozen-ish, even if the particles of ice and water flew up into her eyes so she could hardly see. She left a big wake in her passing, a wake made of bunched up ice as if a meteor had hit. She had looked behind her after recovering from the first fall.

When she had done that, the whole world seemed to snap into normal time again. She looked back, saw the could-be-a-meteor trail of her passage across the pond, and realized that SOMEONE, somewhere would see her at the end of the runnel and put two and two together. She ran again. And tripped. Again.

This time, it was over a traffic railing at the top of the hill next to the pond. She pushed off near the pond, ran up the hill, and tried her light step to hop over the railing. Her left boot had just missed clearing the railing, and she fell, tumbling across traffic, through the whizzing cars. They didn’t look like they were whizzing to her. but they seemed to be a slow moving corridor that she slid through, street ice cutting her clothing to shreds and ripping into the first couple layers of flesh on her chest and torso. THAT was going to hurt as soon as she ran out of adrenaline.

Luckily, she hit a bush, then a wall behind the bush, near an apartment building on the side of the street she had skidded across. It hurt like hell, but at least she was out of sight. Because she wasn’t speeding by the waking world just by lightly jogging anymore, and she figured anyone could see her. It was like a strange dream where even the most fantastic things seem commonplace and real. She would have pinched herself except the pain from her road rash hurt her more than any pinch would, so she figured if she were going to have woken up, she’d have already done so.

Sarah curled up into a ball around her ripped flesh, her tattered clothes, and her rapid heartbeat. SHe breathed calmly while the world moved on by, once again in normal speed.

As soon as her breathing regulated itself, and the pain became too much to sit with, she slowly stretched out a bit in the bush and realized how cold it was. There had been a cold snap just this week, of course, and it was in the teens, temperature wise. She left BOTH her damn jackets at the diner, and she must be covered in blood, and she looked down, and…

…nothing. Well, not nothing. But less than what she figured she’d see. Her clothing was tattered, and full of road dirt, yes. But her skin beneath it was clear. It hurt like hell, but it was clear. She could see her breasts under the tatters of her bra, and her belly fat was still there. “Too bad that didn’t rip off while I skidded by,” she thought, with the near-miss hysteria she seemed to be encountering more often lately. Her skin, in fact, looked pretty damn good for having been pushed through and across the icy skin of a pond, and then dragged across an asphalt road and then tossed into a wall through a fairly prickly bush.

Curiouser and curiouser, she quoted.

Sarah Juneau got to her feet, looked around, and slowly stepped out of the bush. She gathered her tattered flannel around her front, and realized that she was about 2 miles from home.

A slow grin spread across her face and she “jogged” home. It took her about 2 minutes. It only took her 3 tries to stop at the actual security (hehe) gate. She found that stopping before the actual building was key, so her speed didn’t take her past her destination, like a fast forward on a Tivo.

She walked upstairs, as running would probably take her through the roof, and grabbed an old hoodie from the front closet. She put on a big fluffy pink hat, and a pair of wool mittens her mom had sent up a few years ago. She slipped her house keys back into the pocket of her carharts and went back out into the street. It was time to test this thing.

Sarah slowed the world down, or sped herself up, depending, until she could see the open highway ahead of her.

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