There was a pause.
Lina tried to make herself smaller, and hoped the stairs nearby would give enough shadow to cover her. Oh god. Ohgodohgodohgod.
Was that them walking by, or had she imagined it? What if they spotted her? What if they were standing in front of her, silently smirking at her pathetic attempt to hide, waiting to see how long it’d take her to look up and see them there?
They were definitely there. She could feel them close by, full of hatred, and spite.
She had to look up eventually. She tried to take a deep breath as quietly as possible, and resolved to count out 3 minutes. Then she’d look up, ready to make a last desperate run for it. She’d probably end up dead, but that was better than… Nope. She was not going to think about that.
Ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen…
Had she managed to get a picture? She’d have to find somewhere to develop the film to know for sure.
Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three…
She MUST have caught them. Must have. She’d managed to take 3 shots before deciding it was safest to sneak away. But what if she’d put her finger in front of the lens, or if the film wasn’t set safely? Had she remembered to put a fresh roll of film in?
Of course she had. She was being ridiculous. Right?
one-twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three…
Oh god. She couldn’t wait longer. She looked up.
There… wasn’t anyone there. The street was completely empty. She closed her eyes and had to focus on not letting out a sob of relief.
She got up carefully, and tried to stay in the shadows as she looked around. All right, time to plan. They’d go on for a few more blocks, trying to track where she ran to. Then they’d double back and look for her on the street. She’d have to find somewhere to hide. No problem, she’d just go and hide behind… oh, right. The street was empty.
What could she do? She thought she’d seen an entrance to the drain earlier, but surely they’d check there. And running into one of those things underground would be terrifying. No.
Maybe she could sneak into one of the buildings lining the street?
Hmm. That might work. She walked towards one of the older shops. It must have been a house years ago, before the street became all concrete and one-sided mirrors walls. Okay, they’d be coming back soon. No time to think. She ran towards the building, jumped, and pushed.
Lina wasn’t sure how it worked. David had left before he could teach her much. But she knew it worked better when she thought of those things chasing her, crooked smiles on their faces.
She hit the roof with her stomach, and had to scramble madly with her arms to keep from falling. She caught her breath, climbed up on the roof, and kept low as she walked to one of the second story windows of the room nearest to the centre of the shop.
All right, this was one of the things she’d practised with David. She thought of the shop, and tried to think of a small family owning it. They’d had it for generations, and… no, no. Um. It belonged to a lonely old woman, whose husband had died years before. The old woman loved the small house, and the memories she had with her husband. She’d been sleeping when she heard a noise from outside. It was probably a cat, but since the shop down the street had been robbed a few weeks ago, she’d been scared someone would sneak into her house. It was best to be safe, wasn’t it? She wrapped herself up in a blanket as she carefully got up from the old bed, and walked slowly to the wall on the other side of the room. She drew back the old curtains, opened the window to slip her head out, and Lina opened her eyes.
She saw faded lavender curtains waving in the evening breeze for a second, and then they were gone, and she could only see an open window. It hurt to move, and it was with a pained look that she climbed through into a room full of old sofas, quietly closing the window behind her.
Lina spotted a door near the old bed… near one of the sofas. Oh, no. She tried to focus on the sofa, and the door. Step, step, open the door, climb into the small closet, and close the door behind her. She slipped to floor, and wondered if she’d made too much noise getting into the closet, but didn’t manage to worry too long before her head rested against the wall behind her, and all she could think of was closing her eyes for just a second or two…