Restlessly prowling the streets; he was looking for something. Someone. He was looking for her. An orange glow cast an eerie light into the fog. Footsteps for miles, but she was not there. His eyes were searching. Left, behind a row of trees. Right, on a soccer field. His heart began racing; the humid smell of the grass to his left made him gave in to an urgency to run. He wanted to scream her name, but he didn’t dare. But he ran as fast as his feet would move. A gust of wind blew his cap off his head, but he kept running. Huffing and puffing. Trying to move forward. It was as if he was stuck. He heard the explosion behind him before he felt the blast. It threw him forward. His hands were cut on impact; the gravel left tiny wounds on his hands. He turned to see the fire. The fog in the distance was illuminated. His eyes stung. He had to find her before they did. He crawled on his hands and knees, wincing until he got his feet back underneath him. His lungs were burning, filled with fire. He smelled the demise of the village he has fled. A dog was barking. Curtains were left to fall in place. There was life behind these walls and doors and windows. Was there shelter too?
A bullet wheezed past his ear. “Halt!” A male voice commanded, but already another shot was fired.
He kept running. Until he couldn’t anymore. A sharp pain went right through his chest. Warmth spread around him; at the same time, it became cold. He was still restless, still out of breath. No matter how far and how fast he would run, he would never find her. He coughed and felt a sticky liquid on his hand.
Footsteps had caught up with him. “Fuck, he is one of ours.” He closed his eyes and tried shaking off the hands that were clawing at him. He needed to run. He blinked, trying to see. Light was blinding him, and he tried to shield his eyes from its brightness. A hand was reaching for him. “Take my hand, ” an angelic voice said. “Tired from running, ” he wanted to say, but there was no voice, and no air left.
“You don’t need to run anymore. You are safe, ” she said, and he took hold of the hand. He knew her. He had found her. No more running. Time for rest.