He had been awake for days.
Madness was starting to creep into his bones and the night sky beckoned.
Lifting his scarred and abused body from the concrete he stumbled towards the stairwell. Falling against the door, he shoved back his hair, braided in an impenetrable rope down his back. Climbing up the stairs he walked past friends and strangers alike; some getting to know each other too well. The smell of bodies and alcohol cloaking him in a fog, muddling his mind. He needed to see the sky.
The girl was there, where he’d left her, what must have been hours before. Her blood red hair pooled around her head. A mesmerising pool. He realised she was a sign. Leaning over her, he roughly pressed his lips to hers, feeling the chapped skin and exalting in her imperfections.
“Thank you, my dear.” he whispered.
Stepping up onto the ledge, he stretched his arms out to the heavens, breathing in the night itself. He took the first step of the rest of his life.
He’d reached for the sky, and touched the stars.
“Left, go Left!” he shouted to the girls fleeing back. I hope she listens to me, god damn firebrand she is.
Laboured breathing and a lopsided tread echoed up the alley behind him, they were starting to lag, good, if they could get over the walls they would at least have some extra time. The alley’s walls towered above him as he gritted his teeth for that extra push, his steps bouncing back at him so that it sounded like an entire legion was running through the streets. Glancing at his wrist he made the decision to cut through a different street, hopefully heading the girl off before she reached the walls herself. Cobbles gave way to dirt and the running became easier as he neared his goal. Where is she?
A flash of gold caught his attention, only one person had hair like that in the middle of the night – he had caught up to her. Calling ahead he gave her warning “Right and then left! Past the gallows,” relief flooded through him as he saw her do as he bid. Once last glance at his wrist, he powered forwards, passing under the shadow of the noose swinging in the wind. That awaits us both if we are caught.
Catching up to her, he grabbed her in one smooth movement that covered her mouth and pulled down his sleeve. Her eyes were wide with terror and a flicker of white was his only warning before she sank her teeth into his palm. Sucking in a breath he spun her round and saw her visibly relax when she realised who it was.
“I’m sorry, A girl can never be too careful” she murmured with a wink. He really did hate her sometimes.
“Shut up and get over that damn wall.” rolling her eyes she began to climb, taking far to long to find footholds, just to infuriate him.
He surreptitiously checked his wrist again, they needed to head due west to get to a safer destination.
“Look your brand isn’t going to change, you don’t need to keep looking at it,” he jumped, he hadn’t realised she’d scaled the wall and was now watching him.
“It’s not that,” he muttered. Really it was.