Sunday, 24 November
Good Morning Justin…
The blood pounded in his ears. The siren grew close, paused at its peak and then fell away. He slipped a quick look around the building’s corner. Nothing. Good. He gathered in the details of his surroundings. Cars parked in a line on the left and up the hill of the one-way street. A stairway climbed into darkness, following a brick wall bathed by a street lamp and then cut sharply into empty night. A single window burned with light above the store closed for business. A child’s ball rested forgotten and lost among the urban sediment of the gutter. Blood ran along his left hand and stained the edge of his sleeve.
This is not a time to run. You must slip away in a manner that will not bring notice. Take the stairway. Walk as though you were carrying a six-pack home after work. Whatever you do, don’t look back. Feel safe, casual. Nothing to see here, folks. Move quickly only in the gloom. Get far away from here. There will be other patrols soon. What to do about the hand? It can be cleaned easy enough but then there’s the shirt. You’re bound to be stopped, nabbed by a cop’s spotlight prying the dark. Patrol cars are probably boxing you in right now. Find a place to hide. An open window, an unlocked door, something unattended would be perfect. Not a chance. You’re not that lucky. You’re cornered. You’re screwed. Shut up! Don’t panic. Keep moving. Stay in the dark. Maybe find a spigot - anything to wipe your hand clean. Look in a dumpster. And loose the shirt. You can’t. No one’s walking about in a T-shirt with this weather. You’ll be noticed. So roll up the sleeves part way. It conceals the blood but it stains more of the sleeve. So what? Take a chance. Keep walking. There’s nowhere to hide. No siren warns you next time. They’ll just roll up, see you and you’re dead. You’re out of time. They've got to be close by now. What are you doing? Run! Run as hard as you can.
I am a body. I am many voices talking. I am pavement. I am cold. I am wet. I am pain, far away… somewhere.
“You getting a pulse? Can you hear me?”
“Stabilize… there. Hold it.”
“Hang in there, guy. Give me that there. Yeah.”
“Stick with us. OK."
"Christ! You see this?”
“You hear me? You’re doing OK. He hears me?”
Leave me alone. Stop. No. Don’t let it happen. Stop it.
“You losing him?”
I’m my head. Me now. Me.
“You’ve done enough.”
“Hey. He’s done. Enough.”
“You got the time?”