Anonymous bodies marched, single-file in all directions. Dust kicked up by a thousand feet flooded the air, turning the cold morning sunlight into gray. Countless unrecognizable faces hidden behind breathing apparatus and a solemn glare, eyes forced to the floor, going about their daily routine. Unaware of the world, unaware of one another, unaware of themselves.
"Just when I thought this place could not get anymore fucking depressing, they go and turn off the 'motivational' music," he scoffed, walking out of line, carving his own way through the crowds, a girl following him closely in his wake. She struggled to keep up with her companion's pace, the line he made through the bodies quickly began to be filled, a tide of faceless nobodies which swelled and flooded and filled every available space.
She had to push past more and more people as they made they way together across one of the city's more populated streets. She either had not heard him or was concentrating too hard with staying on her feet, refusing to be pushed over by the masses; and out from their trampling boots, for she chose not to respond. She heard his complaints about this place daily so it really did not matter to her whether she made any noise at all, she knew he would not listen. This place is dead to him she thought, it doesn't matter anymore what I think.
It's strange what we miss when it's gone, he thought to himself and he shoulder barged one of the marching drones out of his way, the dull repetitive and emotionless piano pieces, which were drowned out mostly anyway by the clicking and squeaking of countless plastic boots on concrete. It was still better than nothing at all he concluded. All he could hear now was the monotonous metronome of nameless people on their daily commute, coughing and squeaking, some cried, the young he thought, the older ones know now not to cry, there's no use crying anymore, it's too dry to waste fluids. He did not know where they went, what they did or who they worked for, it did not matter to him he told himself, nothing really matters when it comes to these people.
"Hurry up Mary," he shouted over the rabble, not looking back, "I think we are being followed." This often was the case when someone stepped out of line, when someone walked against the flow of commuters. Any change to the normal working day commute was quickly picked up on by the thousands of electronic eyes dotted hidden all over, they were quickly followed, interrogated and ultimately punished for their disobedience. For the two of them being tailed and evading had become as much of a daily routine as any of the shuffling nameless as they continued, one after the other, to their own given destination. Years of living outside of the standard flow, living a separate, independent life had made them quite the adversary to the now in pursuit police.
There where hidden ways though the city which the duo knew very well, both on top and underneath the cold streets. Daily they would travel through disused service tunnels, across rooftops and over chain-linked fences into abandoned buildings; buildings no longer used due to high levels of carbon monoxide, a deadly gas which grew in potency with each passing day. A deadly concoction of elements brought on by the expanding industrialization of the city, namely the ship yards on the far edge of the metropolis. Finally the man pushed his way through the sea of bodies and found himself in an entrance to an alleyway, hidden from the electronic eyes and bathed in a refreshing darkness. His partner stumbled in shortly after, falling to her knees but quickly picking herself up, with no assistance from her partner, not that he offered her any.
"Look at them," he said half to himself as he gazed at the moving tide of bodies, "could you imagine being one of them?"
"What makes them different to us is nothing more than the hand we were dealt at birth," Mary responded as she moved farther into the darkness and away from the chaotic streets. "Now come on Pete, we do not have time."
Time is only one of the very few luxuries we do have, he thought, and even that could be taken away from us at any given moment, by those chasing us, by those controlling them, even by the air which we breathe. When the whole world wants you dead, or worse like one of 'them', is it a surprise that our days are numbered? Or should it just be called fate? Peter shook his head, shook away his thoughts for another day.
"And they are us," Mary shouted from the darkness, "They're just farm yard animals, and we are the wild." She was gone. Peter remained, staring out, watching the swarm, watching the flock. Huddled masses of scared obedient sheep, following their master, right over a cliff. Within the crowd a wolf, a man dressed in all black, an equally black helmet shielding his identity, and his pistol concealed also, heading straight for Peter. The crowd parted in his presence as he barged his way towards the alleyway, ready to take down the two suspects with any force necessary.
A wild thought flooded Peter's head, fight! Attack the wolf and stand victorious, an idea that fermented inside his head, like a premature wine, just waiting to pop the cork and release the energy. He reminded himself daily that older wines have the sweetest taste, his time would come, not today, not even soon, but when it did he would fight, he would pop his cork and drink himself dry. After, there would be no more.
Instead he spat on the floor, glared at the pursuing black clad policeman, and disappeared into the shadows.