The Wild Ones

First place winner of the september crime competition. Peter and Mary, just two people out of the millions that dwell in an overpopulated, overly controlled city. Forced daily to escape arrest just for the crime of wanting to be free. When a city is dying, from pollution and drought, why fight to stay alive when everyone and everything wants you dead? The stubbornness of mankind is our greatest weakness, and our most powerful asset.

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2. Evasion

Through darkness and venting steam drains they ran, side stepping passed protruding falling beams, only visible by the thin slithers of pale light that bounced its way down from the heavens, from above the tall buildings that surrounded them; a lot of the obstacles lay hidden amongst the shadows, and only with the experience that the duo had did they make sure to avoid them. The chasing law enforcement officer had neither the knowledge nor the agility to dodge these hindrances; crashes and grunting echoed against the tightly packed walls.

These cops are getting worse, Peter thought, they are no longer a challenge. I could so easily pick up any one of these fallen pieces of debris and end this pursuit right now, save my tired legs. He reclaimed his thoughts, no, this would cause much more damage. One single death of one of these policemen would start a war, a genocide. Where one would fall hundreds more would rise up, better equipped, better trained, and we would have nowhere to go, we would be in deep water. Water, he continued inwardly as he now entered an abandoned building through a collapsed wall, water is something now rarer than an honest person, the latest wet season has been the driest yet, the world is dying faster than we are.

A rumbling underfoot warned the two fleeing fugitives of a worse threat than just this stumbling runner, who was still tumbling his way in the darkness.

"Hovers!" Peter yelled to his partner, who strode a few paces ahead, her long hazel hair shinning and dancing, illuminated by a handful of shafts of light that found their way through the cracked and crumbled ceiling high above. "Upstairs now!"

Broken and cracked dry-wall began to crash all about them, filling the already musky air with thick dust whisping swirls of debris encircled the duo as they ascended a tattered stairwell, the windows boarded up by wooden planks allowed no light to enter the dilapidated ruins.

Peter was happy within the darkness, he thrived in it, controlled it. Became it. He learned at a young age the power of the darkness; metaphorically and physically. Bang bang bang, their thick boots stopped with each step, higher and higher into the ancient building, the musky air becoming easier and easier to breathe as the levels of carbon monoxide decreased. Fresh air, Peter thought, yet another thing I have been forced to miss.

A roaring noise filled the ruins, filled their ears. Anymore commands would fall, literally, on deaf ears so Peter pushed faster, passing Mary and using their well rehearsed hand questers to signal what to do. He raised his right hand, clenched his fist and jerked it down, lay down. Together they fell to the floor, their breathing stopped in unison as they strained to hear footsteps over the roaring engine noise. Nothing. His fist returned in the hair, thumbs up, get going.

They continued going up and up, higher and higher, desperately trying to reach the rooftops. Peter knew that down below dozens of armed officers would have been asked to respond, they must be catching on to us, he thought. We have become lazy, fuck!

"We know you are in there!" A megaphone sounded through the cracked walls, just barely heard above the sound of the roar. "There's no escape!"

Peter stood silent, what the fuck do I do now? Mary was about to run passed him, quickly he grabbed her arms and pulled her to the ground cupping her mouth with his hand. His eyes stayed fixed on a boarded up door directly ahead, thin slithers of light appearing around the edge, it appeared to be glowing, a beautiful visage of freedom, he thought, a deadly lie.

"Tell them nothing." Were the last words he were able to say, whether Mary had heard them he did not know, for at that moment the glowing, angelic door burst from its hinges and several black clad armed guards poured into the buildings, quickly swallowing up the two fugitives, separating them, blindfolding them, and sending them away for interrogation.

For the first time in Peter's life, he was afraid of the dark.

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