Michela Walters’s Picture Choice: 2
The streets were filled with the acrid smell of tear gas and the sound of screams from the protesters I was here to support. Police had descended upon our group like a swarm of killer bees, looking menacing in riot gear and armed with shields and nightsticks. It was supposed to be a peaceful rally. We only wanted the world to hear our side of the story. Unfortunately, one trigger-happy cop forcefully nudged an easily riled-up protester, which led to our streets now being overrun with terror.
I could hear my heart thumping wildly in my ears as I darted down alleys, trying to avoid the masses and the police, and doing my best to not get trampled in the process. When my legs could run no more, I rested wearily against the wall of an old warehouse on the outskirts of town. I had no idea where I was standing, but needing to get my bearings came a distant second to catching my breath.
Leaning over, I let my hands rest on my knees, sucking in ragged gasps of air while keeping my ears trained on the street I’d come from--hoping I’d found some solace, even if it was only momentary. From my hidden position, I could hear the whimpers and cries for help from my friends and fellow supporters. How would I be able to look at myself in the mirror if I stayed cowered here in the shelter of this dingy alley? My mind was conflicted, though: going out there was to sign my own arrest warrant, but staying here felt like a cowardly act of self-preservation.
Deciding it was better to keep myself safe, I pushed off the wall, intending on going home to call the police station to see if I could bail out as many friends as possible. I had only taken two steps toward the mouth of the alleyway when I heard a deafening war cry.
“Thought you’d come steal my spot, did ya?” sneered a homeless man charging at me.
I had no time to react before the man’s dull knife pierced my chest. He gazed vacantly down at me through his piercing blue eyes, only made more striking by his grimy appearance. He scowled, yanking the silver object out before turning back to his shopping cart of belongings, leaving me to bleed out on the street where I thought I’d be safe.
As my eyes drifted shut for what would be the last time in my life, I heard the man rolling his cart away, softly singing, “I did a bad, bad thing…”
Michela Walters is a wife, mother and book enthusiast. She is currently attempting her hand at writing her first romantic fiction novella. You can read her other stories on her blog: michelawalters.wordpress.com