Bullets tore through the air, lighting up the dark as though punching through so fiercely it bled fire. He could hear guitar, hear her playing, somewhere on an endless loop; it was designed to make him falter, make him wonder. Was it her? Could it have been her? He clenched gloved fists and moved faster through the night, pressed to buildings, to cars, alleyways and undergrounds hiding him.
He chased her, always running, never catching, and he could hear the shriek and whine of metal faster than sound as it bit brick and concrete, as it kissed steel and punched glass, as it burrowed into dead earth, spun and carved against flesh.
They were catching up. He wasn’t sure if they were chasing him because he was chasing her, or if they were chasing her, and simply shooting at him to keep him out of the way.
There were hot tears on his face; he didn’t notice them, himself, but if she’d seen them, she would be more frightened than she ever had been.
Run, he’d said. Run, and don’t you ever look back.
He knew he would fall before he let them catch her. He knew he would bleed before he let them touch anything of her.
He knew she’d tear apart the world if they got too close.