Hemmed In

She stumbled along, hands outstretched, fingertips clinging to the sides of the alleyway, scraping, the rough brick stinging. Her whole body ached, and she couldn’t remember where she was going, or why she was going there. Everything was blurry, and she could taste copper. She knew, somewhere in the back of her mind, that something awful had happened, that something beyond horrific had occurred, and now she was merely scattered, the surface of her rippled by whatever had struck, a large stone tossed carelessly into a pond.

“Are we there?” she asked, but there wasn’t any answer. Blood ran from her lips, and she spat, gagging. “Are we there yet?” she pleaded, breath hitching, caught on cracked ribs. “It was a long fucking way to fall,” she rasped. “I think we broke something.”

When she reached the end of the alleyway, she turned around and around in circles, looking, searching, straining to see something in the distance, but she was hemmed in on three sides, and the fourth was simply the way she’d came, and that was as much of a wall as bricks could ever be.


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