After a few months of hunger and coughing and instinct, we were commanded to leave the camp. We were to be moved a far way away from here, but no one quite knew why.

Foolish me, I thought it meant more trains. But no. I got to do what I longed to do, I got to run. I had been longing to run for nearly a year and a half, but we never got
to do much more than sprint at full speed. I’d forgotten how running felt like.
I’d hoped it would bring some spirit, some of the sun’s warmth, back into me.

I again think of how foolish I was. The smoke had eclipsed the sun long ago. My world was masked in ashes and ice.

I didn’t realize how fortunate I was. Even my starved body was better suited for this than the others around me. After years of training, the hard miles did come in
handy. Eventually. Not in the way I’d imagined.

I waited for my cradle-rocking stride, for the calm to settle in.

The cold clawed at my throat. Sweat and winter cold soaked my thin clothes. I shivered violently, unable to keep my body warm. My skinny knees ached, and my skinnier ankles ached even more. 

The calm never came. Only pain did.

Any glimmer of the sun winked out of existence.

They had taken away not only my family or my humanity. They didn’t just take my food. They took my running, the only thing I thought I had left.

Any light, any hope, died in my eyes then. My heart weakened until it took conscious effort to keep it pumping.

I was an animal. I was what they made me.

I dwindled. I starved. I ran like the world was tied to my shoulders.

I was an animal. Herded away for the slaughter.


The End

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