A Little Consolation.

Thankfully, it did. I heard a grunt of frustration as the Marked Man realised what I had done, and doubled back on himself as I had.

In this time I had gained a good forty of fifty yards from him. I let a small smile play on my lips momentarily before they twisted back into a grimace of concentration as I tried to regulate my breathing and movement.

I began to think ahead for any alleyways or side streets I could cut into to make it harder for me to be followed, but there weren't many of any use; when I walked there, I used the main roads, and so I didn't know much of the area around it.

I decided to stick with what I knew, rather than risk running into an area I didn't and hitting a dead end.

A feeling of euphoria swept over me as I saw the familiar iron gates leading toward the dance studio, and I felt almost safe again.

I fumbled with my bag as I ran in the hope of reaching the doors, letting myself in and locking the doors again all before being caught.

It was a small hope, I knew, but one I was determined to cling on to.

I'm a survivor, I thought. It's what I do.

I collided with the door at an alarming speed. I knew that when the adrenalin stopped pumping around my body and I caught my breath, I'd be nursing a bruised knee and a jarred elbow.

I was lucky enough to get the key into the lock with no drama and turn it, opening the door just enough to slip through the gap. As i squeezed through, I gasped as I saw just how close He was.

I managed to swing it shut at the same moment a man-sized weight threw themselves at it, and while he regained his balance, I siezed the opportunity to locked the door behind myself. I slid down toward the floor.

I leaned against it, panting heavily, and struggled to keep calm at the realisation of how close I had come to really being caught. I shivered involuntarily at the thought of his fingers curling around my throat.

A shower of poundings came as the Marked Man threw himself again and again at the only obstacle between us in an effort to break clean through the wood.

I backed away to increase the distance separating the two of us, and tried to think of a way out. There was a fire exit, I knew, but I couldn't face the thought of running again with no fixed destination.

Yet I knew it was only a matter of time before he broke through the door and found me anyways.

The End

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