We raced up winding, lamplit avenues, ducked through dark side streets, down squalid, run-down alleys, scurried across empty squares. As we approached the edge of the city, our desperation grew while the odds of our escape shrunk. Despite our best efforts, they still gained on us.
I threw a look over my shoulder. Adrianne was beginning to lag, but we intensified our pace anyways, knowing it would be the last time. We sprinted through the convoluted streets, taking hairpin turns in hopes of throwing our pursuers off of our track. But it was not to be.
We pounded down a wide avenue that headed straight towards a dead end at the high chain link fence encircling the City. Past that, all that could be seen was the black, foreboding forest in which our city was set. It seemed to silently seethe with the dark rumours and whispered horrors surrounding it. I slowed in uncertainty, allowing Adrianne to pull beside me.
Loud shouts and the squeal of tires brought us quickly back to our senses. A look passed between us, solidifying our silent decision. We sprinted forward, preferring in any case the terrors of the wood to the certainty of capture and the unspeakable which we both knew lay after.
Nearly in the range of the police guns, we struggled up the second fence of our escapade. It was much higher than the last, but our only chance of escape. As we neared the top and the gunmen came in range, Adrianne let out a small cry. I looked down and my heart sank. Her left shoelace was entangled in the wires of the fence.
Yanking her foot back and forth, Adrianne let out a frustrated, desperate howl. As the police loaded their weapons, I hissed, "Lose the shoe!"
She pushed down on the heel of her sneaker with her right foot. I reached down, just in time to keep her from a long fall as the force of her pushing right foot threw off her balance when the shoe gave way.
We paused, breathless after the scare of the moment. Suddenly, the scream of a bullet whizzing by our heads startled us into redoubled efforts. In a flash, we were at the top of the fence. We threw ourselves into a flying, terrifying leap.
Looking down, I saw we were shooting down and out into the short strip of grass and shrubby undergrowth between the fence and the forest. Suspended in midair, my heart beat three times before I met the ground sharply. I rolled instinctively upon landing, but unfortunately Adrianne hadn't had the training I had had.
She came down hard in a bush. I heard her give a low groan, but hauled her upright anyways. We staggered determinedly into the forest. The echoes of the police's shots and exasperated clamour faded behind us as we sprinted with new vigour deeper into the woods. Euphoria engulfed us at the realisation of our escape. Thrilled, we pranced and giggled childishly, dancing about in the gloom of the forest.
As we went on, the trees became older and further apart, allowing young plants to spring up through usual mess of decomposing leaves on the forest floor. A wave of tiredness overwhelmed us. The knapsack slid to the ground, and we dropped to the soft carpet of new growth simultaneously, panting hard.