A Losing Battle

Carmen had to smash the window.

She had been directed to Jeredynn's room in the hospital and found it empty. There was nobody in there, and no one had passed her on the way in. It was getting frustrating. She needed to catch up to them before the shadow girl did something rash and scattered all their plans like so many ashes.

She had been followed in by a short African nurse with a hole in her nose where a ring was supposed to be, who was carrying bed linen.

"What are you doing here?" she frowned in unaccented English. "Visiting hours are well over."

Carmen didn't have time for people like her. She gave her a dismissive glance and opened the small square window which looked out over the side of the hospital grounds. Her keen eyes spotted shapes moving on the ground. The window was hinged and only opened to a certain extent, not large enough for all of her to wriggle through. She pulled up her sleeve and drew back that arm, sending her fist through it and crumpling it like paper as it shattered.

"Oi!" the nurse yelled, dropping her load and gripping Carmen by the shoulder as she planted a foot on the narrow sill and grabbed the frame to pull herself up. It wouldn't have bothered her, except the hand was as black as charcoal.

She whipped her head around, cussing, and clung on with one hand, punching the shadow in the face. She might have been made of nothing but darkness, but manifested she had substance. Nose cartilage shattered and Carmen took her chance and leaped out. She would have preferred to hang from the sill and then drop, but she was in haste to escape the fight. She didn't have time for it if she wanted to find Jeredynn.

Luckily there was an oak tree growing a short distance from the wall, level with the window, and she had jumped far enough to be able to get a grip on one of its branches. Her momentum caused her to swng into the trunk and get the breath knocked out of her, before she let go and slid down, landing on her knees at somebody's feet.

The End

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