You shake your head, feeling as if your brain was liquified, red-hot slag.  The sloshing makes your vision spin.  "I'm... like you?"  His crimson, flickering face twists into a wild grin.

"Boy, if you wanna say that, sure.  You'd told some stories though.  You may be a cut above."  He thrust out his cuffed hands again and you grab them on reflex.  If he was talking like he knew you, maybe you could learn something from him.  You cry out as he hauls you to your feet and stumbling, you both make it into the gloomy foliage.  The last thing you register really seeing before the shadows of the trees overtake your vision is your 'comrade' looking back and adding, "Or hell, you might be a cut below."

For minutes you and your partner make your way though the vegetation, stopping ever-so-often to cry out when you stub your toe or scrape your arms on invisible trees.  In the distance you can hear other inmates still crying out in praise to the carelessness of the bus driver (near as you can decipher from the echoing cries).  After a few more minutes in which your breath begins to labor, another sounds joins the cacophany: rifle cracks.

"Crap," your partner hisses.  He stops and looks back in the direction of the road.  A stray beam of moon light catches the wet blood on his face.  Anxious fear floods his eyes and spills into you as you read his face.  This was real, you were on the run with a criminal through woods you don't know, being chased by armed, non-cuffed men.

But you didn't have to be, did you?  You could stop.  How much trouble could you be in?

The End

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