A New Shade Of Red

I have to give these two fat pigs their due. I figured they would still be lost in the back alleys, hitting dead end after dead end, but they’re already back at the bank. Impressive, but aggravating. I’m going to have to do this piece again; it looks like the last five hours were a total waste. And I lost my bloody camera too.

I yank my cell phone out and from the rooftop next to the bank I launch it as far as I can. I needed to ditch it anyway. Okay, there might have been a touch of frustration behind that as well.

I played college baseball at North Carolina State in my freshman and sophomore years but gave it up to focus on my double majors in art and political science. I patrolled centre field for the Wolf Pack and my arm was known to save runs at home plate. So the phone went a good ways.

It lands with a crack well beyond the officer stationed at the back of the bank and he swivels with surprising grace to face the threat. I smirk as I watch him waddle over to investigate and start to turn away when a new arrival gives me pause.

“Wow,” I murmur to the morning air. It’s weak, inept praise for the woman who strides out from the alley and sizes up my piece, but I’ve always been better with art than words. A tall, athletic build packed into a perfectly tailored black business suit with a knee length skirt that hugs her figure, and that hair… I don‘t think I‘ve seen a shade quite like that before. This is no cop… a Fed? Things have suddenly become very interesting.

She pulls a camera out of her purse and begins taking pictures. What is going on here? The officer is on his way back, he doesn’t look pleased. She stows the camera and walks toward him with complete confidence. I wait for her to flash her badge and for him to crumble like a lamb before a lioness.

Okay, I wasn’t expecting that. And… a bark of laughter escapes me but thankfully it is drowned out by the sound of the officer sprawling on the pavement. This is insane.

The woman disappears up the alley and I parallel her movement along the rooftop and peer over the edge of the building down to the street below. She bursts from the alley, heels in hand, and races down the sidewalk. Wow, she’s fast - like a sprinter shot out of a cannon.

I snap out of my stupor and start moving. I jump the gap between this rooftop and the next and land without breaking stride. I sneak a glance over the side just in time to see her hang a right so I cut diagonally across the rooftop, dodging around a silver air duct. I reach the far corner and look down again.

Her hair is trailing in her wake, like a wave of dark fire that just can't quite catch up with her. I wish I still had my camera but I can probably find the right mix to create that red from memory. It might even become the one I use for my tag...

Wait, where did she go? The Diplomatic Corps building? I scratch my head and attempt to gather my thoughts.

It takes longer than it should have, but the name comes to my lips eventually.

“Emma B.”

The End

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