I sip at my drink for a good two hours, finally draining what was left of it when the owner announced he was closing up and I was now entitled to sleep on the floor. The carrier was long gone, something I was more than happy about. I didn’t need him knowing where I was sleeping.
Not that any of my enemies knowing where I was sleeping was any worse than them knowing where I was during the day… I’m equally awake and alert during the night. Sleep is a rare and terrifying thing for me, possibly due to being a cure, more likely due to having a more traumatic past than most. Then again, being a cure does tend to equate to having a traumatic past, so maybe it’s a bit of both.
As far as places for me to sleep go, the pub wasn’t bad. Shutters on the windows, giving almost complete darkness. Silence as deep as the grave. Probably not somewhere most people would like to be spending the night alone, but it suited me very well. Anyone trying to get in here would have to cause some disturbance to the silence, if not the amount of light. A very basic security system, I’ll grant you, but it kept me happy.
I settled on the floor, nothing else underneath me. I could have been resourceful and used my coat as a pillow but, without the body heat of more than one person, the room was growing cold, as was the tiled floor. I lay curled up under a table, difficult to see if anyone did happen to come looking for me. And then I tried to sleep.
I always tried so hard to lose consciousness at night, if I was somewhere vaguely secure. It rarely ever worked, but I continued to live in hope. That night was one of the rare times when closing my eyes and trying not to think about anything actually had the desired effect. Sadly, it was a short-lived victory.
I found myself at a dead-end, in a dark alleyway with moss covered cement walls surrounding me. I looked up and could see only the darkness of a cloudy night. I realised I was panting, out of breath from a long run. My heart pounded, mostly for the same reason but partly because of something else entirely.
I turned around to face what I’d been running from before I hit this obstacle. All I could make out in the darkness was a tall figure, striding towards me. I could hear him breathing, just as out of breath as I was. But it didn’t matter who was the fittest now. He’d caught me. I was trapped.
I felt my hair stand on end, every instinct I had telling me I had to run. But I couldn’t. I had no way out. He was moving closer to me every second I spent trying to find an escape route that didn’t exist. He started speaking, said my name. But I was too far gone to even match a meaning to his words. I knew what he was probably saying anyway and it wasn’t anything good.
He was almost directly in front of me when I finally accepted that I had two options, both equally unappealing. The first was death.
I chose the second.