He was panting like a dog after a long morning run. His heart was beating faster than a hummingbird’s wings. His knees were bent, his head facing the ground. His breathing was rapid, almost uncontrollable. He didn’t have long. He had to recuperate himself as quickly as possible. The shouting was getting closer, louder. Resting time was over.
He briskly paced himself towards the northern exit of the alleyway. He passed a large green dumpster on his right and a couple of fire escapes on either side of him. There was a backdoor entrance to the building on his left. He thought about going in but had a feeling it might be locked. He kept striding forward. The bearded man in ragged clothes, sitting on the floor near the entrance shouted out, “What’s the rush mister? Please help a fella out and spare some change kind sir!” That’s when three mysterious figures appeared near the south-side entrance. One of them pointed out the man they were chasing. Their shouting got excited, urgent and they started running towards the prey.
With a sudden, elevated level of panic, he started sprinting as well. He took the pathway opening to his left and followed it till he exited on to a busy road. He took a quick second to analyze his best route, to formulate an escape plan. The sidewalk was not as crowded as he had hoped, but there were a lot of cars driving up and down the road ahead. There was a hotel on the other side. If he could get past the cars then he could hide in there, maybe catch his breath again. There were too many vehicles, moving at 60km/hr. His chasers were right on his tail. He couldn’t afford to stop now. He had to take the risk. He took in a big gulp of air and jumped in.
He was able to side-step past the first car and quickly stopped in the middle to avoid the second. He clenched his body in together as tightly as he could as the engines drove past him from the front and the back. As soon as an opening came, he ran forward and leaped into the middle intersection of the road. Halfway there!
His predators were now at the edge of the road as well. The one in the middle shouted out instructions to his mates. One of them went down the road to where the traffic light was. Hopefully, he could cross from there and catch up. The other two were going to take the short-cut and cross the road like the man they were chasing.
The man in the middle of the road tried to calculate the distance between the oncoming cars to determine the best time to run across. As soon as he saw an opening, he took it. He dodged the first one and tripped. He could see his life flashing in front of him. He was done for. He stared into the eyes of a mega machine charging towards him. All the air had left his lungs. His hands were stretched out in front of him with hope, but there was no way his week tiny arms were going to stop this monster from running him over. He closed his eyes, expecting his end when he heard a loud screeching sound. The driver had her foot pressed hard on the brakes. The vehicle skidded dangerously. It turned 30 degrees to its left, but to everyone’s relief, it stopped just 4 feet short of a bloody accident. For a split second, the runner sighed in relief. It didn’t stop the thugs though. The one who had tracked back to the signal crossing was now running up the sidewalk, and the other two crossing the middle of the road, were now half way there themselves. With a brisk pace, he picked himself up and barged into the hotel ahead.