Tuesday, March 22, 2011

MILES: Chapter Four, pt. 5

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Miles ran, the erratic rhythm of his feet into the poorly paved road matched only by the pounding of his heart, thundering in his ears like the beating of mighty drums. The whiskey sloshed through his head, throwing his balance, and he swayed like a pendulum — swinging this way and that but never quite falling.

A memory ricocheted through his head like a bullet from a gun, making its presence known by the impact it created but moving too fast to be recognized. A sense that was beyond his understanding of senses shook him; Miles was propelled by an undefined fear. Danger, the voice said without really speaking. Run the fuck away - do it now. And as he was running he remembered, remembered something he had never seen but knew as though he had seen it with his own two eyes.

There was a woman and she died in the road. But something was wrong with that. For a moment Miles doubted the painful feeling of loss, began to wonder if he’d made some mistake. But she had died. He had seen it. She had been violently torn from this world, suddenly and without mercy. He had seen it.

Miles ran. As drunk as he was, Miles ran.

And behind him, a baby blue Chevy Impala turned the corner from Baron to Del Ray, tires growling in the loose gravel like a beast in pursuit of prey. And the driver, a beautiful brunette, squinted her big brown eyes into the night, the darkness that seemed to more than just an absence of light, but an absence of life as well. The headlights did very little to dispel the darkness; the night air seemed to suck at the light like the desert floor sucked at the rare rain.

The glare of the headlights caught him, and her big brown eyes widened at the sight of him. Miles felt her gaze, even as he was too drunk to notice the sound of wheels slowly overtaking him, even as he was too drunk see feel the halo of light slowly overtaking him he felt that he was being watched, he felt that he was being hunted.

Above him the porch light flickered and hummed, distorting his unsteady vision even more. Miles scrambled up the steps on his hands and knees, still convinced he could escape, until her shadow fell over him and he paused, a collision of fear and wonder. A scattered collection of empty bottles clacked and tingled between his arms and legs. The night air seemed to still for a moment, if only to accent the sudden clatter of a bottle bouncing down the short steps and spinning slowly to a halt in the dirt below the porch. Miles turned, and the alcohol-fueled world spun upside down and sideways. The woman stood above him, the lamp-light flickering just behind her head, and between the flutter of the faulty bulb from one direction and the shimmer of the moon from the other, her cascading curls glowed with a supernatural light, and for a moment Miles thought he was looking into the face of an angel.

“You’re alive,” he whispered, not believing the words as he said them. He stared up at her beautiful face, as hope intersected fear and both were derailed by complete and utter disbelief.

“Karen,” he said. “You’re alive.”

Then the bottle came down across his brow, knocking him senseless, and anything else he might have said was lost. The bottle came down again, and her face was a mask of unrestrained anger as she beat him, blow after blow, until the glass bottle ran thick with his blood.