HumpDay Quickie #16

Posted: April 23, 2014 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , , , ,

Flight

by: Beth Deitchman

Catherine hugged her arms close to her body and shuffled her feet. A crash in the alley made her whip around, wincing at the pain in her head and ribs. She half expected to see him stalking towards her, but it was just a cat with a mouse dangling from its mouth. Stifling a panicky laugh, she checked her watch then peered down the street. Headlights cut through the early morning fog, and she hitched the bag farther up her shoulder.

The bus’s brakes squealed, and with a sigh, the doors opened. Catherine climbed the steps and paid her fare, grateful for the driver’s indifference. Head down, she moved toward the back. The bus lurched forward, knocking her off balance. With a muffled cry, Catherine caught herself and collapsed into a seat. Clutching her ribs, she exhaled gently.

The city passed outside the grimy window, but Catherine trained her gaze on her hands. Not a speck left, though she could still feel the sticky warmth. Again she checked her bag for her ticket and her new passport—the one he never found. They were tucked next to her wallet. She pushed the dark glasses up her nose, flinching when the edge touched the fresh bruise, and stared straight ahead.

The scent of fuel announced their arrival at the airport. As she left the bus, Catherine saw a cop walking toward her. Her stomach dropped. With trembling hands she opened her bag and began rummaging through it. The cop passed her without a glance. Catherine took a shaky breath and hurried inside the airport.

An eternity passed in the security line, Catherine alert for questions that never came. Once into the terminal, she paused by the wide windows, watching the luggage carts snake from plane to plane. A man’s voice next to her made her jump and look around, but it was just a guy on his cell phone.

“Welcome aboard,” the flight attendant said.

“Thank you,” Catherine murmured.

No one else sat in her row. She leaned in to the plane’s window, watching the city grow smaller, the glass cool against her forehead.

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