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I started and finished a chapter of Seize the Day. 1700 new words. 😀 I actually want to keep writing, and will, just wanted to get this post up before I do. 😉

 

Jazz tensed as he watched Ryin lift his right foot, tapping his toe into the ground once. Jazz’s grip tightened on the strap to his backpack. Twice. Deep breath in. Thrice.

Ryin took off to the right, down an even windier alleyway than the one Jazz currently stood in. Jazz dashed straight ahead — he didn’t have a map of the city like Ryin did. Didn’t need one. All cities were like a grid; if he stuck to the streets —

Gunfire. Jazz pounded his feet harder against the crumbling pavement, covering his head with his arms. He couldn’t tell if it came from his left or right. Couldn’t see any signs of the NBEA, either. The street. He could see the street, littered with bodies. Bodies ducking low, throwing their arms over their heads. He could blend in. He could —

His ankle buckled, nearly sending him sprawling into the street. By some miraculous act, he maintained his balance, pain radiating from his ankle. Pain that he pointedly ignored as he shuffled his way through the thankfully crowded street. He held his cap to his head, slipping through the throngs of bodies. After a few more minutes of blind running, he ducked down another alleyway. Rested against the brick, throwing his head back and panting, trying to catch his breath. He pulled the cap down low over his eyes, nearly pulling it off his head. He needed to get back. Needed to keep moving.

His ankle throbbed as he slid to the ground, a strangled sob wracking his body. Close. That was close. Too close. Could have been worse. Could have actually been shot. Could have been chased by a member of the crowd. Could have —

Jazz shook his head, forcing himself to breathe in deeply. He wouldn’t think about that. He wouldn’t worry about Ryin, either. Ryin had a phone. Ryin could call that doctor he knew, whatever his name was. Dr. Bates? Did it even matter now? He just needed to pull himself together. Get himself back on his feet. Slowly, Jazz righted the cap, taking a moment to fully take in his surroundings. He was far away enough from the street that no pedestrians noticed him. They had resumed their normal activities, the sound of shots fired momentarily forgotten.

No matter how many times he had been shot at, Jazz couldn’t get used to it. He could still hear the bullets ricocheting off the walls around him; the sound of the rifles firing. He didn’t need to think about that now — he needed to figure out where he was.further away, more He had run straight for at least an eighth of a mile. Then turned left. He ran for how long? Sighing, Jazz lifted his left arm, only to cause himself blinding, searing pain. He almost couldn’t hold back his cry, his eyes growing wide as they landed on his arm — when he saw the blood soaking his clothes. His right hand shook as he pulled the torn fabric aside, inspecting the wound. Round, like a bullet, and still oozing blood.

Shot. He had been shot. His stomach rose into his throat, threatening to escape when more shots were fired, this time distant — further away.

He prayed that when he found Ryin again, that his best friend wouldn’t be in a pool of his own blood.

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