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Thursday, June 9, 2011

From "Concerto" by Sandra Miller

The dream was always the same.

I was running, running as fast as I could, running for my life--and for someone else's.

Cold sweat pasted my clothes to me, and my feet screamed in painful protest. My throat made ragged choking sounds as I struggled to pull in air.

But I knew it didn't matter. I knew I was too late.

A building loomed up ahead, a building I had to get inside. I felt a doomed hope rush through me, and I did what I would have sworn couldn't be done--I ran even faster.

I was holding nothing back now. One of my blood-spattered canvas tennis shoes worked itself completely off my foot on the stairs. I didn't slow down, really didn't even notice. Just around the corner now....I had to go faster....

I heard a woman scream, but I couldn't have told you if it was me or her.

The door was cracked open. But even then I knew I was too late; even as I first saw her lying bleeding on the living room floor I knew I couldn't save her....

And then I heard the footsteps, and I knew I couldn't save myself.

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