The Wall


She paused to listen for their footsteps, her breath caught in her throat as her heart pounded in her ears. There was nowhere left to go; only walls covered in graffiti and the swell of frenzied voices behind her. She cursed herself for running blindly as she made her way over to one of the walls. Looking up, she knew instinctively that it was too high to jump- but it wouldn’t stop her from trying. Stepping back as far as she could, she took a deep breath, and then, a running leap. Her nails clawed desperately at the mortar as her feet struggled to grasp at the space between the bricks. She made a final desperate reach for the top of the wall and pushed up with her feet, before losing her grip completely and toppling backwards onto the ground. Pushing back her thick red hair, she once again looked to the top of the wall and gritted her teeth, determined to try again. The voices were becoming louder. Their shadowy outlines shrank against the moonlight, ever closer.

She had only moments. Pushing off the ground with her elbows, she stood tall and racked her brain for a way out. Curious, she stepped to the spot where two of the walls met and ran her hands over the cool brick. The paint was fresh- she could smell it. It was funny what you paid attention to as you edged closer to death- but she couldn’t help but take a moment to inhale the fumes. They reminded her of when she’d been younger- maybe seven or eight- and had helped her dad paint her bedroom. The color was called Hostess and was a bright, bubblegum pink that she had begged for relentlessly until her parents finally gave in. A warmth filled her stomach and she closed her eyes, remembering the excitement of falling asleep that night, wrapped within a cotton candy cloud.

A low growl snapped her out of her reverie and she turned slowly, locking eyes with him. This would be her final chance. Swallowing hard, she took six purposeful steps backward. As though sensing she was just desperate enough to make it, he sprung into action. Forty feet. Thirty feet. Twenty five feet. Twenty. She leapt at the corner, finding balance within the wedge. Slowly edging her way up, she didn’t turn to look at him- didn’t allow herself to show him how afraid she was to die- refused to give him that pleasure. Her balance didn’t last long- she slowly began to slip backwards, a small cry escaping her lips as one foot lost its grip completely. This was the end.

Her face slammed hard into the wall as fingers clawed at her hair and jacket. Seconds later, she was staring down into the bewildered eyes of one of her attackers- someone had pulled her over the wall. Confused, she turned to look for her savior, but the person was gone, blending into the shadows. She stood unsteadily, her foot kicking something that had been lying next to her on the ground. The sound of metal scraping concrete caused her to pause only seconds before curiosity forced her to follow the sound. It was a can of spray paint. Bending down to see what was written on the can, she smiled. It read Hostess.


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