( I’m two weeks behind. Sorry folks. I also figured you don’t want to hear my laundry use of excuses, so I won’t give them. I will only say that it is a little ironic that this chapter is 13, the unlucky number).
He ran. He had fixed his backpack into one strap across his chest, otherwise he knew his wings would never fit through. He would have to fly tonight, and that was fine with him. He had been waiting to do it.
The tracking device was tight in his hand. Once he got a little distance, he planned to toss it aside. Then up he would go, and he would be gone from it all.
He crossed a small street and plunged into a dark alley. There was a dumpster, lately emptied. His feet crunched on the bits of paper left behind.
He threw the device in. He heard it clink down at the bottom.
The alley was a dead end, but that was alright. There was a building at the end of it. Even in the dark he could tell it was covered with graffiti. He would use the roof.
His heart rate quickened as he spread out his arms. When he reached the back of the alley, his wings shot our and unfurled their feathers. He jumped up just before he would have ran into the wall. His wings pushed him higher and he caught the sills of one of the high windows. There just a slight change in air current, but it was enough. He walked his feet up to the sill, and his hands grabbed the window frame. Then he let go and jumped off.
He flapped his wings down and spun up above the buildings.
Black sky. White stars. He pushed his way up through the heavy air to them. Up and up. Faster and faster as he gathered the wind under his wings. Almost on the current. He could feel it was near.
He heard a small whistling sound, but he ignored it. Almost there.
Something small punched into his arm, and it went numb immediately. He dropped. He could barely move it and everything started to spin. Buildings, sky, buildings, sky. He couldn’t move his arm at all. He couldn’t push in or against the wind.
He forced both his arms out to attempt a glide. He spun for a moment longer before he leveled out. When he did, he was flying right into a flat rooftop. He swung his legs up and skidded to a landing on his feet. He fell forward and banged his knees as he stopped. He rolled onto his back.
His breath caught in his throat and pain shot up through his arm and knees. He looked up at the sky, but didn’t think about it this time. Who hit me? Where are they?
He reached over to the back of his left arm, where it had been hit. In the feathers, stuck in his skin, he felt a small object, about the size of a pin. He yanked it out. Though it didn’t help the numbness.
He sat up slowly and didn’t see anyone on the roof. But he heard something, the sound of someone climbing up a rope. No, there were more, at least three.
Elijah got up now and turned around towards the sound. He could see it now, the glint of small grapples, gripping onto the edge of the roof. Three of them. With three men climbing up no doubt.
He frantically threw off his backpack, but it caught on his wings for a moment. His heart started to hammer as he heard the men got closer.
He got the bag off and his fingers fumbled and missed the zipper a few times. When he got it open he took out his handgun. It was loaded. His hands stopped shaking once they felt the weight, and he cocked it. He couldn’t fly, but he wasn’t helpless either, though it had been a few years since he was at the range. Just shoot. Between breaths.
He saw two hands reach up and grab the roof. Then the man hauled himself over. Elijah shot just as he started to stand up. There was a flash of red on his black jacket. He fell forward. At the same moment the second man came up. Quickly. And as Elijah lifted his gun again the man was already running at him. Elijah thought he saw another man come too as he shot again. His aim went awry, and he missed.
The man grabbed Elijah’s arm and knocked him to the ground. The gun fell out of his hand.
He reached over to grab it. The man dropped down and pinned his arm to the ground before Elijah could get it. The other man ran up and stopped with a pistol aimed at Elijah.
The man on him pulled a cloth down from over his face.
“Elijah Burton,” he said. “You’ve broken the Correlation’s confidence.”