I've never been good at spending my time doing nothing. I guess that's why I started training for a marathon. Which is kind of stupid, since I'm not very fit, much less a runner. I think I was mostly trying to distract myself. Some thoughts live deep in the brain, in that forgetting place. They like to travel though, don't they? I knew even then that some of those were trying to visit the land of my upper mind. Being the kind of thoughts you forget I didn't know what they were, but I was pretty sure I didn't want to either.
You're supposed to run half the marathon, and you work up to it. Unfortunately there was a block, one I couldn't seem to cross. I reached that imaginary line, at Mason Ave and Dixon St, and pain bloomed in the middle of my brain. Like an inferno burning to life in the dry, gray tinder that rested there.
Seven days, the same number as the ones I watched from down the street. Seven days from reaching my wall at that intersection. That's when I saw the curtains twitch. I ignored it, just somebody watching. Weird though, because nobody ever looked at me. Not even the ones on the street.
The next day I saw a face, and eyes staring. No big deal though. Just someone curious about my run. Maybe about why I kept pulling up short at the end of their block. They'd get bored of it soon. Then another seven days pass, and they were still watching.
I stopped, like I always did, looking at the vacant lot, kitty-corner to where my feet cemented themselves to the ground. I saw the curtains move, like they were rustled by the wind. The anger my people are known for bloomed in my mind; a desert rose in the flames burning there. I crossed the street.
My hands clenched into fists and the fire burned brighter. I didn't know why, but this person had no business watching me. I knew it was a woman, because as I pounded on the door, I smelled her perfume. It had that faint patina of roses, like hers always did.
When Leesa opened the door, my jaw dropped. There was no way. She...
"You're so sure?"
"When the accelerant took, you were on the wrong side. The building... it was a building right? A church."
"Go on, you are almost there."
"The building burned to the ground. Everyone inside was to die, a sacrifice to the cause. You were in there with them. You were supposed to be with me as I ran out but you weren't. There's no way you survived."
"John, dear John. Nobody survived."
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