Sunday, January 20, 2013

AnyWhen, part 1

Boston, 1984
Cara tried not to stumble down the Back Bay side streets. Tried not to flinch each time her bootheel nailheads struck the pavement and her heavy backpack thudded against the makeshift bandage across her left shoulder blade. She knew the city streets by heart, across four centuries of growth, and she always felt more at “home” here than anywhere, anywhen.
She glanced up at the windows, looking for the tell-tale purple panes that indicated a safe portal. Finding one, she tried to maintain the casual air of a wandering tourist as she crossed the street and leaned against the iron railing. The light was fading fast. The December wind bit through her worn black leather jacket and the wool scarf wrapped around her head. It offered little warmth, but hid the damage to her jaw and neck.
Cara pushed her tongue over the comm implant behind her left molar. Still nothing. It must have broken when she was beaten last night. She slowly lowered the backpack she had retrieved after her escape and gingerly pulled out something that might have been a fancy camera. As she straightened, she felt the blood slick on her back and left thigh where she had taken the deepest wounds. She shook her head with determination against the growing desire to lie down on the sidewalk and close her eyes.
Her broken fingers could barely manage the controls as she fiddled with the device. With another glance around, she raised it in front of her face like a camera and spoke softly.
“Brother Sam, Sister Cara here. Boston Portal 17 at your earliest convenience, please.”
A moment later, the entry light flashed twice, then glowed a steady warm yellow. Cara carefully replaced the device in her backpack and lifted it over her right shoulder as she leaned away from the railing and headed toward safety.

[to be continued]

This is a piece I started awhile ago, at one of Allen Wold's marvelous writing workshops, in fact. I'll share it over a few posts, and welcome feedback, as always!

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