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Eight: Miami

Run, Marisa, run. Go. Go. Go. Faster. Keep running.

There is no other line of thought in my brain. The panic stretches so wide it exiles all but the nonessential. Run. Run. I am clutching my sign, my backpack is jogging hard against me, and it will be simply a matter of luck if I don’t slam into another runner. Sirens shriek. I am surrounded by choppy swells of black, a surging swarm of sprinters veering at manic angles. Cops at the jagged edges of the beast, prowling. Run. I’m not sure why, but I must keep running, can’t be left behind. Go. Faster. Move. Can’t see much in front: just bobbing heads. Behind: generous crescents of white around the eyes, pink Os of mouths.

Can’t—get—quite—enough—oxygen.

“Run!” someone is screaming, ...

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