The rhythmic splashes of Dan’s feet hitting the wet pavement were a drum beat to his motivation. It was like a war drum, the constant, methodical thumping of a roving band of native warriors, carrying out some necessary evil in the quiet of the night. It pushed Dan further, drove him harder.

He wanted to look back, to see how far he had gone, to see if anyone was following him. But he couldn’t bring himself to even so much as glance. The sound of his own footsteps propelled him forward. Away.

He thought to himself that maybe if he ran fast enough everything would be fine. Maybe if he got far enough, things would be all right. Maybe he could turn back time. Maybe he could stop the intruder. Maybe he could keep the gun from going off. Maybe. Just maybe.

He notices absently that the footstep rhythm has increased, become stronger and more powerful. And then, he suddenly grinds his inner working to an absolute halt.

He finally looks back. Ten blocks. He ran ten blocks, and his sister is probably still dead.

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