Safe means moving quickly and when the car pulls into the alley I feel what we'd managed to continually scatter gather close around me.
Cimar opens the door. "This is it. God bless and watch over you."
"Over us all." My feet are on the ground before I finish speaking. Safe means moving quickly. It means to keep moving, no matter what.
Cimar throws the car into reverse, leans over, closes the door. I hear him accelerate.
Keep moving, keep moving. Where does he intend me to go from here? A thought crawls into my skull through my sinuses: Perhaps he meant me to stop here for always. Did I remember. . . but now is not the time to catalog offenses I might have committed against Cimar's people. Before I had no inclination, now I do not have the time.
Gunshots bring me back to the alley. Time to move, always time to move. Darila taught me that up or down is best for hiding, people in pursuit do not always remember to look away from eye level. There is a battered green door, with basement steps leading to it. A glass window. Dark inside, but that means nothing. I glance down the alley before I skitter down the steps.
The door is unlocked. That should be a warning. I close it without someone closing it for me. That is also a warning.
The hallway is full of dirt and chipped paint and shuffling. Further down, someone coughs and someone else hushes them. I hear the soft murmur of young children, insisting that adults reply.