two

the tiniest sound makes her turn.  For a second he looks truly scared and Luce poises herself to run but he steps back an inch, looks away to the street and experience tells her he’s here on business.  Fly has melded into shadow, always one step ahead.  Luce spins on her heel and heads to the water tank.  Under her coat the bread is cooling, it’s yeasty scent filling the chilled air.

she pulls herself  ivy-clear through the heavy window frame.  A starling that was perched on the door frame alights in fright, flurrying to the sky-light in fear and knocking against the glass.

Luce freezes, listens to the blood echo in her ears, listens to the air shifting.  Acrid burnt-paper scents filter behind the old coat cupboard that blocks most of the doorway leading to the stairs.  She hears everynight sounds outside, the beep of a phone, a door banging.  She feels magic.  Luce silently glides forward –

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