Crackle

His breath comes in ragged gasps now, like the air’s being pulled through a tattered wet cloth.  The muscles in his legs scream.  There is a drum beating in his head, and beneath it: the slow crackle of the stones under the car’s tires.

It rolls effortlessly behind, matching his speed, just far enough that when he stops for air (precious air) it takes a long moment for it to creep, idling, to his knees, so that he has to run again.  The windshield is ablaze in sunlight.

He wonders what will happen when he has to stop for good.

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