It was dark as Karen left the school. She had been working late, as she always seemed to end up doing at the end of term, and she was very tired. She walked past the giant window of the lunch hall and stopped to look in the window. Or rather to look at herself in the reflection.

“It’s night’s like these,” she said to herself, “that are giving you those bags under your eyes”.

She turned away from the lunch hall and carried on walking. The cool breeze, announcing the oncoming winter, swirled along the path and right inside her collar. She gave an involuntary shiver.

The wind was picking up and so Karen picked up her pace too. She started walking more quickly and yet the wind was whistling down the path with such a force that she could hardly hear her own footsteps. Let alone somebody elses.

Up ahead at the end of the path there was a little area between the lights for the path and the lights of the car park where it was totally dark. And on a usual night Karen hated walking through it. She carried a torch in her bag which she usually took out and used to get through the inky blackness. But tonight the wind was so strong and getting stronger that she felt she couldn’t simply stop and rummage around in her bag. She had to just plow forwards. She had to. She stopped just for a breath on the edge. Just on the edge she stopped. And then her foot went forward, disappearing into this space. As her foot disappeared she reassured herself one last time, took a breath although it was hard in this wind, and with that she stepped into the black.






The other side.

She exhaled. She kept running forward though. And as she did it she pulled her keys from her coat pocket and pressed the button for her central locking. She did it early like this every time, even though it allowed for a chance that somebody sneak into her car, but when she got there it looked empty. She got in, locked the doors, gunned the engine, turned on the lights, and turned up the music. She was safe.

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