The girl hopped the turnstile without a second thought, hands on the metal, feet up and over the narrow bars. Her ballet flats hit the gum stained concrete and she was dashing towards the open train.
The silver doors closed. She skidded to a halt on the platform, nearly losing a shoe.
The woman paused behind the dirty chrome of the turnstile. A roused guard does not move, but his eyes swept across her tailored white suit and gold linked sandals. The woman shone against the dirty underground. When she vaulted the bars, he lunged, and then lurched ambisinister. She was gone in the crowd when he picked himself from the floor.
The tracks were empty, the platform busy. She picked her way through the benign throng, edging around commuter, vagrant, and squalling child with equal disdain. A man with long unkempt hair catches her eye from the corner. He reaches up from his blanket and she passes a bribe into his ruddy hand. He points a grime covered finger towards the tunnel and the tracks leading into the dark.
The girl doesn’t stop running. Trash litters the tunnel, grease stained paper and the ripped plush toys. Behind her, the sound of someone else’s feet echo through the dark. Somewhere, she loses her shoe. The girl leaves it behind.
The woman pursues the sound of uneven footfalls. Her own pace is rhythmic; her sandals slap the ground as she follows the thief’s trail.
The girl sees the hunter first. Swathed in white, shining with gold at her ears, on her fingers, on her feet. The sound of her steps rang with past chases, hundreds of them. The girl is the hunter’s itch, to be scratched. She stares into the dark, waiting.
The woman only pauses when the tunnel shivers. This was an inevitability, but the thief is ahead, so she does not stop. The refuse around them trembles with promised destruction. She swings around a bend in the tunnel, and stops.
The girl is on the track waiting. The tunnel fills with the shriek of motion.