Crazy Carpet Patterns
by MelWil

There is a pattern on the carpet and it is driving him crazy.

He sits, right on the edge of the lumpy bed, staring at the floor. The curtains, barely enough to cover the half opened window, flutters slightly and falls still. He's been running for three months now. Three months and he doesn't know when he'll be able to stop. If he'll be able to stop.

It's another cheap room -- badly cleaned and furnished with shoddy objects. He doesn't have a lot of money and he doesn't attract attention in the cheap places. But the women who showed him the room looked at him suspiciously and he wonders if she's been warned. Maybe she knows who he is; maybe she's got people coming for him.

He'll have to move on, have to leave early. He'll go in the middle of the night, leaving a wad of cash for the land lady. Five pounds more than she expected and she'll never tell anyone anything.


So this is life as a fugitive, he thinks, staring at the carpet. Always running, always hiding, always looking for the next person with the potential to give it all away. He is always suspicious, always seeing familiar faces in crowds of strangers.

He thought he saw Zoe once -- a women dressed in black, carrying two heavy bags away from a fruit market. Another time, watching a bus going north, he thought he saw Danny looking out the window, looking straight at him. And Harry . . . well he sees Harry everywhere.

There are footsteps outside, coming closer to his room. His hand goes immediately to his side, to the gun he keeps close at all times. The footsteps grow louder, then pass and fade away. He takes his hand away from the gun. He stares at the carpet.

The house goes to sleep early, the odd assortment of cranks and grumps retiring to their rooms. He picks up the bag from the corner and shoves his meagre belongings into it. He places the gun on top, where he can reach for it at a moments notice. He creeps out of the room and through the poorly locked kitchen door.

It is time to keep running.


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