Breathe the burn.
Searching, I find freedom.
Running through crowds is fluid dynamics. In the mind's eye, watching from above, the whorls of turbulence spread out in her wake, particles disturbed in their path. Brownian motion drawn linear into regularity, one mote striking for the edge of view, others recoiling from it or surging into the space so cleared.
There are paths of concrete and trampled swards of grass. There are benches, empty in the motion, and there are trees scattered through the fields. The masses undulate quietly with a continuous sussuration of breath and shuffle, four steps onward, one step back, pressure waves rippling through the packed groups.
Somewhere there is water; somewhere there is escape, somewhere there is understanding. Continue running, holding bearing on a faraway tallest tree which never grows closer. Feel the sugars breaking in the blood and the sour bitter products of exertion and catabolism stretching tentacles out from the core, reaching for the legs and arms. Somewhere.
When the water comes, it is a surprise, still hidden by the legs and feet of thousands. Footsteps gone to splashing, others still moving from the path in surprise and vapid reaction, until- until there are no others, and rippling water is all that is in view. Hurl forward, go horizontal, let the arms take up the legs' faltering effort, pull through the tiny waves. Let the crowd noise sink behind. Hear the stentorian bellow of the locomotive somewhere up ahead promising escape.
One instant before exhausted drowning, feel the sharp stone cutting into feet. Haul up onto grassy soil, look both ways before crossing that interface, see-
Only trees, close packed, with no promise of industry, as the train's horn wails in Doppler into the evening somewhere out of sight behind the pines.
Expecting to find a train station or a secluded pond.
Curled up on the lakeshore, holding cold breath, covered in moss.
Shadows loom indistinct and distorted.