Searching, I find freedom.
Watching humanity move with the measured flow of blood.

This is not a place he would have come to willingly. Crouched in the damp, sour-smelling grass, collar turned up against the cold, he pulled out the photograph. Water beaded on its glossy surface. A young woman with custard-yellow hair smiled tenderly at the unseen photographer. Droplets from the fog slid over her face like tears. There was a time when she could have him asked him for anything and he would not have hesitated to give it.

The bells of the Cathedral intoned mournfully and low, echoing through half-seen streets and over tiled roofs. He let the photograph slip from his fingers and watched it flit end over end before landing resolutely into the mud. He glanced at the face once more, then scooped a handful of wet soil, rocks and weeds over the photograph. One of its corners stuck out; a bit of brightness against the earth. The resistance will soon know everything. They'll come looking for him. He will leave them a trail of proverbial breadcrumbs. He owed her that much.

He stood, pushed through the tall grass and walked to the water’s edge. She would have skipped rocks across the surface of the canal, he thought. He knelt and plunged both hands into the water up to the wrists, sucking in air through pursed lips as the shock of the cold jolted through him. The lazy current carried away mud and detritus. He pulled his hands out. Rivulets ran from the frayed cuffs of a once-beloved shirt over sinew and fine black hairs. He stood and walked out towards the street. The park’s wrought iron gate clattered in time with the rumble of a train. He heard it whistle shrill and high.

As he reached the gate, he turned his head and looked back through the roiling mists towards the place where he had left the photograph. He brushed a damp hank of hair out his eyes. His fingers still smelled like gunmetal.

To resist is to conquer.
Expecting to find a train station or a secluded pond.

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