Air turns to fire in my chest, blood turns to acid in my veins, and thoughts turn to cloud in my mind. But still I run.
Thompson is just ahead of me. His black saloon car slides through the Lanes, metallic paint and rumbling engine hiding his animal fear. He thinks he can be saved by his mechanised chariot, but my feet are better suited to the cobblestones than his tyres. I tear down the alley, my footsteps echoing back at me, cheering me on, calling for blood. Suddenly the walls fall away to either side of me, I'm out on the road, and Thompson's saloon is roaring down the road towards me.
I stand in its way and stare the beast down. It's headlights never waver, but I narrow my eyes and draw a great breath through scorched lungs. As the monster approachs, I leap up and backwards. Momentum stays on my side and I manage to cling onto the bonnet of the car. My face to the glass, I see the whites of the driver's eyes. All he has to do is break or swerve and I'm so much meat on the pavement. But as his eyes widen and his nostrils flare in fear, he hestitates.
I raise Providence and punish him for his doubt. Two bullets hammer through the windscreen. The glass shatters, spiderwebbing across the surface even as blood fountains against the inside to run down the cracks in tiny rivulets. I pause for just a moment to admire the fire and ice merge on the windscreen, Jack Frosts' touch dances with rivers of flame.
Then I'm rolling, twisting, and crashing to the road with a blinding flash of pain. The car swerves and crashes into a building. In the silent darkness before dawn breaks, no-one stirs at the noise.
I rise from the floor and stretch, trying to push my bones into place. They grumble and complain, scream at me their grievences. No food, no drink, no sleep and too much punishment. I tread over broken glass and pull open the door to the saloon. Thompson huddles within. He opens his mouth to protest, to lie, to try and barter for his life. My fist closes it quickly enough, adding a fresh smear of blood to his face.
I drag Thompson from the car and throw him to the cobblestones.
I stand and savour the moment. After so much strife, and doubt, and pain, it's over. I've won. I gaze at the inky black sky, raise my arms, and offer a silent prayer to the hidden stars, the celestial witnesses that have seen so much of my trial. They know my plight, they've known my pain. I share with them my triumph, and I am filled with a glorius light that no-one else can see. As I open my eyes, I swear that stars flash, one final flourish before the sun rises. A whispered word of congraulations.
Time stands still. Just for a moment. Just forever. There is blood at the back of my mouth, but all I can taste is victory.