Nora chased after Melissa. Pins of rain stung her eyes and pricked at her face but she kept on.
Melissa had never been faster than Nora. Through school Nora had been the athlete. High jump, hundred metre dash, Nora was always grabbing gold or silver (even when no one was counting but her) and yet Melissa was outstripping her.
But Nora was sure that the woman she was chasing wasn’t Melissa.
A glimpse of movement up ahead caught Nora’s eye.
A woman was being attacked by a dog who was yanking at her leg. Second by second Nora’s day was getting stranger.
The woman tripped and went down. Nora watched horrified as Melissa kicked the woman clean in the face. Even from this far back Nora could see the ribbon of blood twist up into the air.
Melissa didn’t stop. Didn’t even skip a beat. Just kept on running.
As Nora reached the woman on the ground she saw the true mess of her face. The pleading look in her eyes. Almost childlike confusion. Nora stopped. She couldn’t catch up with Melissa anyway. Her sister was too far ahead and still gaining speed.
Nora watched her disappear around a bend in the path and she was gone.
‘What the fuck is going on?’ the woman on the floor whimpered.
The woman’s face was a mess. Her nose had been pushed to the left and was pissing blood across her mouth and chin. Her dog, a small terrier, was standing off to the side near a bunch of ferns, trembling and uncertain.
‘Are you okay?’ Nora asked.
The woman wiped at her face and seethed. Stared in shock at the blood smeared on her hand.
‘What the hell was that?’
‘My sister. I’m sorry. Something’s wrong with her.’
The woman pushed herself onto her backside. Spat blood onto the path. Nora knelt down. ‘Come on. Let me give you a hand.’ The woman looked at Nora uncertainly before letting holding out an arm.
Nora heaved the woman up.
‘You…you said something was wrong with her.’
‘Yeah. Look, are you okay?’
‘What’s wrong with her?’ the woman asked aggressively.
Nora didn’t know what to say. She gawped at the woman. The stranger she had tried to help and who was now bearing her teeth, eyes wild. In that stunned silence, the truth bubbled up from the depths of her subconscious and burbled out.
‘I…she felt something.’
The woman blinked. Scratched the back of her head. ‘She felt it too.’