The sound of Crenshaw’s shoes slapping against wet pavement boomed and echoed in the dark alley as he ran. He threw himself against a damp brick wall and tried to catch his breath. The humid night air did nothing to dry the sweat that ran down his face and got into his eyes.
But sweltering as it was inside his long coat, he drew it tighter around him, sheltering the book he held against his chest. He’d been running for almost an hour but the book seemed to have taken no warmth from his body. It felt cool, almost clammy; like a dead fish, long since rotten, pressed against him.
Footsteps. Coming closer. Crenshaw roze and held his breath. The footsteps grew louder and he could hear whispers. The voices paused just outside the alley. From the shadows, he watched as three figures conferred and pointed in different directions.
After what felt like an eternity, the figures continued down the street. He let out a slow breath. The book was safe.
Crenshaw wondered if the same could be said for himself.