The city is alive. Its pulse runs through the streets, up the skyscrapers, and into the atmosphere. It is consuming and has consumed so many. I see it in their eyes. No longer people, they have instead become ingested by the city. They are singular, short lived, serviceable cells. Mindless. Consumed.
There are those who have escaped consumption. They are still alive. The city cannot feed on them and so they feed off the city. I drift somewhere in between. I can feel the city hunting me, lurking in the shadows of subway tunnels. In the bodies pushing, shoving, grasping past me. The prices on menus. The non-stop noise. The city is hungry, and escape is exhausting. Everywhere I look I see its gray, dirty skin, behind, before, and below me. There is no rest to be had when even the quiet is filled with fear and anticipation. Overwhelmed; I run away.
I am running, always. My words are running, my thoughts are running, and my heart is pounding constantly. Life on the run is not living. It is reflex. Breathless, I remember the eyes of those still alive. I hear the sound of laughter. My feet come to a stop. As the panic slowly dissipates, the bodies brushing past become people. In the cracks between the cars and concrete there is music, and conversation. Streams of sunlight illuminate colors full of life and energy. My pulse beats with wonder. My breath begins to level. Feet firmly planted, I make the decision to turn and face the beast that has pursued me.
To my surprise, the city has become a staircase.