She was running, as fast as she possibly could. She imagined that, to someone watching her, her legs would be a blur. She breathed raggedly, sucking in lungsful of the freezing air which felt like it slipped down into her lungs and created tiny icicles falling and piercing her insides excruciatingly.
Attached to her wrist was a red helium balloon which was bobbing comically in the air, trying its hardest to escape from the humdrum of this running-as-fast-as-you-can-standing-stillness. She’d flown away with it, into the bright blue sky, over green fields, but that was before she got concreted. Each time a growling car passed, the balloon bumped and pulled.
Looking around she realised that, in fact, she wasn’t moving at all. She tried to run faster, but she was concreted in that one spot, surrounded by suburban houses trying to outdo each other with higher walls and shinier doorknobs. Cars and taxis whizzed past her, growling, baring their teeth, and coughing their poison gases over her. She smelt the rot of the city.
On the verge was a small patch of grass upon which five children sat, a steps-and-stairs bunch, playing. They seemed to be conducting some sort of experiment with some snails and two ants. She tried to run towards them, her breath shortening, but she remained rooted and they started to blur, first losing their outlines, then their entire beings, until all that was left was a small shadow on the grass, an outline of love.
Her heart was being strangled by the whole scene and she began to realise, while she was concreted to that spot, the balloon wasn’t, so she began to bite through its string until it flew up, carried by that icy wind into the bright blue sky.
She watched it twist and turn and dance and as she watched she felt her substance draining away. A gust of wind blew down the street gathering her fluttering shell up in it, blowing her along the gutter to the rain drain at the corner, next to a Simba chip packet which fluttered disconsolately as she landed on it.