Art by Melissa Mead
Z is for Zoom
by Tim Pratt, Jenn Reese, Heather Shaw, Greg van Eekhout
Anna runs. Down city sidewalks, leaping over trashcans, into alleys, on top of dumpsters, bouncing off brick walls and scrambling to the roof. Feet pounding. Heart singing. Across the rooftops, jumping gaps, tumbling the force away and rolling up again.
She didn't always run. Once she was a lawyer defending people who couldn't defend themselves. Once, she felt connected to other human beings, powerful in her ability to help them. Convinced she could make a difference. Determined to change the world.
But now Anna runs. Her sneakers long since dissolved into scraps, the soles of her feet hardened, her arms pumping or splayed or gathered, like twin tails on a cat. Balance, grace, flow. She knows the city's secrets, the hidden routes between Figueroa and Broadway, between Highland and Lincoln. Vault through a window, and she's running along the beach, sand and sun and dogs and people just blurs as she passes them.
She wants them to be blurs. Never wants them to resolve, to come into focus.
Her wool pencil skirt has become lycra shorts. Her gunmetal silk blouse is now a sleek second skin that clings to her muscled torso, never too tight. She has been running since February, but she is never cold. Or hot. Or hungry.