As time goes by~ a group story

Written by Bree (Linde) and I (safeandsound101)-- for Linde's contest

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Chapter 4

It’s one in the morning when her bag is finally packed.

August knows this because of the single chime the grandfather clock downstairs belches out, as if she timed her departure to the last minute. Soft ticks and snores alone fill the silence after that; outside, the birds hold their silence, and tuck her secret under their wings.

No one knows she’s leaving—both of her parents (well, adoptive parents) are sound asleep, and would most certainly stop her if they were aware of what she’s been planning since yesterday, when her life—which first seemed to spiral upwards—was suddenly seen balancing on the edge of a cliff. How can anyone expect her to sit at home and do nothing if one day, Death itself comes knocking on her door? There is so much August doesn’t know: Her real surname; whether her mother loves Swiss cheese, too; if her dad has the same weird hair, which never seems to be healthy.

August lugs the suitcase off of her bed, and chews her bottom lip as she reads the note over again. It’s simple; just an apology for leaving in the midst of night and assurance that she’ll be fine. The last line tells Lisa and Greg Montgomery that she loves them, and that’s that; her, presumably, final goodbye to the people who have been so generous and kind…her parents.

She slips out of her room and tiptoes down the stairs, holding on to her valise with both hands (even though it’s filled only with light necessities, it’s always better to be safe than sorry; luggage rolling down the steps is sure to wake her parents up). It feels weird to act like a thief in the house she grew up in; it feels weirder to open the front door, lock it behind her and walk to the end of the lane without someone next to her—without Dad, Mom or even a friend.

Tears prick in her eyes, and August pauses to wipe them away and suck in a sharp breath. It’s unusually cold outside, and her trench coat can’t keep out the damp mist that her very bones seem to absorb. The moon above her is almost full, and (judging by the lack of rustling trees) the wind is holding its breath. It’s not a perfect night to escape from your childhood, it’s too quiet and chilly for that, but it’s the only night she’s got…

And so, without looking back, August Montgomery starts running from her problems. She knows isn’t the first person to try, and that she probably won’t be the last—but what she also knows is that if she doesn’t try to escape from everything trying to kill her, they might as well call her cause of death suicide.

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