by Jeremy Warach
Ruben peeked out from the convenience store's doorway and looked to the left, then the right, wondering which way the pursuit would come from. His heart was pounding hard and fast, his breath rapid and shallow. A customer pushed open the door and stepped down onto the sidewalk with her purchases, then turned left and ambled off. Ruben slipped behind her, quickly scanned the area, and sprinted to the right.
It was a hot summer afternoon. The air shimmered above the surface of the street. Ruben's sneakers barely touched the concrete as he ran, zigzagging to the left and right between the leisurely strolling pedestrians. Some of them turned and stared at him for a moment, but none took special notice — a teenager in jeans and a t-shirt running down the street was nothing terribly unusual.