• Aurora was beginning to grow weary.
    “Running all night without rest was not a good idea after all,” Boris said.
    Aurora glared down at her shadow as he ran beneath her. Though he did not mimic her moves, his connection to her foot made him hers. Looking up in time to dodge a tree branch, Aurora said, out of breath, “Would you rather I was caught?”
    The shadow seemed the shrug as he said, “You could just as easily have hidden.”
    Aurora groaned in frustration, panting, “You know it wouldn’t have been so easy.”
    “You shouldn’t have upset them then,” Boris said simply.
    “This is your entire fault!” Aurora shouted. She tripped over a root, but before she could straighten herself again, a man knocked her to the ground with the back of his hand. As Aurora whimpered on the ground, the intimidating man towered over her. He reached into his suit’s jacket and brandished a gun. As the nameless man aimed the gun at Aurora’s temple, she couldn’t help but wonder where it had all one wrong.

    When she was sixteen, Aurora got her first job: a drug runner for a lowly gang known simply as Gray. In accordance to her job’s description, she delivered various illegal narcotics to drop off points, bringing money back to the boss, all done quietly without much disturbance, despite Boris being beside her. In fact, Boris was rather supportive of her job, even when they ran into trouble.
    Said trouble was caused by a gang called The Pack. The Pack was full of vigilantes, above drugs, but not above offering protection and insurance to members of the community for a good price. Normally, Gray avoided anything to do with The Pack. However, the boss of The Pack set up a fake order of a new, expensive drug from Gray. Aurora arrived at the designated drop area, despite her bad feelings, as Boris had goaded her into going, helping her see the amount of money that would be awarded to her. When she saw The Pack’s right hand woman armed, Aurora ran. The woman followed Aurora into an alley. Before she could fire her weapon, Aurora swung a solid piece of plywood, hitting the woman’s jaw and knocking her to the ground, unconscious. Aurora turned to leave, but Boris had other ideas. If Aurora killed this woman, she wouldn’t have to make drop offs anymore; she would be promoted. Deciding to ignore her own instincts yet again, Aurora traded her plywood for a metal pipe. She then began to beat the body on the ground until it lay in a large pool of blood.
    When Aurora returned to speak to her boss, she found him in an infuriated state. He claimed he had always loved the way she worked, but she had gone too far. The woman had survived, informing The Pack who was responsible for the beating. Fearing The Pack’s retaliation, Gray’s boss fired Aurora, only letting her live as he believed she would remain quiet. However, he did make it very clear that should she return to Gray’s territory, or should she run to the police, she would be killed in the most merciless way imaginable.
    Aurora ran from the place she had come to call home. She was followed by various members of The Pack, but none could torture her for long, as she always managed to escape somehow. The new way of living soon grew tiresome. Knowing of no other place she could remain relatively safe, Aurora robbed a bank, with Boris’s strategic help. When she was caught three days later, she was tried for and found guilty of thievery. Aurora looked forward to the seven years of safety that prison would provide.
    Aurora panicked on her last night in prison. She did not wish to leave the safety and relative comfort it had provided. Boris suggested she kill someone in order to stay in prison for the remainder of her life. She looked at her cell mate, a member of Gray who had been caught slaughtering people who owed Gray money. The killer slept peacefully, and Aurora’s eyes welled up with tears as she placed her hands firmly around the woman’s throat, remembering the good times they had together, even though they were in prison. Aurora did not get a chance to kill the woman, though, as a guard happened to walk past and catch her. The guard quickly opened the cell and tore Aurora away from her victim. The woman woke up then, and, upon seeing Aurora being detained by the guard, immediately knew what was occurring. After that, Aurora received life imprisonment in solitary confinement. The first few weeks were wondrous, but Aurora soon found prison to be entirely too lonesome, even with Boris’s company. Sensing Aurora’s sadness, Boris concocted a plan of escape. Aurora followed it word-for-word and they were soon out of the prison complex, making a run for the border.
    Once in the next country, Aurora settled down. She found a small shack she could stay in and, as Boris would refuse to be content with working respectably, she stole food and money, but just enough to get by. Unfortunately, eventually, all good things must come to an end.
    Gray found her. They burned her shack with her in it. She managed to crawl out of the burning building before she died, but her lungs would never be the same. She tried to run, but didn’t get very far before the members of Gray caught up with her. They beat her to near death, leaving her in a pool of her own blood, before they were called away to a more important job. Apparently, they had received word of the incident that occurred in prison.
    A few days had passed and Aurora had settled down again, this time in a different region, one that Boris had suggested. He had suggested it because it was a rundown neighborhood, full of suspicious characters. If the police or an unfamiliar gang dared to show their face, the neighborhood would act as a guard, or so Boris thought. In actuality, when The Pack swung by Aurora’s house, the neighbors all hid, watching through their curtains as the members of the gang tortured Aurora. When The Pack left, they promised Aurora they would return every night to do even worse things to her. And so Aurora ran as soon as they were out of sight.
    For two more years, Aurora could not settle down for more than two weeks before a member of the police, Gray, or The Pack found her. She always hoped the police would find her before the gangs did, and she secretly prayed to be caught by the police again, but The Pack seemed to be pulling their powerful strings, ensuring that the police would hold her for a night of relentless questions, but never anything more. Growing more and more anxious with each day, Aurora took Boris’s suggestion to relieve her stress. She pulled the gun out of a questioning officer’s holster and killed him. Three officers rushed into the room, guns pointed at her, and they locked a pair of handcuffs around her wrists. After throwing her into the back of their police car, two officers drove her into the woods, ignoring her constant questions.
    When the car stopped, one officer reached over and unlocked the handcuffs, a grim look on his face. Then, someone outside the car opened Aurora’s door. They reached in and pulled her out of the car by the back of her shirt. As soon as she was out of the car, the officers sped away. Aurora looked up at the person who had pulled her out of the car and was surprised to find The Pack’s right-hand woman. Aurora struggled and managed to break free, running away from the woman that began to chase her, along with a few others.

    The woman Aurora had beaten close to death walked up behind the man who held the gun. “Any last words?” she asked.
    “Never listen to your shadow,” Aurora whimpered before a single shot was fired.