New York City, New York
She knew that she couldn't avoid it forever. Sooner or later, she had to go, and it would be better if it were sooner, or so she told herself.
Some of the landmarks were almost exactly the same, and the streetnames provided a friendly and familiar guide for her to trace and wind her way back towards what was once her home, or something like it. But that was where the friendly and the familiar ended.
The streets were littered with indecent flyers trampled in the mud. Graffiti peppered the sides of buildings that had once been elegant and graceful, gang signs and rap lyrics and phone numbers and vulgar words for Shadowkind. She tried not to feel sick as memories of walking these streets with Carson assailed her. People she passed didn't make eye contact, or pressed past her, bumping shoulders against her as if they hadn't noticed her walking straight towards them. No one was smiling, no one was laughing, no one was even looking up at the sky. What could be seen of it, that is.
She took a moment to do just that, as she rounded a corner,eyes raking upwards along the impossibly tall buildings. She gasped slightly when she saw the two people standing upon the ledge. They were so far up that at first she thought they might be cats, birds, something small perched on the edge. They weren't.
Her eyes dropped down again and now she could see the crowds of onlookers staring up, pointing, jaws dropped, hushed whispers. There were no police cars, no megaphones. Had no one called the police? Or had there not been enough time for them to get there?
Anastacia began stepping across the street, looking quickly for ways to get through traffic, which seemed to push on past the scene above as if in a hurry to escape it, avoid it, not notice it. Above, the two people clasped hands. A man and a woman. They were looking at each other, not at the hoardes of people pointing up at them, not doing anything to prevent this.
If only she could get inside, get up there, if only...
And then they stepped off, in tandem, and plummeted. She was halfway through the street and she was screaming, or she thought she was, but really there wasn't any sound coming out of her mouth, it was just the cars honking at her, as she'd stopped in the middle of the road, in New York traffic, and they were still falling, why wasn't anyone doing anything and
then it was over. Just like that.
There were sirens now, on their way, not going to make it, and she wasn't going to make it across the street either, so she pushed her way back to the crowd gathered on the far side. She didn't want to see, didn't want to be there anymore. She just didn't understand.
What had happened to this place? It felt like there was a whirlpool inside of her, sucking away at something. She needed to be away from here, and go back home, but she wasn't really sure that anywhere felt like home now. Certainly this city didn't, where people where helpless against hopelessness. She didn't belong in such a place.
But maybe, whispered the tiniest voice inside of her, one that she pushed down for now, but would grow stronger in time, maybe that's exactly why the Unicorn sent me here in the first place. To help fight that despair.