Avoidance

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Here's part two, please comment and let me know what you think.

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A groan escaped Ann-Marie's lips as she came to and realised her head pounded. She felt like she'd drunk herself into a coma and woken up after passing out on the dance floor. As she sat up she opened her eyes.

The highly polished wooden floor blurred and dizziness and nausea added to her problems. She instantly closed her eyes again and lent forward. Taking gentle deep breaths she eased her mind and body back into reality.

The pounding in her head matched her heart beat and she knew it would not be relenting any time soon. As sounds of cars outside the front door of the building greeted her ears she opened her eyes again.

She gasped as she saw her legs and arms for the first time. The green goo had formed a solid layer that almost entirely covered her body. What remained of the burnt dress she'd been wearing lay on the floor around her.

"Uhhhh, this... this can't be happening." She shuffled backwards, trying to get away from herself. Eventually her brain kicked in and thought about what had happened to her before she'd woken up.

Her arms, torso and legs were covered but as it went towards her extremities it tapered into lines that followed her bones and petered out. She wiggled her fingers and felt the tendrils move with them, then flexed her arms a few times. The green stuff stretched and moved along with her, as if it was her own skin.

With a frown on her face she tried to pull at the tendril that snaked down the side of her thumb. Her finger nails slipped against it as she tried to catch on the edge. There was nothing to grip onto.

The sound of footsteps coming into the lobby stopped her from investigating further. Instead, she got up and tucked herself behind the statue again. Whatever had happened to her she didn't think she wanted to try and explain it to anyone yet and she definitely didn't want to see him again.

Before too long she saw two German police men walk into the room. They talked to each other too quietly for her to make out what they said and moved off towards the rooms on the right, not even glancing in her direction.

She bit her lip and waited for them to get further away from the exit. As soon as she thought they were far enough away she hurried from behind her hiding place towards the foyer.

As soon as she reached the lobby she exhaled and slowed down. The main door still sat open and she could see the array of police cars and the rush of activity down in the square. Most of the party goers were still there and were standing or sitting in a cordoned off area.

She hesitated. It looked like the police were in control of the area and interviewing everyone, and she knew she should let them interview her too. Shivers ran through her at the thought. As she continued to gnaw on her bottom lip she looked down at herself. This would not be easy to explain to anyone.

Deciding it would be best to figure out what had happened and then go to the police if necessary, she moved sideways so she wasn't in full view and padded up to the doorway. Her eyes roved over the scene outside, trying to work out where all the police were.

The crime scene tape ran from both pillars either side of the entrance and around most of the square so she would have to duck under that before she would be free to drift into the shadows and it wouldn't work if anyone saw her doing so.

Just as she was about to make a run for it she noticed a police officer with a dog walking down the side of the square on the other side of the barrier. He moved with a slow deliberate place right towards the spot she'd been planning to dive under.

Ann-Marie pulled back again and waited, watching and trying to think of a new plan. As she stood there she realised her headache had gone and she no longer felt the ill side-effects that had plagued her body less than five minutes before. Running would at least prove easier, if she found she needed to.

The K9 unit eventually reached the end of the patrol area and turned to wander back again. Knowing she'd already stood there far too long, she sucked in her breath and darted out the door.

Her feet flew down the steps as she hurried off to the side. As she moved she tried to stroll with purpose, keeping her head high and her body out of the light as much as possible. The last thing she wanted was for anyone to remember seeing a funny, green-coloured girl walking around.

About half way to the barrier she started to feel a little more relaxed. She'd gone almost a hundred metres and no one had stopped her. Just as she passed by one of the parked police cars the door swung open and a guy stepped out.

She watched as he put a radio back in it's pouch on his belt and did her best to casually walk past him. Right at the wrong moment he looked up and their eyes met. She gave him a brief smile and a nod of her head and carried on, hoping it would put him at ease.

"Frau?" He said taking hold of her arm. "Kann ich ihnen helfen?"

She winced and stopped.

"I don't speak German." She tried to pull away from him as he raised an eyebrow but his grip was too fierce. He gave her a brief look up and down and she followed his eyes, knowing that her appearance was far from normal.

After a moment he smiled and beckoned for her to come with him, all the while holding onto her upper arm. She realised she would have no choice and let him lead her over to a woman nearby, also dressed in a police uniform.

They talked in German to each other for a minute or so before both of them turned their attention to her. The guy finally let go of her arm and she considered running away, but now wasn't the time.

"Were you inside this building a moment ago?" The woman asked with a thick German accent. It took Ann-Marie a moment to work out what had been said as the short woman pointed behind her at the gallery.

"Yes." She nodded her head. "But I am all right and not hurt. I was in the bathroom until everything was over and do not know what happened."

"You stayed in the bathroom?"

She bobbed her head up and down again. Her heart pounded in her chest at the lies she was telling but she didn't want to be interviewed. The policewoman also ran her eyes over the green covering on her body and pursed her lips together.

"Was this what you wore to the event?"

"Of course." Ann-Marie could tell immediately that they didn't believe her. The people on the door would never have let her in the way she looked now. Mark had impressed upon her the importance of looking classy and in this thin layer of dull green she looked like she was wearing a skin-tight body suit. One that didn't leave a lot to the imagination.

She shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other as she realised that several other people nearby were also staring at her. Feeling exposed and afraid she did the only thing she could think of that made any sense. She ran.

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