The day started with smoke.
Enough smoke to fill up his lungs entirely - causing his breathing to grow into a rather uneven pattern. Not that his breath wasn't faltering already. Sprinting could take a lot out of you.
Jasper laughed, his voice echoing like music around him. Somebody was screaming. It was exactly the type of chaos that he would've cooked up in his mind - minus the fact that the police seemed to be catching up to him. He turned the corner. This particular hallway, where the air conditioning normally sent chills down his spine, instead was now burning with heat. A smirk turned his lips. The boy pulled the small, black lighter from his pocket - not even bothering to destroy evidence of fingerprints, and dropped it on the ground. Laughing. Screaming. The sound of metal against cold concrete. A symphony.
The front parking lot of the high school was already crawling with police. He was going to have to be more clever than what he'd intended, but the boy was quick to adjust. In the blink of an eye, he'd pulled his hood over his head, knowing that nobody was quite sure enough of a suspect already to instantly put him in handcuffs. He acted like the other students around him. Racing out the front doors of the school into the blaring sun - even allowing some fake tears to pour from his eyes. That's what everybody else was doing. Crying. Why cry over a little bit of smoke?
Nobody even gave him a second glance.
Buses were a blessing. Buses didn't require any sort of real identification besides a pass. Buses could take you to the ends of the world and back with no questions - and you could sleep the whole trip through. Jasper Black only took buses. And bus line two could take him wherever he wanted - even if he didn't have an exact destination in mind. So the boy simply took it to the end of the line. Some piece of shit town in the middle of nowhere, but it was the perfect place for someone to hide whose face would soon be plastered over every newspaper in the country. His green eyes traced the town. A tall, dark brick building seemed to be calling his name. Collingwood Heights. Convenient.
It seemed that the top floor was being renovated. But the commotion was more of a positive than a negative to him. He grabbed a random pair of keys that a worker had dropped, quickly finding out that they fit perfectly into a staircase door. Feet creeped silently up the concrete steps. The fourteenth floor was a disaster. Dust and wood lined the ground, but he was quick to lay his eyes on a room that seemed to be untouched. The perfect place to hide out.
He listened closely to the conversations of the construction workers, who stood only inches away from him, yet still unaware that he'd just declared this place as his hideout. One, it seemed, had broken into a local store earlier that day - leaving glass all over the concrete floor. Who would've thought that Jasper, a criminal on the run - would find himself hiding from other criminals?