The pair run fast, ducking between bushes and under low branches. They breathe heavily, their hands shake with adrenaline. Legs ache, feet are sore.
“I have an idea!” yells James. He slows down, grabs a large clump of branches and drags it over onto the path. When Angela sees what he is doing she runs to help. They pile branches high between the narrow trees.
“That won’t stop them,” says Angela. “But it might slow them down.” Then they flee onwards, lungs grabbing at the air, legs pulling at the ground.
But soon, from ahead, they hear another crowd, just like the one catching up behind. Screams and laughter and raucous music announce a large group of revellers.
The pair change direction, heading through the trees, but their luck runs out. Soon they are surrounded. On all sides, blurred people stagger in ripped clothes, shouting tunelessly. Deafening music makes the ground shake. A shout rises as the two are captured.
“Found you! Found you!” cries one.
“We want to party! Come on, party!” yells another.
“Have a drink! Make them drink!” laughs a third.
James pulls his companion close.
“Just like in Rome,” he says. “Ready?”
She nods, and together they yell at the top of their lungs. “Yeah! Party!” Their proclamation meets a roar of approval.
The revellers begin to dance once more. The rhythm intoxicates as the bodies move.
And then, when no one is looking, James and Angela begin to run again.