|Monk (Thailand). Photo courtesy of Shuco|
Almost as one, the monks stilled.
Jessica stopped a fraction of a second later, matching her breaths to the wind. She shut her eyes, listening for the rustle of robes that would signify the next part of their procession. After three years hidden away in the monastery, Jessica had memorized their movements.
Despite the encumbrance of their robes, the monks moved nearly silently. She hadn’t learned to do that, so she’d turned a torn robe into pants instead. It wasn’t cheating – it was resourceful.
Even with eyes closed, Jessica knew which direction each monk faced, where her next steps should take her. Pack on her back, she crouched barefoot, waiting for the shifting pressure in the air that would signify her next move. Three steps to the wall.
She sprung forward, barely touching the ground, ready to be free.
Out of nowhere, an orange robe materialized, stopping her short. Sighing, she bowed to Master Junari.