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The man trips and splays himself across the ground. Grumbling into the concrete, he pushes the sidewalk away from him and raises from the earth to his knees. It's late and the only sounds are his ragged breathing and and quiet sobs. The burning in his throat is a combination of anger, sadness, and exhaustion. Tears flowing down his cheeks, he rubs his calf muscles briefly before standing again and limping forward.

He falls again, wincing and bracing himself against the fall with his forearms. Scratched and exhausted he coughs into the sidewalk before slumping over and closing his eyes. The silence is calming, not enough to foil his emotions or feed the hunger inside, but enough to measure a small amount of consistency from his last fall until now.

"Leveling out at least"

Without another word the man pushes away and starts to run again. After another few minutes the tense pain in his muscles drag him to the ground again, panting and frustrated. Staring up the hill he now faces, the lights line his path to a small moment of pleasure, he curses the moment he thought to himself that he could surpass the hill. Hope, he feared, had always been his worse enemy, It had motivated him, encouraged him, even made him feel great as he moved ever closer to the top. But now, staring down between the cracks of slabs of sidewalk, he felt only disappointed.

How was he supposed to clear this? How could he possible move again when his legs screamed in insolent fury. Resisting the slightest pressure to move or to shift his weight forward. The tendons along the front of his calves tensed and their weight pulled back on him. The tightness and pain cramped all up his legs from the ankle to the top. It wasn't for another five minutes before the stars in his vision faded and the blackness faded to the haze of dim street lit walkways. Eyes still unfocused he stood up and limped forward, desperate to reach even the smallest of his goals.

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