Chapter One - On the Run (continued)

She could pass as one more person in the funk of disappointed middle years - a woman whose body had apparently slumped into shapelessness once the chances of courtship had expired. Her thousands of hours devoted to jogging and lifting weights were well concealed by this bag of a coat. Her figure was suddenly hidden from sight and her silhouette held no promise, no allure.
. . . Satisfied with this first effort, she returned to the closet to root about and see what else would help her to hide.
. . . “Yes!” she whispered with excitement, grasping a scarf in hand.
. . . She went back to the mirror and spread this dark and dreary, quite dismal cloth above her head, then tied it below her chin. Left behind after a party held months earlier, it was never recovered. It had been a night company stayed entirely too late. After such a party, it was not unusual for guests to leave behind more than a scarf.
. . . The loss of a scarf was insignificant when it came to ranking damages, but this one Magda had left hanging in the back closet in case its owner ever called to reclaim it.
. . . This scarf was nothing she might wear. First of all, scarves were not her thing. With blazing red hair like hers, there was never a reason to hide the curls and flames - except maybe back in high school before she caught on to the power red hair would give her.
Until this morning . . .
. . . While she would have preferred a dark wig, she had to make do with whatever was at hand.
. . . The colors and the pattern of this scarf were so matronly, frankly, that she could not imagine that any of her friends might have worn such a thing to a party of hers.
. . . It was terrible, she realized . . . terribly good for her purposes.
. . . And so were the dark glasses she dug out of a dresser drawer - the cheap, bulky, plastic kind you can buy for a few dollars in the pharmacy. They blocked her eyes from anyone’s view, but they probably offered no protection from the sun.
. . . When she checked herself by the hall mirror, she had to chuckle appreciatively.
. . . “Not bad for an amateur,” she mouthed silently.
. . . But she still had to find a way out of the apartment building that would allow her to escape unnoticed. She imagined an innocent looking sedan parked across the street with darkened windows and watchful occupants. Maybe even video cameras.
. . . She could slip down the back fire escape and out through the alley, but that was probably too obvious. If they were any good at all, they’d have the back covered also.
. . . She chose the stairs up, instead, knowing from ranging across the rooftops during summer parties that she could cross over three buildings to take stairs down to the lobby of an office building at the corner of her block.
. . .

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