Nine pitched forward onto the floor. When he ground to a halt his face burned from the impact and his vision was blurred as he looked sideways across the floorboards breathing in dust and panting out spit as his lungs heaved.
He heard footsteps quicken behind him and stop. Was it a second, a minute? When the impact came it turned everything glaring white, his vision, his hearing, his thoughts.
He was pulled up through the pieces of his smashed chair by his neck and his vision cleared just enough to witness his own departure through the front door as his head parted its wooden panels.
As he lay in the darkness, in the snow, there was no pain. There was no feeling at at all. He peered through a glaze of slowly freezing tears at the figure in the doorway. It was a child, no not a child, tall, too tall… a girl, was it a girl?
Ten turned back to the room and looked around. She flicked a switch on the wall and the room was bathed in light. She wondered why it had been kept in darkness for so long. There really was no need.
Spears of light flew through the shattered doorway onto the wreckage outside. The warm glow softened the broken shape as the softly falling snow began to cover it.
He was still breathing.
But, It was after midnight by now.