"Spare some money for gas?" Elly called, as a smartly-dressed man approached her on the sidewalk, head tucked down into his collar against the cold. The smartly-dressed man gave no indication that he had heard her, and she sighed inwardly and pulled her jacket a bit tighter. It was starting to snow, and she wished yet again that she had on something warmer.
For about the millionth time in the last couple hours she glanced back over her shoulder, checking that her car was still parked by the curb. Not that anyone could steal it with the tank dry as it was, of course. She'd run it till the very fumes were used up. Run it as far and as fast away from home as possible. "Or what was home, anyway," she muttered to herself, and then made a sound something like a laugh. Not that the situation was particularly funny.
"Spare some money for gas?" she repeated yet again, as two women passed by. One of them gave her an odd look, then quickly turned away; they both sped up slightly, as though wishing nothing more than to escape from Elly's request. One of them tittered brief laughter as they disappeared into the thickening snowfall.
Elly shivered, then uttered a series of deep coughs. Stupid to have left without coat or hat or even a pair of gloves; stupid to have left with a dollar sixty-three in her wallet. Stupid to have even done this in the first place, but she'd had to do it, she just couldn't take any more...
Making that not-quite-a-laugh sound again, Elly felt gingerly at the latest bruise on her face, the one that had been the reason for her sudden flight. "Never again, you bastard," she said through a humorless grin. "I don't even care if I freeze out here, as long as you never get to hit me again."