An Awful Lot Of Running

""Get away from me!" The words sank into the night, the darkness swallowing them whole. 'You need meeee...' it sniggered, mocking me. I opened my mouth to reply but the words were murdered by the silence."

I tear through the brush with my hands, wooden thorns dragging scars through my flesh. ‘You’ll never make it’ whispers a voice in my ear. I shake my head roughly, briefly disorienting myself. Shreds of black fabric are torn from my body as I continue ever further into the growth. Vines and roots threaten to trip me up but I move forward regardless.

Tears clouding my vision, arms and legs bleeding, I emerge out into a clearing. A ‘twack’ from behind and I trip over myself. The impact with the earth sharpened the pain. ‘Faaaacce meeee’ it hissed. I groaned groggily, rolling over onto my back. Grit your teeth. Take it like a man. Don’t give in. Backpedaling away from the man-shaped whole in the overgrowth, my heart assaulted my rib cage but the prison held.

Breathing rapid, heart racing, mind numb. The trees shook menacingly; the wind jeered and snarled in the night. Darkness enveloped everything, threatening to envelope me too if I wasn’t careful. A strong wind blew through me, ruffling my hair and dragging the dissected remains of my coat from my prickled body.

“Get away from me!” The words sank into the night, the darkness swallowing them whole. ‘You need meeee…’ it sniggered, mocking me. I opened my mouth to reply but the words were murdered by the silence.

I scrambled to my feet, kicking up dirt as I forced my way through the jungle foliage again. ‘You can’t run for looong.’ Grappling with the branches, I hurtled forward as fast I could. Small stumbles sent shudders through my spine; clumsiness would be the death of me.

The greenery seemed stronger, pulling me, trying to assimilate me into its ever-growing family. I felt it get closer, wrapping its ghostly arms around me. ‘Just give iinnnn…’ it gloated. I felt the panic rise again; I couldn’t do it anymore. “No!” I boomed, using the last of my strength to rebel against it. “You’ll… Never… Get… Me…” I panted, flailing my arms to push through the forest’s umbrage.

‘How dare you sssspeak to me that waaaayyy…’ she spat at me. The vines lashed out at me, winding around my waist and ensnaring my feet. My torso continued to move forward as the vines dragged my up by my ankles. Tearing at my binds, I roared in frustration.

A slender, cold finger crawled along my jawline, brushing over my lips. “Oh you’ll do niccccellyyy” she whispered softly; her warm breath cascaded down over my nose, the foul stench of her breath crawling into my eye, pricking a leak in my eyes.

The last thing I felt was an extreme cold and a sense of weightlessness. All my senses were overloaded and underwhelmed at the same time. I couldn’t explain the paradox of sensations. Then it stopped. Everything stopped. I stopped.

The End

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