The first light of the day filtered down through the branches in the forest waking me up. I sat up and climbed down from the tree I’d slept in.

I made up my mind. I know it’s time.

It will end today. Right here. In this small clearing. One of us will die, but one of us will live; and if I win, I’ll be free, no more running.

I’m hoping to win, and live. But if I die, at least I know I’ll die trying. I’ll know I didn’t run. I need to stop running. I need to end it, now.

I felt the air quiver, it felt like the air was vibrating; it always felt like this before Jake arrived.

He appears out of nowhere – just like he always does – and smiles at me. He knows I want it to end. He knows one of us will die.

I take a step forward and the air quivers again. He disappears and then reappears in front of me. Before I can even register him being there, he grabs my throat, cutting off my air. I scratch uselessly at his hands, I know he’s stronger than me, but I have to keep trying.

“You’re going to die,” he informs me in his cold, emotionless, voice.

“I die trying,” I managed to choke out.

“You die for nothing,” he says.

My lungs are screaming for air and my eye sight starts to dim. I make one more attempt to fight him off, and then the blackness engulfs me.

The blackness is peaceful. I think I like death. It’s a lot nicer than my life. A lot more peaceful. I could stay here. It’s a better place than that forest. Why did I fear this before?

And then I felt a pain. It was a sharp attention getting pain, right in my throat. Strange. It hurt when I breathed. But I couldn’t breathe, I was dead. Wasn’t I? Could pain follow you after death? I didn’t think it could. Then I must not be dead!

I opened my eyes and, sadly, I was right; I wasn’t dead, I’d just fainted.

“I’m not going to let you die fully,” my killer laughed, “then I wouldn’t win.”

I couldn’t make out his face because the light was so bright after the dark, but I knew his face by heart anyway.

“Why Jacob?” I asked, I hoped that by using his name he’d hesitate.

He laughed a horrible grating sound that sounded more animal than human.

“Because I love you. We belong together. We always have.”

I whimpered and he leaned close to my ear.

“When you wake up, you’ll be just like me,” he whispered.

I felt the blood drain out of my face. No! Death was better than that! No!

I felt tears leaving tracks on my dirty cheeks.

“Goodbye my love,” he said.

He pulled out a black knife and before I could blink he plunged it into my chest, just missing my heart.

I screamed in pain and shock. The last thing I heard before the blackness consumed me again was a gunshot, Jake hissing in pain, and then a familiar voice shouting at me to stay alive…

The End

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