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…