Running, harder, faster, don’t look, just run. Ribs ache, my face stings as twigs lash and slap, stinging as tears blind my eyes. Escape pounds in my thoughts, nothing else. Fear pushing and driving, the specter’s long fingers threatening to grip deep into the soul.
“Run” that word searing into my brain. Things rattle around me in the dark as I flee. The pounding of the blood threatens to make my head explode. Legs growing weary, but I cannot stop. I can feel the burn of its eyes upon me.
A misstep sends flesh and bone crashing. The side of the tree was not a soft pillow to rest but a tearing mass of flesh eating bark. The gash on the side of the face bleeds, mixing the crimson with tears and sweat. The shoulder numb for a moment before the reality hits. The stick driven deep from the impact protrudes like a ghoulish bone as blood seeps around it.
A rustle in the bushes, no time to think, running again! No longer at a full gate, my body draining fast. Stumbles threaten to send more pain into my body, the snapping sound like a wet branch in the wood pile. Was that me screaming? The ground punches me in the face and gut at the same time. No air in my lungs but still trying to get up. I can’t pull free, looking down a leg bent so unnaturally.
Time slows as the pounding rhythm calms while the reality sets in. The rustle again, closing my eyes I do not wish to watch. I hope it will be over quickly. Unable to run, probably never even walk again my fate is sealed. I feel it slowly circle, looking for the soft spot. Tipping my head back I offer a place for the final blow.
Nothing, the woods grow quiet. A soft rain falls. I open my eyes to the darkness and nobody is there. Hands now shake as more tears fall. Trying carefully to free the mangled leg as the branch burrows into the flesh, pain rips every nerve in my body. A crack overhead then the sound of the world crashing around engulfs my little world.
Now bent over and crushed the branch glistens from my chest. Numbness takes over but the weight still folds me over like a paper doll. Coldness begins to creep out of the limb that has impaled me chest. The world narrows and starts to fade.
A sound again, the rustle closer now as a white rabbit appears. He looks at me his nose twitches then he sits and scratches his ear with a back foot.
“You silly boy, you should never run. You will end up hurting yourself and going nowhere”
Sitting strait up in bed, sweat pouring from my flesh as the memory is still sharp. The light from the street lamps makes shadowy figures across the room. A flicker of movement in the corner, I would swear it was the rabbit, a nod and gone. My heart pounding like a hammer in my chest as my mind is spinning.