Thud. Thud. Thud.
Her bare feet pounded painfully against the forest floor. She stumbled, feet tripping over roots, slipping on the damp moss. She squinted in the thin moonlight. Dawn was far.
Her vision was further blurring, though she was forcing her eyes open. Shallow breaths. Throat dry. Chest aching. Feet becoming clumsier. Adrenaline could only push her so far, she realized in a panic. Her mind was blanking.
Should - should she try to hide in a tree?
She couldn't run forever.
But they would find her. Of course they would.
She had to keep moving.
Her heart beat painfully against her ribs. Thump. Thump. Punching her. Burning her chest. Burning her throat. She pumped her arms harder though. She was certain of one thing.
To be caught was worse than death.
She wouldn't let herself doubt. If she doubted, she'd stumble here and not get up. She knew this, though she could not focus on it.
The sound of heavy footsteps loudened behind her, tripling her panic. The aggravated voices spurred her on faster, faster…
- She was slowing?
Her laboured breaths echoed eerily.
She urged herself on, one step, one step further… but her vision was darkening, and she stumbled. Pushing herself back up shakily, she spat out mud. She could hear the voices getting closer. Her head was cloudy. Heavy. Why is it so hard to stand?
"There she is!"
She cursed, willing with all her might to run faster. She swallowed, and forced her legs to move. But it's no use. Her body was refusing. She was too slow.
Her trembling knees hit a trunk, and she skidded to a stop in the mud. Wincing, she lay there, unable to move. Screaming at herself to get up. Begging. Get up. Get up. The feet behind her had slowed down.
Could footsteps be so menacing?
They knew they had won.
A burly hand grabbed my leg.
"Thought you'd outsmart us? You little shit."
My heart spikes, jumping into my throat. My vision clears again. The mud is thick beneath me, and I can't see my hands. But I can see my arms, and though it's dark and they're muddy, I can see the scratches.
He goes on speaking.
My cheeks burn. They're scratched and bruised and I've slapped them so many times, to startle myself into focussing. I've been running for hours, but my legs are numb. There is a slow fire creeping up in me, but I am only aware of it. There is no pain. The fear is like water, and it sloshes around in my empty body. It is burning me, hot and cold, everywhere. But it is contained in my body, this useless thing that oppresses everything. Burning flames, burning water, and numbness. It is the exhaustion that takes over my mind.
I am losing control. Over my mind, over my body. I have to focus in order to breathe. I am sure that if I close my eyes and let myself sleep, I will not wake up. The thought is only half scary.
After all this, I failed.
If I close my eyes for too long, I will die. The numbness will hit my brain, and the adrenaline will be too weak. I will die here, in the dim light, in the thick mud. These men will kick me and they will know. They will leave me alone here, dead and to rot the mud. They will forget about me in a day. Nobody will know. My eyes blink closed, but then they open again.
I do not have the courage to kill myself. I am not that brave. And I haven't been driven to desperation. There is a cold disappointment filling me. It mixes with the fear, bitterly.
"You won't think again after the boss is done with you." I hear his last words.
Hello, I'm a total novice in writing so please bear with me. It would be appreciated if you point out my mistakes in the comments.
I hope you stay with me till the end `(*∩_∩*)′
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