I can feel them chasing me.
I’ve been running for days now. I thought I’d lost them back in the woods, but they’re still coming. They’re relentless, like fucking dogs.
I thought it was just one, but every time I’ve caught a glimpse they’ve seemed a little different. Then again, that might be my RAGING PANIC that’s doing the seeing.
I am taking what feels like a hundred breaths a minute, none of which are giving me any of the oxygen that I need. My heart beats as if it’s trying to escape, to break free from my ribcage and run, further, faster than I ever could. It is a cruel mimicry of the feeling when you see someone you love, the pulse, the breaths. I even have the sweats. But nothing remains but the terror.
Was that a twig snapping?
I’m going to kill whoever thought ‘Yeah, let’s go off the grid for the weekend. Let’s just up and go, live free like man’s supposed to.’ Apparently living and dying free are very similar things. I don’t even know where they came from. One minute we’re sat, casually around the fire, the next Spacey has a hole where his face used to be and there was an almighty bang.
No, bang doesn’t do the word justice. Funny how I’m focusing on that. Hope you’re happy Mrs Kipple, primary school English is coming in so handy now! It may be onomatopoeic, but it means nothing. You need a grander word, a larger word, something all consuming and horrible, drilling into your very core.
That was definitely the snap of a twig. I try to still my beating heart, will every cell, every atom of my body to be still, to stay hidden, to not move, to be safe. I can hear them snuffling.
Snuffling, good word. No, stop it. Concentrate. Just stay still. Stay safe.
I can practically hear the sound of the tear rolling down my cheek. My nostrils flare under the strain of not breathing. I’m fighting so hard.
Part of me is considering giving up. Just standing there waving like those dickheads in front of aeroplanes. ‘Here I am, come get me, it’s all good. I just want to die.’
Don’t be stupid. Just stay quiet. Stay safe.
I miss Spacey. He was an awful guy, so high on god knows what he sounded like Confucius reincarnate, but at least he was someone who wasn’t trying to MURDER ME.
I hate camping. I’m never doing it again. Assuming I live.
Pink ponies, happy sky. I’m sure I can manage that, just distract myself.
I think I can hear a siren in the distance. I can’t be that far from the rest of civilisation.
Wait, was that a twig snapping?
Oh god, I can hear them again. Their footalls, heavy but dancelike. They are contradiction incarnate.
I don’t want to-
A hand breaks through my shelter, grabbing me by the scruff of my neck. I am lifted bodily from the bed of leaves and begin to scream. I shit myself hours ago, fight or flight making em as light as possible, but that didn’t stop them going again.
‘Aw jeez, kid?’ I looked up. It wasn’t them. All I could see was a beard and teeth. A smile. ‘You’re alright kid. What happened?’
I couldn’t manage words. I just held tight to this man, a friendly face after… ‘Hwlog?’ I managed to force out between sobs.
‘If you’re the kid from the news, you’ve been missing about three days. If you’re not, then fuck knows. C’mon, I’ve got some cocoa in the truck.’
We stumbled to his truck, a beaten up, white pickup truck. It had rust stains all over the front, and a fading signage painted onto the side. ‘Hector’s Removals and Tow.’
He deposited me on the tailgate, and moved around to the drivers side door. Heavy footsteps, but dancelike. I rolled my aching body over and saw a shotgun lying next to me.
I started crying even before the axe slammed into my spine.
The Idiot In Tin Foil