My legs began to ache and my constant heavy-breathing made my throat sore. However, to stop moving only seemed like a foolish idea in my own mind. I collected what fears I had and used them was my energy. It lasted me until I reached the town outside of the woods.
I saw people on the streets, I saw cars drive by. I left the woods feeling a sense of joy akin to drug induced euphoria. My grateful desire to be safe was finally fulfilled, so I leapt across the street towards the nearest payphone. Unfortunately, there was not a penny on me, my wallet was missing along with my keys. Even the stranger’s jacket I wore was lacking in finances.
I sighed and began approaching people on the street. I saw one turn a corner and I made to follow. I was soon disappointed when I lost sight of them and couldn’t find them again. To go further than that, I couldn’t find anybody close. Everyone was walking away from me, casually, as if not noticing me there.
I soon realized the did know I was there, because when I ran towards them, they ran away from me.
“Hey, excuse me!” I called, running after this one couple wearing suits. “Could I use your phone?”
It may seem like I was the crazy one, but it was definitely them. I soon got close to them, but they just started screaming and running faster. I slowed to a stop and watched as everybody fled. I looked down at my hands. The blood was mostly hidden. I couldn’t understand why they were running.
It was then that my eyes glanced towards one of the stores. Perhaps there was a working phone there that I could use and if the owner ran away, all the better. I grit my teeth, groaned through them and jogged towards the door. I stopped the moment my hand fell on the doorknob.
I could see my reflection in the door’s glass pane. I was butchered, my face cut in so many places, red lines leading from my eyes outward. My teeth were painted with blood and my hair frazzled, hanging in wet clumps from my skull. I screamed myself and immediately raised my hands to touch my skin.
It didn’t hurt physically, but my heart ached seeing my face like that. I followed the lines that would become scars with the tip of my finger. I didn’t know what was happening to me, but as I did my eyes turned black. I was not the person I saw in the window’s reflection and I felt the stress would have snapped my mind if I wasn’t distracted.
There was movement on the other side of the door and it opened. A man from the shadows appeared, shadowed by his darkened store, but the barrel of a shotgun, shot forward, hitting my forehead. It hit hard and I fell backwards, which was a good thing. I don’t think the man intended for me fall, as the shotgun was fired above me.
If I was still standing, I would be dead, but there was still time for the man to fire again. He pulled the gun to his chest, I heard a click and instinct had me scrambling. I was on my feet and running down the street. Another click. I pictured the man aiming and leapt to the side when I felt it best.
A splattering of deadly pellets hit the ground next to me and I continued running. He couldn’t shoot me from this distance and from a quick look back at the store, I saw him shutting the door. He was not going to give pursuit, but he definitely ensured that I wouldn’t return.
“Please, please, get me out of this,” I begged the cosmos. “Please legs, don’t give in.”
I ran past other buildings, afraid that in their now dark rooms there was somebody as crazy as that man. I didn’t even know where I was or what was happening. I was grateful to be alive, but from the look at my face, I wondered how I could still be. Afterall, it seemed like my face was peeled off and put back.
Not wanting to think about it anymore, or remember my eyes turning black as I touched the lines of my face, I continued to run until I reached the main road. Reading a sign, it pointed to a city I knew of, but it was still far away from home. Ignoring that, the city would be my best option.
I breathed in, focused and ran. Nobody was following me, that was the good part. The cold, the blood and the ache in my legs was enough to my the experience painful, but my displeasure had reached its peak. With this in mind, I stuck to the side of the road that was flanked by an open field and not the side flanked my the forest I had left.
I ran and ran, but something kept biting at me. Something that wouldn’t let me leave. Coming to a stop, I looked back towards the hostile town. There were people there. Not in town, not right in front of me, but people on the road and field between me and the town.
From the looks of it, they were all regular people. Some in dresses, some in suits, some casual, some young and even old that were catching up to them. Each and every one of them stopped and stared at me. I don’t know what they were following me, or perhaps they weren’t. Perhaps they were just making sure I don’t return.
“Leave me alone!” I screamed at them, not helping my sore throat.
I turned and ran. I didn’t look back anymore, I was too concerned with staying out of the grasp. Once the main road turned off onto a highway, I gave myself that luxury once more, sure that there was still some normal people in this world that would object to my pursuit.
There was nobody behind me and I was well on my way to the city and getting the help I needed. At least, that’s what I thought till my eyes drifted to the forest in the distance. Standing there was a lone man and he watched me with long hair and a dead face. He was closer than the people had been, but far enough that I didn’t worry so much.
I walked down the highway and he remained. Watching me till I was just a speck in the distance.
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