by Pencil Lead
A dark, delphic sense assaults her idea of reason and sends her down a formidable path.
|Escaping the Night
A blood curdling shriek filled the cold, still air of the winter night and rocked the silence of the ethereal woodlands. The girl, from whom the scream was issued, threw her body through a dense thicket of brush and ignored the multiple scratches and cuts the small branches administered along the way. None of that mattered. The only thing besides the fear that consumed her that registered in her mind was the sound of a fast approaching creature in the darkness.
She had been warned on multiple occasions of the beasts that were empowered by the night. That threat now came face to face with reality as all the stories rushed to the forefront of her mind. Bodies mutilated to the point that only a tangled mass of blood, organs, and shattered bones could be pointed out, the indistinguishable growls and snarls that proceeded the discovery of such bodies, and the huge ugly scars left on the very few who lived to tell the tale of their experiences all came back to her. It fueled her to run faster despite the pain that threatened to rip her lungs apart, and the legs that would soon succumb to failing her.
“Shit!” Cursing in pain when a jagged, relentless vine tore into her side on the way through it, the young one stumbled and slumped against a tree, hurriedly scooting behind it for cover when she found she was too weak and out of breath to go anymore. All was deathly quiet except for the ragged inhaling of her own breath. Trembling fingers lifted her shirt to reveal a slightly grotesque tear in her side that bled freely. If she could already smell the dehydrated stench of her breath and the metallic aroma of her blood, than couldn’t it? Surely.
A stick snaps. Her heart comes to a sudden halt. It has caught up with her! Clutching her chest as if to still all the tumult that is going on inside, she closes her eyes and waits.
“Carolyn?” a male’s voice calls. It’s not familiar, but he knows her name! Hopping up despite the weakened state of her body, Carolyn comes out of hiding and cries, “I’m right here! Dear God, I’m here.” Sobs of relief rack her body and as strong arms surround her in a warm embrace. “It’s alright sweetie,” he says in an attempt to calm her as he rubs her back gently. “How’d you get all the way out here?” Carolyn doesn’t answer, but just savors the warmth and security that washes over her in waves. She didn’t want to share the story of the ones before her, and now she wouldn’t have to.
“Carolyn…” The man’s voice came in a whisper. She paused. How did he get out here? Who was he? How’d he know her name? She went rigid in is arms, and he chuckled menacingly. “Look at me, Carolyn.” With fast fading spirits and a mumbled cry of defeat, she looked up at the thing that now held her in a vice like grip. He smiled smugly and brought his lips down by her left ear. “You can’t escape the night.”
word count: 526