The faint sounds of their shoes hitting the dirt accompanied my heart, pounding in my ears. They were gaining ground. I pushed myself harder, my lungs begging for every breath. Something dripped into my eyes, blurring the countryside and I wiped furiously at them. I glimpsed the edge of new civilization; it didn’t look like I was going to make it.
At the edge of the soft glow of artificial light still shining from the homes on the outskirts of the village, I stumbled. There wasn’t enough air left in me to cry out for help. The only sound I made was a muffled ‘oomph’ and the pop of something dislocating. I tried to stand, but excruciating pain lanced up my arm as I tried to put weight on it. This time when I fell, I tasted dirt, mixed with the salty tang of tears and a trace of copper. I couldn’t feel it, but I was bleeding from somewhere. I rolled to my back as they reached me, their feet kicking up dust as I gulped for clean air.
I couldn’t see them, but I knew who they were; friends, family – people I had known my whole life. One grabbed my arm roughly and yanked me to my feet. It hurt like hell, but I clenched my teeth and refused to make a sound – out loud, at least. Inside I was screaming and not just from the pain. My whole world was upside down and I couldn’t shake the feeling I knew how life had strayed this far from normal.
I should have been scared, but instead all I felt was a creeping numbness, starting in my head. These were people I loved and who I thought loved me, but here we were, in the middle of nowhere and anywhere, with me being half-dragged, half-carried back to a place I no longer accepted as home.
A sneeze worked its way out and one of my captors twitched with surprise. Ah. Julius. My… what was he now? Before he was one of my closest friends. He was going to be the best man at my wedding, not that it mattered now. It surprised me he was out here; he wasn’t exactly what one considered daring. A homebody, maybe; a scholar, absolutely. How much of a person’s true character can really be faked? I had a feeling I was going to find out.
Our little troupe made it back to the woodland I had recently burst from and I started to squirm. All my life I’d never feared the trees and the things living among them. I ran through without incident just moments before. Now Julius and the others wanted to take a leisurely stroll through them at night, with only a quarter of moonlight to guide them and suddenly I was terrified. The grips on my arms tightened and I no longer had the strength to fight them.
Okay. Here’s the deal. I love, love, love this prompt (thanks Jenn!). I want to do it justice. Unfortunately I am tired, blocked, and distracted. So…
…I will continue to work on this and post an update or updates when I write more. There is definitely a story here, people, and I am determined to find it. Come back to find out the truth of what happens to me, Julius, and the rest of the anonymous bunch!
This was a blogging challenge. We took last Friday off, but it’s Friday again and that means: Secret Subject Swap! Sixteen bloggers braved the unknown by coming up with a secret subject for another blogger, while getting one in return. No one knows who got what… until now!
Below you will find links to the other participating bloggers. Don’t miss out on the fun. Visit them all and see what the fuss is about. And you bloggers can always join us – just ask!
My Subject is: You find out that your life up until this point has been controlled by the powers that be-think Truman Show-and everyone you know is in on it for some unknown reason. These people aren’t really your friends or family but then again they are all you have ever known. Why are they fabricating this life for you? What are they hiding/protecting you from? Do you stay or leave?
Onward and upward, precioussssses!
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
At the End ©Robin Allen 2015
All rights reserved. This story, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including recording, photocopying, offset, or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author, except by reviewers who may quote brief passages to be printed in a magazine or newspaper.