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Tag, You’re It!

Leaves crunched under her feet as she found herself lost in a full sprint somewhere in the thickness of the woods. Every step she ran, the leaves crunched louder. She had only been running for about a minute but to her, it felt like a lifetime. She could feel life leaving her body. She sprinted further and further in the dead of the night. The air was eerily and deathly cold. Perhaps, suggesting to others what took place on that night, only a few moments before. She couldn’t stop running until she was far enough away that hounds couldn’t sense the blood on her sneakers. That same blood matched the stains on her satin shirt and dripped from her fingertips. Sweat was trickling from her pores, cold and wet. But she had to keep running until she felt like she was safe. Her chest was on fire and it burned with each breath she attempted to take in. Though she never suffered respiratory problems before this moment, her lungs felt like they were collapsing every time she gasped for air.

 All she could hear was the pounding of her heart in her ears and the thud of her feet slapping the ground as she ran. Her legs ached. Her feet were beginning to feel like lead and becoming heavier to move, but she kept racing until she was certain that she was out of sight.

Twigs and sticks that were frozen to the earth snapped loudly underneath her trample; the sound of the sticks sounding off as gunshots in the stillness of the night. She ducked, but somehow never broke her stride.

The darkness of the night blinded her and nature had become another opponent of hers as she struggled to run for her life. Nothing was on her side. She grew weary and tired, but she knew that if she dared to stop running, they would catch her. And when they did, it was no telling what they were going to do. All she knew was, they would finish what they had started.

At the brink of the woods, she found herself stumbling onto a highway. Not an interstate highway that was always busy or jam-packed with cars bumper to bumper, but a quiet country highway with one or two occasional cars that happen to pass through. She straggled into the middle of the road standing with her arms outstretched. Bright lights appeared around the bend, and they got closer, but she still didn’t move.

Right now, she didn’t care if she met her fate in the middle of the road. Nothing would be as bad as the crime that was just committed. She was going to die either way. The car made a screeching halt. The smell of burnt rubber burned her nose and the smoke from the engine’s abrupt stop ate at her breath. Or, the little bit of breath she had left.

“Ay, what’s wrong with you lady?!?” the man said to her as he jumped out of his car.

“You could’ve gotten killed.” 

“Say lady, don’t you hear me talking to you. Are you deaf or someth–?”

She didn’t know what happened. She hadn’t even heard a word he said. She blacked out. All she remembered was the blade in her pocket sliding inside of his smooth silky skin over and over.

She jumped in his car and took off, leaving his body there in the middle of the road.

Just another roadkill to be eaten by scavengers.

 “Tag, you’re it!” she spat at his corpse.

She glanced back once more, then she pulled away.

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