The funny thing about
facing imminent death is that everything else suddenly snaps into
perspective. Take now, for example. I gulped in deep lungfuls of
My brain was in hyper
drive; I was racing for his life. I had to live through
this. Nothing else mattered. As long as I could dodge the bullets
and outrun whatever breed of dog were three steps behind my heels.
See? That snaps things into perspective. Run faster. He needs
A few years ago, if
somebody had told me that in two and a half years time my mum would
have been dead eighteen months and six days and that I'd be running
for my life... I think I would have launched at them with anything
solid and sharp. But, if they had, it would've made things a hell
of a lot easier.
I was totally lost.
Still, my arms pumped by my sides, my feet crashed through damp
undergrowth. A bullet whizzed past my ear. Come on. Run. I
could hear the dog's laboured breathing right behind me, the echo
of their paws smashing on the twigs and the dead leaves beneath
them. If you don't run, he's going to die faster. I burst through
the trees, chest heaving. I skidded to a halt, breathless with
every muscle and bone screaming in agony.
The gate loomed before
me. My eyes skittered wildly. Don't panic. Then you'll surely die.
I scanned the dark again. They were getting closer. I could hear
their angry voices. No choice. My feet carried me forward,
my cold hands launching the most important thing in the world into
the air at the same time as my feet left
I knew I wasn't going
to make it. My chest hit the iron of the gate with such an impact
the breath in my lungs vanished. Breathe! Breathe! Run! I
swallowed painfully, groaned, sucked in retreating air and
clambered, agonised, over the gate. Stumbling forward, I tugged the
backpack from its awkward heap on the roadside before hunching my
shoulders, pulling the hood further around my face and blended like
a ghoul into the dark.
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