Litus

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic


I will always stay ahead of the beast.

Submitted: May 31, 2018

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Submitted: May 31, 2018

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I run.  I couldn’t tell you then where I ran to or what I ran from.  I never saw it.  But I felt it.  I could sense its eyes on me, and its hunger.  So I ran.

It was dark when I started running.  Ruts and bits of stone, fallen logs and small ridges threatened to trip me up.  Creatures in the trees scurried away, their calls silenced.  Afraid.  Everything desires to get away from me while I run from this unknown thing chasing me.

The path I followed wound and straightened.  It dipped and raised, giving my calves and lungs a workout.  Shrubs and trees, logs and stones lined the path.  A forest.  It would be beautiful if it weren’t for the darkness.  Gray highlights draped over everything, created from a soft light glowing somewhere overhead.  No time to look for it.  There’s never time to look.  Never time to stop.  I’m always running.

It would be nice to stop, but I don’t feel the urge.  To stop would be to give up.  I’m not interested in giving up.  My body is tired.  My mind is exhausted.  It seems my mind is always exhausted, but that doesn’t stop me from running on.  I have to press forward.

I have no sense of time.  Days fly by.  What day is it anyways?  Hours go by in the blink of an eye.  I usually get absorbed in what I’m doing; lose track of time.  I’ve lost track of time now.  Thoughts, images, desires help distract me.  They help me forget where I am, how tired I am.  They help me forget what I’m doing.  I’m running for my life.

No idea where I am, nor what time it is.  Are those really important when I’m running for my life?  I focus on what’s important.  Running.  I feel how tired I am when I focus on running.  Always how exhausted my mind is.  But I press on.  No giving up.

The darkness fluctuates.  The forest’s gray highlights get brighter, then they darken.  The darkness is constantly shifting.  My awareness shifts with it.  My level of exhaustion – for fleeting moments - I feel I could run forever.  Other times, I worry I’ll run out; my feet will slow to a stop or I’ll trip over the path.  I stumble on occasion, but I never fall.  My balance isn’t great, but it keeps me on my feet.

When was the last time I blinked?  Sweat running into my eyes.  Breath is hoarse.  The sweat leads to tears.  Running.  Sweating.  Tears.  Exhaustion.  A hard blink erases the sting of sweat and the warm run of tears.  I still feel like I could cry.  Do I want to?  Is it safe to cry while I run?  The path is familiar enough.  I could chance it.  But the moment’s gone.  The urge has faded.  I don’t feel much now, only tired.  The running dead.

Only, where am I now?  It’s bright.  Daytime!  A sandy beach.  It stretches forever.An ocean to my left.  Endless.  The forest to my right.  Endless?  I’ll only know when I reach the end.

What is this?

I keep running.  Is the thing I run from any less a threat because of the daylight?  Maybe I’ll see it now.  But that would mean slowing down and turning around.  I’m slowing down anyways.  The sand is thick.  I sink into it.It’s so hard to run through.  I can’t do it!  But I have to keep trying.  I can’t give up.  It looks to be thinner near the forest.  Should I run nearer the forest?  It’s still dark in there, heavy shadows fall beside the treeline.  Tempting or eerie?  Both?  I can’t decide.  I feel one way, but think different.

I know the struggle is worth it as exhausting and frustrating as it is.  What of the thing chasing me?  Will it follow on my tail or keep near the forest?  Will it get ahead of me?  Block me?  Trap me?  No, so long as I keep running, I think I’ll be safe.  My doubt is the trap.  I have to trust in myself.  I can do it!

But I can’t take the mystery anymore.  The mystery has built too much.  I have to turn and see what it is chasing me.  So I do.

It’s hard to see and impossible to make out.  It’s black.  A stark contrast to everything on the beach, but it perfectly blends with the forest.  The forest is a part of it and it’s a part of the forest.  What does that make me?  It draws nearer, but never comes closer.  I am always moving.  It moves in sync with me.  We move slowly.

I can see its form rising and falling.  Huffing.  It’s tired.  Exhausted like my mind.  That makes me feel better.  It gives me a grin.  Regardless, I keep moving.  I don’t know when it’ll gain a second wind.  But what is it?  A black mass of nothing.  It resembles what I imagine and with every shifting thought, it shifts too.  I know it’s not a person.  Is it a dog?

Whatever it is, I’ll keep my distance as best I can.

No matter how tired I become, I will always run.  I will always stay ahead of the beast.


© Copyright 2018 Jeff Bezaire. All rights reserved.

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