Swamped

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: February 28, 2017

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Submitted: February 28, 2017

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Swamped

 

He knew he was guilty. He knew it was wrong to do what he had done, to take her life even though she had provoked and provoked. In the end he had been helpless to resist the urge, had given in and killed. And now they were after him, seeking retribution, seeking justice.

 

He deserved what was coming to him. He would not even try to deny it. He had been in complete control over his actions and should be prepared to face the consequences. He did, in fact, want to be punished, to be held accountable, but there was some primal survival instinct that was taking him over and making him run.

 

He had no idea where he was going. He just wanted to head away from the road. Away from the group of men, all armed with guns; away from the dogs that were trying to track his path. At one glimpse he knew they would be set free to bring him down, no matter how much injury they caused in doing so.

 

Half of him wanted to let them catch him. Half of him wanted to suffer the pain. He had really loved her once, after all; and no matter what she had said, how she had taunted him, he should never have responded so aggressively. How could he have taken her life?

 

At the same time, he found his legs kept moving him in the opposite direction, away from the consequence of suffering. He could feel the adrenalin rushing through his body in the fight-or flight chemical response to fear. His lost his footing several times, almost coming crashing to the ground. How he managed to stay on his feet he had no idea.

 

The tree roots were near the surface, barely covered in earth. They tripped him. The trailing ivy grabbed at his ankles, snagged at his boots. Several times it was only by pushing against a tree trunk that he managed to right his balance.

 

But on and one he went. The trees were becoming fewer, the ground was becoming wetter. He heard the sound of the river without really acknowledging it and almost ran right in to it.

 

That river looked deep; too deep for him to wade across at least. And out in the middle of nowhere there would be no bridges. Maybe if he followed it’s path he would come across a shallower bit, one that he would at least be prepared to takes his chances in crossing. Until then he would have to try to keep his pace up, running through what was increasingly becoming a swamp.

 

The dogs sounded nearer. He imagined that he could hear their panting breath. A quick glance over his shoulder proved this could not be so, they were still nowhere in sight. He could hear the shouts of the men, but again they sounded as though they were a good distance away.

 

Ahead, he could see what looked like part of a fallen tree, or at the very least a really thick branch. If he can keep going he might be able to use that in some way to make his own bridge across the river. If he got rid of it afterwards they would have no way of following him. He picked up speed, ran forward.

 

It was too late for him to stop when he realised just what that piece of tree was. His momentum pushed him forward towards that bark-like skin, those small eyes, that ever widening mouth. He tried to reverse his direction when he got sight of those teeth, when he smelt the alligator’s rank and foetid breath.

 

And he tried not to scream out her name when those jaws clamped firmly around him. He should never have run, he should have embraced the bullet; that was his final thought as his last agonizing seconds of life came to an end.


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