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Ross Tarran, 20 Jun '12

Red had to stop. There was no way she could go on like this indefinitely. Her muscles ached and her lungs burned, breath coming in short gasps.

Behind her, the road. Ahead, a broad field stretching out into the distance. Crouched low beside the hedge for a moment, she scanned the horizon. Nothing was moving other than the long grass and the tops of distant trees caught in the breeze, along with a few birds high in the clear blue sky.

It would have been a perfect day had it not been for the looming menace that had long been a constant companion, preventing either physical or mental rest. Red had lost track of how long she had been running, all she knew was that she must continue, and hope for some kind of respite.

A shout from somewhere back down the road, followed by the murmur of voices and the excited barking of many dogs, brought Red instantly back to a state of alertness. Previous encounters flashed once more into her mind; disturbing moments she had been trying to forget.

A second later Red had launched her exhausted body onwards once more, following the line of the hedge, hoping her pursuers would remain on the road. Her pace was now perhaps half of her normal running speed, every second of flight causing such pain that she knew she would break down if forced to continue much longer.

There had been no noise for a minute or so, but suddenly the howling shook the air once more, some way off but now terrifying in its intensity. The dogs had picked up Red's trail and were invigorated in their chase. The jeering approval of the men was also clearly audible as they followed close behind.

The ground began to fall away before Red as the hedge she had been following came to an end and a shallow valley was revealed, a stream winding its way along at the lowest point. At once another memory sprung into Red's consciousness, and the thought gave her the burst of strength she needed to carry on.

Comments · 7

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  • Ross Tarran said...

    My first burst, dedicated to Burrst creator @Anthony Blackshaw.

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Matt Nelson said...

    This reminds me of the opening pages of Stephen King's "The Gunslinger" (albeit with decidedly less creepy surrealistic imagery).

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Ross Tarran said...

    @Matt Nelson - Interesting, not read that book, may have to pick it up!

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Matt Nelson said...

    @Ross Tarran It's an odd book, the first of the "Dark Tower" series. The story really finds a voice in the second book, and then it's pretty addictive.

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • bill spencer said...

    I like the tension in this.

    • Posted 4 years ago
  • Chris Redfern said...

    I love storys written through the eyes of a animal or bird. Very good indeed!

    • Posted 3 years ago
  • Ross Tarran said...

    Thanks Chris, really glad you enjoyed it, and you picked up on what Red might be (who knows)!

    • Posted 3 years ago