The Killing Game

Bad-um. Bad-um. Badum. My heartbeats are numbered.

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1. The Killing Game

Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Ba-dum.

The sound of my own, frenzied heartbeat fills my ears, along with the sound of my blood rushing. It is painfully loud; so loud I am surprised my pursuers cannot hear it.

Maybe they can.

I try to run faster, but I cannot. I feel as though I am trapped on one of those nightmares where you have to run, run until your lungs burst and your heart fails, but you cannot make your body move fast enough.

But this is not a dream, and unlike the nightmare, any mistakes will result in real capture, real wounds, real pain.

Real death.

This is not a game.

Or maybe it is. Maybe it is a sick game in the twisted mind of some demented psychopath, a complete sadist who enjoys other people’s pain. A killing game.

Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Ba-dum.

My heart beats louder and faster, as though calling out to my trackers, advertising my position to all around.

As if they need help. I am hopelessly outnumbered hundredfold and, even if I weren’t, there is nowhere to run. I am trapped.

And yet still I flee, stumbling and staggering my way through the darkness that hides any number of threats. Terror fills my mind, and in my fear, shapes and shadows twist themselves into beings of horror and death. Streetlights become the glinting eyes of the hunters, trees morph into spears and swords and knives, ready to plunge themselves into my defenceless body.

I am scared, very scared.

Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Ba-dum.

I can sense my pursuers behind me, closing in.

I cannot hear them; they move through the dark seemingly with no more substance than shadows.

I cannot see them; the darkness is thick, heavy and oppressive, pressing down on me from all directions.

And yet, I can feel their cold breath on my bare neck, hear their voices in my mind, feel their hands clamping down on me, and –

I dare not finish that thought.

I cannot hear them and I cannot see them, but they are there.

They are always there.

Following, chasing, closing in.

I carry on running. I must run, keep running.

Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Ba-dum.

My heartbeats are numbered.

The killing game continues.

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