SIX FEET ABOVE | 0.5
SWEAT GLISTENED OFF HER BARE SKIN. Her heart felt as if it was beating a thousand miles a second. Her legs aching, burning and yearning to stop. Leather sandals rubbed and ripped at sensitive skin. Pants rushed out of her mouth, as she crashed through the woods. Stealth wasn't on her mind at that point. Not looking back was second to getting as far away as she could.
Run, she kept saying to herself, Just run.
With her eyes focusing on the darkened skeleton trees blurring past her, she didn't notice the upturned gnarled root. Flying through the air, she crashed into broken twigs and crinkled leaves. Her knees cried out, the impact vibrating through her bones. It didn't stop her from pushing herself off the ground. She kept going, limping as fast as she could.
What had her boyfriend told her? The stupid ones die in the film. They always look back. Why would you even do that?
Coming to a large clear space, she hurried over to a thick tree trunk. Going to the opposite side, she hoped it would shield her. At least for a couple of minutes so she could think about where she was going to go. She needed to get back to the house. The house was safe. But how was she going to get past that... that thing?
It couldn't be real. No. Someone had obviously spiked her drinks with some sort of hallucinogenic drug. There was rumours that someone had brought a treasure box filled with LSD and Ecstasy. That had to be it. The monster she saw couldn't be real. With eyes blood red, and its bottom half like an animal's... it was like something out of her worst nightmare.
Keeping her harsh breaths low, she slowly peered round the side of the trunk. Shadows danced across the debris-covered floor. The forest was still and silent – not even a night bird's call could be heard.
She still didn't feel safe though.
Something was unsettling her. Gut instincts telling her to flee, to get out as soon as she could. But her body wouldn't listen to her instincts. Hands glued to the rough bark, her body jammed up. Her heart beat thrummed through her body. Cold sweat trickled down the back of her nape. Maybe she should have stayed in, caught up with some of her favourite TV series.
Finally managing to force herself from the safety of her tree, she slowly limped away. Deeper into the forest. At some point, she'd come out. She'd be nearer civilisation than she was. Keeping her eyes focused, her ears open... she tried to be quieter than before. Soft shuffling was heard as her feet moved through a thick layer of leaves.
It's fine. It sounds natural, she tried to convince herself.
A crack echoed around her.
With her heart in her throat, she turned around.
A scream erupted from her throat.