Confined to the surrounding forests, mountains and streams. You'd think you could escape, you would think. But what is the End? What is the Beginning? What if you couldn't even choose.


2. Escape.


Cold, bone scrapping winds swept around my body. My hair swirling into a vortex behind me whilst my eyes began to fill slowly, thrown aside by the storm. The trees around me pushing themselves around violently, creaking, combining with the sound of the air racing through their branches, terrifying really. I clutched at my coat, the zip was broken long ago, it didn't feel any warmer in the layers but it might give off a placebo effect. I trudged through the muddy ground, almost sticking to the Earth, my converses more brown than red now.

The eyes of a killer stalking me, what colour they are, I have already forgotten. I've only seen them for a second, and that was what seems like years ago, but I know it wasn't. I have no need to eat, sleep and relieve myself, my body is corrupt. What am I? What's happened to me? I can feel all the same but my body doesn't live, it's my emotions control me rather than my muscles. I've been walking straight ahead from my camp, my camp being crudely made tent and fire which somehow burnt through the winds. Towards the mountains I've been heading, though I can't see them any longer, even with the brightness of the Moon trying to guide me.

I can feel its presence, its breathing catching on the screams of the wind. Whether it was a Beast, man or creature from beyond our planet I didn't know. All I know is its eyes glowed, and to run like hell whenever I get the displeasure of spotting them amongst the trees. The wind is constant, it never dies down, I think of it like the Earth is breathing, and its angry. It picks up from time to time, almost sweeping me out into the mountains, whenever this happens I tend to leap for the nearest tree and cling on for dear life.

A distant howl called out, echoing around me, making it very difficult for me to be able to hear where its coming from. I ran. My arms clawing to my elbows, my feet throwing themselves in front of me, no regard of where to go, just anyway. For all I know, I could be running right into the jaws of the Beast, this word could be used either as a name or description of the animal. Apart from its eyes, I've only ever seen its shadowy outline which looked like a 7ft tall bear, but yet, when it howls, it sounds like a wolf. Either way I don't stick around long enough to see.

I weaved in and out of the trees, my coat occasionally catching on the bark, causing me to have to rip it from their grip. It's like nature is against me, the wind, the trees, the Beast, even the mountains. No matter how far I run to them, they seem to grow in distance away from me. The only thing that has been working to my advantage is the Moon, lighting the Earth around me. I'm not sure if the Moon is classed as something of nature, but I don't think it matters.

I tripped. A root of an old tree wrapping around my left foot, clasping me into the mud. I screamed, my ankle felt as if it had been torn in half. Tears began to stream down my face, from both pain and fear. The Beast's low grumbling growl pierced through the wind, the trees became still with everything else. The Earth ceased to breathe, neither did it dare to move on of its thousands of limbs. I buried my head into my folded arms, my foot buried deep into the mud, I doubt I can ever walk again.

The growling got louder as the Beast's large paws thundered towards me, the claws catching the dirt as they lifted. I raised my head slightly, to see its glowing eyes once again. Then nothing.


I woke up. My orange tent glowing like embers from the close burning campfire. What happened? I sat up, rubbing my head as I felt the sides of my mind push against each other. Was it a Dream? Did I imagine such a horrible thing, such a horrible nightmare? I knelt on my leg to crawl out of the tent, greeted only my an excruciating pain in my left ankle. I fell in a heap, cradling myself from side to side, tears once again streaming down my face. If this is reality, how can it of happened? How am I back in my tent? I was staring at it, I was looking at the glowing eyes of the...

The growling emerged from outside of the tent. Beast. I know I have to run, that's all I've ever done, for however long I've been here. I pulled myself to the entrance of the tent, ever so quietly pulling down the zip. I poked my head out, looking for any signs of the Beast, but there were none. I looked to the other side of the camp, just a sprint away were some rocks which went up into a cliff. Maybe it can't climb, granted I have one leg out of commission, but it's better than having to run.

I ran. More of a hop but I went for it, pushing through the pain, the tears and the wind. Running alongside the river for a moment, it seemed almost peaceful, almost like a dream. I gripped the first rock, accomplished, maybe I could win, maybe I could beat that bloody Beast. I hoisted my body up the rocks, thankfully they were flat topped like steps, practically made for climbing. My left leg lay dormant at my side whilst the other pushed up what my arms couldn't lift. My hands began to ache, my ankle still in indescribable pain and the wind working against me, but still I managed it.

I pulled myself up to the top, lying in back for a moment, looking up to the sky, admiring what I didn't notice before. The stars shone brightly, like tiny diamonds piercing the velvet like sky. I stood up, walking to the near end, my breath taken from the wind and the view. Though this is all a nightmare to me, it is a beautiful one.

The growling condensing from the wind, the brush of the bush hiding the Beast's body once more. I turned to it, its eyes burning through the canopy. I didn't cry, I didn't feel anything. My face was frozen from the cold winds, my ankle was numb with pain and my hands were stiff. I leant out of the brush, but I looked away, looked to horizon. Most nightmares end before the story has finished, yet this one doesn't. Is it the punishment of the beauty, for like I said, it is a beautiful nightmare. The Beast was now breathing against my neck, its shadow leaking from the sides of me. I looked down, the crystal clear river shimmered in the moonlight, so cool yet inviting. Maybe sometimes, you have to end your own nightmares, I looked to the Moon once more, breathing in all I could.

I jumped.


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