Why was it so dark, and suddenly considerably colder? Only moments ago the sun had been shining brightly. The rays had looked like enormous, glistening swords as they sliced through the trees and penetrated the ground; ground blanketed with moss, fern and wild flowers.
I felt a little discouraged now and I stepped up the pace towards the clearing I knew lay ahead. Come to think of it, how did I know that? I don’t remember ever coming this way before. Suddenly there was a loud SNAP! I jumped. What was that? My stomach had what felt like a hundred dragonflies buzzing around inside trying to find their own way out. My heart rate went up two-fold.
“Stop being silly,” I quietly chided myself but unable to stay the images of childhood fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood which insisted on playing in my mind like a DVD on repeat. I didn’t like this. I didn’t like this at all, but I tried to calm myself down. “Just keep walking. Think about the picnic later, and the children, and…” Was that footsteps behind me?
I stopped so I could listen. I couldn’t hear anything then…Yes! There was a movement to my left, I was sure of it. The ferns over there were swaying slightly, but there was no evident breeze. “Please God, help me,” I whispered in prayer. Now I was frightened. So much so that my bladder felt weak. My hands were shaking. My heart was pounding so hard I was sure whoever – or whatever – was over there could hear every beat.
Just half an hour ago I had felt carefree, happy walking in the forest without a care in the world. The trees and plants projected every shade of green imaginable as the sun reflected off their leaves and branches. The undergrowth was punctuated with the soft hue of bluebells and pretty pink and white flowers on long, floating stems – I have no idea of their name. But now, now I didn’t like it one bit. Now it was dark and eerie.
Why wasn’t the clearing getting any closer? I felt like I was just running on the spot and whoever was in this densely filled forest would soon catch me. My fear was becoming uncontrollable. CRACK! As I heard the sound of another large twig snap, I don’t know how I held the scream that was bubbling to the surface like an overfilled pan coming to the boil on the stove. I started to run. I could see the clearing ahead now bathed in sunlight, yet I still wasn’t getting any closer. What the hell was going on? I could hear the footsteps behind me; they were running too.
I ran faster than I’ve ever run in my life. I didn’t see the single gnarled root of the ancient cedar tree, which had anchored itself to the forest floor, weaved intricately in and out of the undergrowth. I tripped and landed hard, flat on my face. I could smell the earth; taste my fear. I screamed in pain and frustration as strong, powerful arms grabbed me.
I closed my eyes kicking and wriggling as I tried to loosen his grip. I couldn’t, he was too strong. Oh God! Is this how it would end? Surely not. Aren’t you supposed to see your life flash before you?
“Stop fighting,” snarled the gravelly voice.
“Le.. le.. let me GO!” I stammered.
I opened my eyes and blinked. I blinked again and tried to scream. Then everything went black.
In response to the Daily Prompt, Eerie