Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Theme Story - The Chase

Jonathan cast a glance over his shoulder, breathing hard, but he had not put any distance between him and his pursuer. The creature behind him leaped a fallen tree, its red eyes glowing with an unearthly light. Swearing silently, Jonathan turned his head forward and redoubled his efforts. He tried to ignore the building pain in his legs, focusing on his breathing as he forced his way through the foliage.

The chase had been going on for fifteen minutes, now, and Jonathan knew he was only delaying the inevitable. He had never been much of a runner, and that fact was certainly apparent as he felt a stitch forming in his side. He could almost hear the creature's panting, a near growl marking the time behind him as the beast pursued. He had never gotten more than a glimpse of those horrid, haunting red eyes in the fading light, but the light of malice in that face was unmistakable – a clear sign that whatever it was, it wasn't friendly.

Jonathan stumbled and cursed, his foot catching on a root. He fell forward, catching himself on his hands. He winced at the sudden pain as his skin was scratched and scraped, but used his momentum to vault himself back to his feet before coming to a halt. The creature's breathing seemed louder now, closer – he imagined that he could feel it's hot, moist breath on the back of his legs. He dashed around the trunk of a tree, the branches whipping at his exposed arms as he pushed himself onward.

Behind him, the creature began to growl. Softly at first, but building in intensity. The sound chilled Jonathan to the bone – it was unmistakably hostile. Jonathan knew a war cry when he heard one. He began to feel panic truly boiling inside of him as he ran, adrenaline pumping his legs when sheer willpower gave out. His arms began to shake as his body reached the limits of its power, and he felt himself start to flag.

Right as he felt himself slowing, he heard a noise off to his right – something crashing through the brush. He looked up hopefully, but screamed when a second pair of red eyes bounded out of the underbrush, shaggy-haired snout slathered in foamy saliva. His fear overcoming him, Jonathan dashed off at a diagonal, attempting to put maximum distance between both his pursuers. He just barely darted out of the way of the new pursuer, hearing its jaws snap in the air where his leg had been mere seconds ago.

The hot breath on the back of his leg was no longer imagined. The new pursuer growled along with his partner, the dissonance of their cries resonating in Jonathan's soul. He could see the end, feel the jaws clamping around his leg in his mind. With a final burst of speed, he pushed through a large wall of brush...

...and found himself airborne. He took a panicked second to look back over his shoulder and see his pursuers tumble out of the hole he had just made in the patch of green on top of a large rock face. The wind was deafening, the roaring in his ears his entire world as he fell. He had no idea how far the ground lay below him, but he suspected that any moment now he'd find out. His last thought as the tops of trees in the valley below him entered his peripheral vision were of his impending impact, and how he sincerely hoped it would be less painful than being torn to pieces by rabid creatures with demonic eyes.

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