Lizzie Koch’s Picture Choice: Two
Title: A snippet from my WIP The Sleepless
After morning break, we changed for PE. I was raring to go but didn’t like the orange t-shirt I had to wear. Despite the cool temperature, I omitted the trackies in favours of shorts. It suited my running style. However, my shorts didn’t suit my whiter than white British legs especially against everyone else who seemed to have a healthy glow. I wouldn’t care once we started. My legs would redden quickly and probably be covered in mud.
After a few stretches, we were off. The boys had already gone but it wasn’t long before I overtook the stragglers. The terrain started out open but bumpy, and then into woodland with gnarly tree roots creeping across the floor, thick bracken and gorse to weave through and streams to leap. I’d never run a cross country course like it but it was a challenge and I loved it. Quickly, I’d overtaken the bulk of the boys, a few cheers made me smile but didn’t distract me. Soon, I was on my own with only orange markers to guide me which was perfect as I welcomed the peacefulness and abundant bird song. The pounding of my feet, my steady breathing and my thumping heart accompanied the bird song.
The glade thickened, preventing the sun’s autumn rays peeking through. It was like dusk which changed the atmosphere completely. I felt out of my depth and anxious. Which was silly but I couldn’t shake it. As long as I could see the orange markers, I would be fine and that’s all I focused on. I splashed into another cold shallow stream but didn’t care my feet were sodden.
Shadows started to move, gliding across in different directions. I kept running forward, my stride longer. Another shadow. A chill ran through me. I looked around. There was no one, not even orange shirts in the distance. My heart raced and my breathing lost its controlled rhythm. I started swearing to myself, talking to myself, trying to calm my nerves. I needed to escape the darkness. I felt I was being watched, forest eyes upon me. I shuddered, feeling isolated.
Spinning around, turning my head in all directions, I was disorientated and panting. Where were the markers? I didn’t see the vine sprawling across the forest floor until I was flying through the air with a scream and landing with a thump and roll. My knees grazed, pride dented and palms sore, I sat, gingerly brushing the debris from my bloodied knees before rising up, wincing with the pain. Something moved . . . in front of me . . . something black, in the shadows . . . moving swiftly. I strained my eyes but couldn’t see anything. I wanted to walk but I didn’t want to go on. I was sure something was there, waiting, watching. I stood still, listening, met only by a dark silence. I realised even the bird song had ceased. No orange shirts were coming up behind me. None were in front. I was alone in a wood. In the dark. A fear began to creep over me. There it was again, the shadows moving, creeping closer, like a blanket of darkness gliding closer and closer. I tried to scream but my throat dried up and closed. The cold shadow was going to swamp me . . .
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I dream of sharing my work with the big wide world one day as a published author. Right now, I share flash fiction with a wonderful community of writers and friends. If you liked this story, then why not visit my blog at http://40somethingundomesticateddevil.blogspot.co.uk/ for more. Thank you. Love Lizzie x