Day 8 - Flight

(Guest story by Saralyn Marshall)

She raced through the woods;
Running for her life.
The tree cover was heavy;
She could not see daylight.
Thick undergrowth tripped her and scraped at her as
She threw her body forward.
Someone was after her;
Someone who wanted to kill her.
If only she could get away.
With every step she sought freedom, but
He was gaining on her.
Her heartbeat raced in her throat in
Her panicked flight.
She tried to hide in a tall bush, but
She heard Him getting closer and closer.
She turned her head, left and right but
She could not see Him.
And that scared her even more.

She ran through the woods while holding onto
Hope that she would escape.
She knew if she could just get to the river
She could follow it to safety.
She heard the sound of the water, but
Never seemed to get closer.
For hours she ran, chest heaving, and then the
Panic turned to fear.
What if she missed the river?
If she passed it, every
Step took her further away.
If she turned around and the river was still ahead,
She would miss it as well.
She kept running while
Plagued with doubt and indecision.
Which way to go? All alone in the dark woods,
She cried out in frustration.

While running, while being chased.
The river echoed in her ears;
She no longer knew where it was.
He kept moving, gaining on her.
She knew she could not keep going,
Soon her body would
Give out to exhaustion and
He would catch her. Tears of terror and
Frustration leaked down her cheeks as
She slowly realized she could not get away.

Suddenly the river roared in her ears.
She raced toward the noise with renewed energy.
Through a clearing she saw that
She reached the top of a waterfall.
She approached the edge and looked down at a
fall that disappeared into the mist.
The water raged and she stood paralyzed,
Unable to decide what to do.
She could not keep going.
Her body was aching and
He would surely catch her.
Behind her she heard footsteps.
He was coming now.
She looked back over the ledge to the
Bank that seemed miles below.
She couldn’t jump;
She would die for sure.
But He was getting louder now, closer.
She looked back at the direction of Him;
Her mind screaming at
Her to move, to do something, but
Her feet stayed rooted to the spot.
She looked down at the waterfall; sure a jump would kill her
Just like He would.
But she was so terrified of Him.
This thought made her decision.
She took a deep breath and jumped off the ledge.

She sank into blackness,
Not sure what had happened.
She fought to open her eyes and saw
She had drifted down the river half a mile.
She swam to the embankment, unsure
How long had passed since her jump.
Her body felt oddly light as
She shook off the river water.
Then she realized she was not alone.

Death stared at her, a calm expression.
She never knew Death could have an expression.
"Why did you run?
You knew you could not escape me."
He pointed an icy finger toward the river.
She turned to where he was pointing, realizing he was right. She gave a sad smile as She looked at her body


(originally published 2004)

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