- Harper -
Another step, another throb of pain. Another step, another shred of doubt. Another step, another deep regret.
My breathing is uneven and my vision is starting to blur.
I hesitate before taking another step. I’m so tired. And it would be so nice just to lay down for a bit, to escape into the realm of sleep.
But somewhere deep inside of me knows that if I take a break, if I lay down and fall asleep, I won’t get up again.
Somehow I find the strength to take another step. Then another, and another. I grimace from the pain of my sprained ankle. At this point, I think it might be broken.
But I must keep going.
They are still behind me. Hunting me. Like wolves on a rabbit’s scent.
Ironic, I find it. The hunter becoming the hunted. I let out a bitter laugh, the sound echoing into the night.
Glancing up at the sky, I glare at the moon, sitting snugly in between the twinkling stars. I feel like it’s watching me. Or more like she’s watching me. Mocking me.
It reminds me of why I am even here in the first place. And it’s hard not to blame her for all of this.
I shouldn’t even be alive. I am the outcome of a broken oath.
But here I am, trudging through the tall blades of grass that sway with the wind. The new boots that I stole from Khol’s silently hit the ground. Even if I have an injured ankle, instincts stick.
And instincts have been the only thing keeping me alive at this point. The only way I was able to dodge the arrow. And escape the monsters. And go on by myself. Memories beg to resurface in my mind, but I push them back. I can’t think about everything that’s happened yet.
Trying to survive is my main goal right now, not feeling sorry for myself.
′Keep going.′ I repeat in my mind, pushing myself forward.
With that focus in mind, I squint, looking in the distance. There’s a faint glowing up ahead, a dim yellow coloring to it. I have the urge to cry from happiness when I realize its electrical light - from civilization.
′Yes. A place to rest.′ I speed up a bit, wanting to get to safety faster. As a result, I have to bite down on a scream as my injured ankle holds my wait every other hurried step.
Black spots start clouding my vision, and I have to slow down before I pass out. I let out a frustrated sigh.
So I struggle forward for what feels like an eternity, pain wrapping its sharp claws around my ankle.
My mouth begs me for water that I don’t have. I left it with my backpack of supplies when I was escaping them. It was either carry the extra weight of a backpack and die, or leave it and make it easier to run. So of course I chose to leave the backpack.
I had a bow too, with arrows. My favorite weapon. The one I’m deadliest with. But I had to leave that behind, too.
All I have now is the trusty dagger that I shoved in the waistband of my torn pants. I’m deadly with any weapon I wield, though. I can only hope that my instincts and dagger are enough to protect me from danger.
I tell myself again, ′Keep going.′ It has become a mantra now, something I repeat under my breath.
By the time I make it to some random person’s backyard, I’m exhausted, in pain, and extremely thirsty. The black spots cloud my vision again, and this time they won’t go away.
I’m unable to stop myself from falling to the ground, right there on someone’s lawn. I try once to get back up, but find no strength to do so.
So I stay there. Laying on the grass.
And when my eyes won’t stay open and darkness creeps around the edges of my mind, I don’t fight against it.
The last thing I see is the shining moon. I can’t even find the strength to glare at it.
I slip into the realm of sleep, not knowing what I’ll face the next day, but not caring anymore.