Little heads up - You are reading the first draft of my story. This is unedited.
“It’s funny how sometimes the people you’d take a bullet for, are the ones behind the trigger.”
It is the only thing that is telling me I am alive.
Cold air filled my nostrils and my chest ached with every breath I took. The metallic stench of blood hung in the air suffocated me. Cracking my eyes open to the utter darkness, I tried to take in my surroundings.
It smelled like trees and soil, but everything was eerily calm in here. No crickets chirped. The owls didn’t hoot. I felt no sign of the night creatures. The sound of my ragged breathing became the only sound that kept me company.
With the sky void of moon or stars, I could see nothing but black. My eyes didn’t adjust to the darkness yet. My brain felt dizzy, and I breathed through my nose, trying to regain control of my numb body.
The cold breeze brushing through my face carried a sweet pungent odor that’s fresh and sharp–a scent I recognized so well. It’s the storm scent just before the rain. The wind picked up, and I had to hurry. My lungs screamed in pain with each breath. Breathing through my mouth, I lay there for another moment analyzing the extent of my injuries.
Exhaustion washed over my frame–it tired out my mind. Breathing itself became a difficult task, and I didn’t know if I’d make it. I didn’t know if my legs moved. I sure tried to move it. I couldn’t feel the lower half of my body.
My eyes wanted to close and go back to sleep. They fluttered close despite my struggle to keep them open. However, a wolf howled in the distance, sending shivers to my already bruised spine. I had to get out of here and the wolf’s howl roused me from dozing.
I tried to move my hands and was glad it did. Closing my palm, I felt something sticky and upon inspection, I confirmed it was my blood. How did I end up here?
Finding a hard rock beneath my hands, I tried to sit up and swallowed a silent scream of acute pain that shot through my body. What if the wolf is near? My head, my back, my chest–every inch of my body hurt.
A hot burning sensation spread through my body and I whimpered, biting my inner cheeks from making any noise. I noticed that my blood-soaked clothes, which only made me dizzy.
Another howl resonated through the trees and somehow, I got my legs to move and pushed my body up by holding a nearby tree. I tensed when I felt something heavy on my back and relaxed when it was only a backpack which clung to my shoulders.
I wasn’t sure if I would live through this, considering the severity of my injuries. But, I sure didn’t want the death at the hands of a wild animal. Wolves. Even in this muddled state, my brain registered the danger they posed to a mortal like me.
Lightning struck from the sky illuminating the dark rows of trees. I should hurry but I didn’t know which direction to move on in the darkness. I could run to the very thing I am trying to run away. Who am I running from?
A loud honk of a truck sounded somewhere to my right and I realized I was closer to the road than I thought. I should move now else I might miss my only chance of survival.
Taking shallow breaths to ease the pain I felt inside, I clutched the nearby trees for support and moved towards my right like a crab. I felt grateful for the trees that were so close to each other.
My entire being ached and my vision blurred, I coughed and tasted blood. I ignored the mixture of blood and saliva spurting out of my mouth as I concentrated on keeping my eyes straight, which were trying to roll back into my head.
One step at a time, you can do it, my mind chanted like a mantra. I continued towards the road after a moment–neglecting the pain that made it hard for me to move–focusing only on my destination.
I am not ready to die and I don’t want my life to end in the middle of nowhere. I couldn’t remember how I got here, but the mortal wound on my shoulder–the size of my forefinger–didn’t feel normal. My instincts were screaming of an impending danger.
I have climbed the slope before me when I heard another howl, this too close for my comfort. My instincts screamed bloody murder and with the sudden rush of adrenaline pumping through my brain I pushed myself faster only for my legs to give up and I collapsed face first in the middle of the road.
Drops of water fell on my face as the petrichor filled my weak lungs that fought to keep breathing. The last thing I saw before welcoming the darkness was a bright light, which was getting far from me with every passing millisecond.