I feel the wind rushing through my hair, my feet hitting the hard ground, the moonlight shinning through the trees, lighting my path. My lungs feel like they're on fire. My stitches threatening to rip open. My heart beating wildly into my ears.
I DID IT. I ESCAPED. I'M FREE.
"Aiya RUN" Cleo booms into my brain. I shake my head and dig deeper, running faster than I thought possible. The trees start to look like a blur, my eyes start to water when a realisation hits me harder than any man ever could. Shift. I can shift. I stalled for hours before I escaped, the silver is still in my system but not as present.
I can shift! I feel Cleo squirm in my head. I would be able make ground twice as fast. Making my escape that much quicker.. I leaped over a log protruding out of the ground and I land funny on my left leg and I fall face first. "GET UP Aiya! And don't shift! Our white fur would be too easily noticed! Quickly" she shrieks.
She's right.. why hadn't I thought of that. I rise to my feet quickly, my left leg buckles from the pressure but I brush it off, leaping into a sprint. Breathe. I must breathe.. I start to slow down when I hear a flare goes off behind me.. no they're catching up too quickly. How.. they don't even know the direction I went.. think Aiyana! Fucking think....
My scent! They're following my god damn scent! I chastised myself for not thinking of that earlier, some fucking wolf I am. I spot a creek not too far ahead of me, I break into a sprint, skidding to a stop. I bend down running mud all over myself, and quickly rolling in it, carefully keeping the bandage covering my stitches dry. I kneel, I need a plan.
Okay, I ran north.. I think. To my left about a 100 yards I see a clearing.. a road. Ah no roads..stick to the trees. Go straight? No that's predictable, I can't go back and I cant go east.. A pack lives to the east, most of the people working for Seth live there. No doubt Seth has them all in his pockets..
OMG. What do I do! Where do I go! I start to panic, bile rises into my throat. No, they will catch me. Lock me back up and throw away the fucking key. It'll be 10000x worse if I'm caught and taken back!
"Run straight! They're trying to scare you, make you do something stupid and make a mistake. Go straight, the woods will get thicker!" Cleo's words break me out of my panic and into a sprint. Run north, breathe and don't stop. I chant this to myself to stay calm and focused.
I've been running for what feels like days.. reality being 5-6hours, my feet are bleeding. My throat is on fire and my lungs are on the brink. But I cannot rest. I wipe the sweat and mud with the back of my sleeve to see clearer. The moonlight no longer shinning through as brightly, the trees and vegetation are thick. Must be about midnight now.. I'm so tired.. I would do anything for a safe place to sleep.
Breathe. Run north. Don't stop.
I'm deeper in the woods now, the woods seem to thicken as I reach further and further, swallowing the moonlight.
I'm using more energy trying to run fast and dodge rocks, trees, fallen branches and small animals. Water, I really need water. My mouth is dry, so very dry. I slow to a jog, searching for a creek, pond or river.. anything. But nothing, no water within a mile of my sight.
"Another 2 hours, than find somewhere safe to hide and rest. Push Aiya. You can do this". Cleo sounded confident.. whether her confidence is misplaced.. well, we're about to find out. I take a deep breath, focusing myself and digging deep, real deep. Finding the energy and motivation, I take off fast, my stitches ripping my skin, making me wince.
RUN NORTH. BREATHE. DON'T STOP