I am running as fast as I can, but I can still hear the voices behind me. The voices are getting louder and louder now. I need to catch up on my speed. I fall down and bruise my hands and knees. But I need to keep going. This cannot be it. This cannot be the moment when they catch me.
“Come on, Kate, you can do it. Run faster,” I push myself, regretting all those times I missed workout just because I was lazy. My heartbeat’s racing and I can feel sweat trickling down my spine. I am very much aware of all these just like I am aware of the sounds behind me. It’s funny how mind works even in the middle of a situation like this.
The voices are still behind me. They are not far off. I can hear them and so, they might also be able to hear me running. My rubber role running shoes are made for quiet running but the dry leaves in the woods crunch under my feet. Those noises cannot be helped, no matter how carefully I tread.
For a while, I consider climbing on a tree. But it’s autumn now and not summer. The trees are bald and without any leaves. Climbing might only result in them seeing me sooner rather than later. I have to think of alternatives. How do spies and secret service agents think in tough times? I wish I could channel their thoughts right now.
I see a dense shrubbery ahead of me. It seems like a perfect hideout. My thighs are burning and I won’t be able to run for long. Instead of falling on the ground and giving them direct access, it’s better to hide in this shrubbery.
No sooner did I hide there, the voices approached my hiding spot. It started getting louder and louder from behind me. Thinking that I still might be able to escape, I slide deeper and deeper into the shrubbery and try to get to another exit where they might not be able to see me. But that notion was lost when all of a sudden, I started hearing some of those voices coming from the front of the shrubbery too.
There was nothing I could do now. I was surrounded. I could not remain here for long. If I don’t move out, they can come in, which is not a bit desirable. The only thing left is to get out and face the voices, before they start to move in. I move from the shrubbery and climb out. No sooner did I surface, those voices lunged at me.
Shouts of “Mommy, we found you” from my child to barks of joy from my dog filled the wood. They all looked as ragged as me with twigs and branches jutting out of their hair and face smeared with mud and dust. But they looked very happy with the hunt and finally finding me. “I could never hide from you. You always manage to find me. But tomorrow, I will try better. Now, here’s one treat each for you for successfully finding me.” I hand out a cookie to my child and a doggie treat to my ‘other child’ and we happily head home.
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