Oct 08
perkinsr's picture

Fall Story

I stop for a moment at the top of my hill. I wrap my dogs leash around my hand and turn around and stare at the setting sun, the orange glow turning everything musty rust color. I hear a buzz and look up. The street lights flicker on, the one farthest away from me flickering on and off. I turn around again and watch the setting sun disappear between the mountains. Suddenly, all the street lights sputter and turn off, except for the flickering light. I glance up, and then continue down the hill. This isn’t out of the exactly ordinary, living on a dirt road 12 miles from the city, but tonight it gives me an eerie feeling.  I wrap my thin sweater tighter around me, trying to fight off the night chill and start down the hill. I breathe in the quiet November evening. The only thing I can hear is my feet on the dirt and my heavy breathing.The sun is gone, and the only thing I can see is the flickering street lamp.

THe silent night makes me want to run home. The only noises are from me and the wind. I look down at my feet, trying not to slip down the hill, when I hear a branch snap. My head snaps up, and I suddenly feel a tug on the leash. I look down, and my dog is gone. The only thing left was her leash in my hand. I slowly look around. I call her name a few times, the noise quickly dying with the strong sudden gust of wind. I start pacing around, shaking a bag of treats. My calmness quickly overcome by fear, and I start to frantically call  her name. My chest starts closing in with panic. I hear faint barking, and sprint across the street into a dead forest. The forest had suffered from a forest fire a few years back, so all that's left is ash and burnt trees. The fire killed all the wildlife and plants.  

The dead leaves and ash crunch under my feet and the dry wind howls through the hollow trees. The light has quickly faded away and the only thing I can see  is my feet. I skid to a stop, narrowly missing multiple trees. As I put my hands on my knees, I hear another branch snap. I slowly stand upright, my head on a slow swivel. I try to quiet my breathing so that no one could possibly hear it, but I can’t, so I settle for holding my breath. After a minute, I figure it's safe to keep walking. I continue on my way, slowly coming to the realization that I have no idea where I am. Without warning, something comes bursting back through the trees. I stood stock-still , my feet not willing to move and my mind not comprehending what was happening. My fight or flight signals were going bonkers inside my head, but my feet were stuck. The blur keeps barreling at me until the very last second when it makes a hard turn and just misses me. I stand statue-still for a split second, trying to understand what just happened. I opened my mouth to scream but right when I took a breath in, a cold sweaty hand clamped over my mouth. I bit down and dug my teeth into the hand. It jerked back and I heard a cry of agony. I sprinted, not looking back. Branches whipped me in the face as I ran, leaves fell into my hair and my mouth tasted of sweat and someone else’s blood. My now-ripped sweater is flapping in the wind.

 
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