The wind blew around her as her feet pelted the dirt, leaves crunching underfoot. It took every ounce of self-control she had in her not to turn her head. She couldn't hear anything besides her own heartbeat, pounding in her ears and trying to escape her chest. She didn't feel the aching strain her muscles so desperately tried to communicate with her. Her breath was coming out in short, jagged gasps and her arms could have powered a small city with the amount of wind they were creating in order to propel her forward. She was focused on running.
A bright, almost holy, light illuminated the trees surrounding her. It created a path to freedom. She could see the entrance to it, open and inviting. Her focus wavered; she was so desperate to be free from this agonizing torment, she momentarily forgot why she was running.
The sound of a bone being cracked was all it took to bring her back to the torture that was reality. It gave her a burst of energy, one that saved her. When she heard more bones break she realized faintly that it wasn't bones, but twigs.
She was close, so close. So close she could almost taste it. She pushed harder, willing herself to go just a little further. The light grew brighter, larger, and she finally reached her safe haven.
She burst through the tangled bushes. They scratched her face and cloth-covered limbs, tearing the fabric off. The light, a streetlamp, made a spotlight where she emerged. She stopped for half a second to enjoy the light, standing straight and closing her eyes, breathing in the suburban air she craved.
She heard the rustling of leaves and immediately began sprinting. The dark street was bare of all life. The two story houses that lined the street were black and silent. The streetlamps were evenly spaced out, one every three or so houses on both sides of the street. The neatly trimmed hedges and shrubbery outlined the sidewalk in front of each house. The sidewalks were completely devoid of any garbage. The end of the street curved to the right, leading to another long set of houses lining the street.
The light from the lamp made a seemingly never-ending spotlight, giving away her position. The yellowish-white glow from above her acted like a beacon. It seemed the more she ran, the longer the light was. She couldn't escape it.
She couldn't stop running, no matter what her mind, or her body, said. She tried to be quiet, but her clothes and labored breathing were too loud. The snug denim fabric of her jeans made a swishing noise every time her legs passed each other. Her sneakers stomped the floor too hard, making her whole body vibrate with each step. The strings on her jacket on her collarbone collided with the open zipper track running down her torso, a far too loud clicking sound. Her plain T-shirt hung off her body, its soft material providing a slight relief to the heat and perspiration from her body's exertion. The soft tufts of hair at the base of her neck, along with her bangs, clung to her head and face.
She was so out of breath. She knew she should stop running, but she couldn't. She needed to be as far away as possible. She needed to keep going. Running until she reached a rather large bush in someone's yard, she ducked into it and hid.
Not even pausing to catch her breath, or at least attempt to, she crouched down and examined the scratches she gained from running in the woods. They weren't too big or too deep, nothing too serious. A few particularly angry-looking cuts along the side of her hand were the worst of it. Slightly raised, red lines under miniscule cuts- almost like stitches on the hem of a skirt- traced the side of her hand. She ran her opposite hand along the cuts, smudging the few droplets of blood that had formed across it.
Hearing a sound like a sharp razor cutting through flesh had her formulate possibly her riskiest plan yet. She shifted her position so that she was on one knee –like she was proposing– but ready to run. She placed her hands on the ground next to her front leg, only her fingertips touching the grass.
She set her eyes on her target and bolted. It was like someone had shot a bullet from a gun. She wasn't thinking about anything other than reaching her destination. It was getting closer with each step.
She could almost reach the door. If she could just get to the door, she could knock or punch it in and-
Her entire body was hurled into the door, throwing them both onto the floor of the house's entryway. She curled her fingers around the frame of the door and pushed herself up. Only her head obeyed.
Taking in her new surroundings, she saw a staircase against the wall to her right and a decorated family room to her left. In front of her was a short hallway. She scrambled to her feet and ran through the hallway. It took her to a large kitchen, with a dining room off to the left side.
She went back through the dining room into the family room. The stairs were making her both curious and nervous, so she went up them and into the first room on the second floor.
The room seemed to be an office. There were two desks, one by the door and one in the far corner. A tall bookshelf was backed against the far wall. A futon with a decorative blanket draped on the back was hiding behind the far desk. The window took up most of the length of the wall, and luckily the blinds were drawn and the curtains closed.
Deciding that the office wasn't the best room to be in, she wandered into the next room, a bedroom. The bedroom was very bright, but very plain. White walls and a white bedspread mixed in with a light brown wood floor and wicker bed frame. A tan dresser was pushed against the wall directly across from the bed. A walk-in closet was built into the wall beside the door she entered the room from.
Her head started to spin, making her realize how exhausted she actually was. The bed looked quite inviting. It was tempting her with its softness and calmness. She debated it in her head; should she sleep in a stranger's bed while they weren't home?
She fought with her morals for a minute before letting the tiredness get the best of her. She slumped over to the bed and flopped down on it, not caring that she wasn't under the covers or even on a pillow. Her eyes fluttered closed as she breathed a sigh of relief. She was finally free.
The fact that the doorway to enter the house was completely unblocked never occurred to her.