Chapter Eight (Part Two)

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Chapter Eight (Part Two)

Abriana

***

Propelling my body forward, I refused to stop. Tree branches snagged my hair and long grass slapped at my ankles.

Easton’s voice boomed somewhere behind me, “Abriana! STOP! This won’t end well for you!”

Keep running!

My body felt weak and exhaustion set in after a few minutes. Keep running! Keep running! My limbs began to fumble and I tripped on an exposed tree root. Hitting the ground hard, I felt sharp rock dig into my knee. With tears in my eyes, I struggled to my feet. I pulled at the rope binding my hands as I darted toward a thick grove of evergreens.

“Abriana! STOP running! We’re in the middle of nowhere!” shouted Easton.

Minimal food and water over the past several days left my body running on fumes. My heart hammered in my chest and my energy dwindled to dangerously low levels. Scanning my surroundings, I looked for somewhere to hide.

Settling on a fallen tree with thick branches covered in large oak leaves, I threw my body to the ground and held my breath.

For a moment, all that I could hear were the birds chirping and the occasional gust of wind blowing through the leaves above.

I looked down at my wrists and bit my lip. Even the smallest movements made noise. Holding my breath, I brought my hands to my mouth and pulled the rope with my teeth. Finally, the rope came lose and I managed to slide my hands out. I cringed as I examined my raw and bruised wrists.

Suddenly, a nearby twig snapped. Squeezing my eyes shut, I tried to control the quake that threatened to shake my entire body. Count to ten, then reassess. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. When I didn’t hear anything else, I opened my eyes and searched the forest floor. Where is he? I couldn’t see or hear him. Maybe he left? Maybe he thinks I’m somewhere else.

The trembling temporarily subsided and I took a deep breath. I counted to ten not once or twice, but three more times. Every time I got to ten, I looked around and listened for signs of my kidnapper. Finally, convinced that I was alone, I closed my eyes and wiped a tear of joy off of my cheek. I did it! I lost him! Now, all I need to do is find someone, anyone else, and call 911!

Easing my body off of the forest floor, I looked down. I still had on the same dress from the night Easton captured me. My run through the forest had all but destroyed it. With an ounce of confidence, I thought to myself, the first thing I’m going to do when I get home is burn this dress!

I glanced over my shoulder and tried to decide which way to go. Every direction looked the same. Tall pines reached toward the sky and smaller oak trees huddled together in small bunches.

Going with my gut, I decided to head forward. Anything to get further away from Easton! With a slow and steady pace, I moved as quietly as possible throughout the forest.

***

After several hours had passed, the sun began to sink and the air turned cooler. My stomach growled loudly and my tongue felt like sandpaper. I need to find something to eat and drink, otherwise, I might not make it much further.

Without warning, a crack of lightning streaked across the sky followed by a rumbled of thunder.

My heart skipped a beat. Shelter! I need to find shelter A.S.A.P.!

A moment later, a large drop of rain smacked my cheek and dripped down the side of my face. Then, as if someone turned on a faucet, the skies opened and the rain came down in buckets.

I pressed my body up against a tree and held out my cupped hands. Bringing them to my mouth, I drank greedily.

After my thirst had been quenched, I closed my eyes and sank down to the damp ground. Wrapping my arms around my legs, I dropped my head and tried to allow my body to relax.

That’s when I heard a terrifying click and an evil laugh. “Hands up, Abriana.”

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