Sweat pours down my back as I run through the woods behind Paw-paw’s house. The fist clenching my heart takes hold of my lungs, making it nearly impossible to continue. My legs weigh a ton and I feel as if I’m running on the beach instead of pine needles and grasses.
The growl behind me is human. Or at least not quite animal. Laughter mixes in with the burst of wind rushing past my ears. A hiss of a name teases me.
My bare feet land on prickly cones and branches reach out to grab my hair and scratch my bare skin. I realize now I’m naked and embarrassment flutters close behind my fear. A fear that pushes me forward though my lungs burn.
Whatever’s behind me, man or monster, stops and I feel a sense of relief. But it only lasts for a second. My legs move slower, and a tug on my stomach tries to wrench me back. Almost like an invisible rope has lassoed me and is yanking me from behind.
I try to scream, only to find I have no voice. The darkness has eaten all sound and light.