The Run

For once I feel at ease in my own skin. I’m running comfortably, easy in the knowledge that each stride is bringing me closer to safety. I can sense that I’m near the end, very close to being safe. Steady now, I just need to keep focused. Just a few more turns…

My heart and mind are both racing. My thinking is clear, my body doesn’t hurt, I’m enjoying the run despite being chased. “Catch me if you can!” Always looking a few feet ahead, so far I’ve been able to overcome all obstacles in my way. Jumped over rocks, skidded down gravel slopes, manoeuvred around puddles and outrun the foreboding shape following me.
Twigs snap underfoot, gravel crunches and the sky darkens rapidly. Nearly there. Over and over I tell myself “keep going, you can do it.” In time with my breathing, my feet hit the ground, the drum-like rhythm keeps me focused. Glancing over my shoulder, I can see that the shadow has almost caught up to me. I feel a chill as it reaches out to grab me. I regret having looked back. Now I’m distracted, panicking. Faster, I need to run faster. There must be a secret to getting away. I cut sharply to the right then to the left, zig-zagging in the hopes that it can’t corner very well. As luck would have it (or not), the shape follows me, easily taking the course changes in stride. The shadow’s right behind me and yet I’m so close to being safe. My odds of either being overtaken or escaping feel equal.
My breath doesn’t come as easily now, stiffness sets in as my legs begin to ache. I push myself hard to get away, I will not give up. Never. My God this hurts…
Without warning the ground disappears from underfoot. Suddenly I’m airborne. Falling rapidly towards the river below. I try to scream, but no sound comes out. Frantic now, I…
G A S P ! ! ! ! !
I bolt up in bed…
Thump thump thump thump. My heart continues racing as I become aware that I’ve been dreaming. My run wasn’t real. The shadow wasn’t real. My pounding heart certainly is though. At 2:00am I know that there’s no chance of falling back to sleep again tonight.

About Christine N

I'm married to Daryle, Mom to two wonderful boys - Daniel and Andy.
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