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Written By: Suri Purefoy
May 15, 2015
My back bends awkwardly, my knees press up against my chest, and my feet curl up as tight as they can go. Something sharp and cold sticks into my back. I can feel warm and sticky liquid traveling slowly down my back’s skin, but I ignore the pain and stay focused on making no noise. I try not to breathe, but my breath seems to want to come out right at this moment. The worst possible moment for me to be breathing.
I suck in, feeling my nostrils flare, wanting to puff out the air that lingers in my lungs. My brain tells me to exhale, but I ignore the steady warning. If I breathe out that will mean me being found.
The terror claws mercilessly at my chest. If I am found, it’s game over. That is, for me. Cautious. Clever. Patient. I remind myself slowly. If I even slightly penetrate any of those three rules, I’m a goner.
My thumping heart leaps into my throat—the hollow, creepily, silent yet distinguished footsteps are nearing. Closer. Closer.
I know you are here, says the dark voice belonging to the footsteps. Perhaps he, considering it is a he, does not know the location I am hidden, and it is just attempting to coax me out of my hidden sanctuary. The feeling of failure pricks at my panicked thoughts, tempting me to give up and get the failure and pain over with as quickly as possible. But the other, braver(if you can call any part of me brave) part of me, the courageous feeling, tells me to lie low until I know for sure.
I can’t be found. I can’t.
Please, I plead in my head, please. Not this time. My pleadings are whiny and feverish.
Surrender. Do not, and you will-
The echoey, gloomy, eerie voice stops, mid-sentence. I wait for the rest of the sentence, or, well, threat, to slip out of the thing’s mouth, but nothing happens. It is as if it was struck dumb, its mouth suddenly sealed shut, unable to open, and it being left with no communication through words.
Trembling, I know that if I do not breathe now, I will suffocate, being found or not. Very, very slowly and steadily, I let air out of my dried lips, trying to be as quiet as physically possible.
The door swings open. Staring frightfully face-to-face with a shadowy, gray-eyed figure, I don’t gasp—I know better than that. The white face pulls into a deep, evil, demon-like smirk.
Terror rips at my heart. I know it’s all over.
A bright light shines into view, piercing my eyes with its rays.