The sunset is setting slowly over the small town and I am basking in the last rays of warmth from the day. I always go for a job between seven and eight after the monotony of dinner, followed by an interrogation by my parents about school and whether I’d decided between Stanford or Harvard and then the worst metaphorical mountain any student has to face; homework mountain. Knowing that I have my evening jogs to myself is a relief otherwise I’d never get to switch off from the hubbub of life and just run. I love to hear the snapping of trees and my feet pound the woodland floor. I feel my stress ebb away as I run harder as if squashing every doubt I have about college. I feel so grateful that we live behind this private sanctuary of mine. The leaves fall off of the trees all dried up and dark brown and I pause for a second and watch more fall pathetically to the floor but, I quickly snapped myself out of it, why should I feel sorry for a leave falling from a branch, that’s how things work, that’s how the seasons come and go, time is constantly pushing us forward as we try to snatch it back . I wanted the future and to not look back.
I wanted to get home quickly so I took a short cut, the wind was cutting through my sports bra and shorts. The sky had was now black and the stars were blinking as if to warn me but I didn’t bother to look. This shout cut was longer than I thought as I passed some bare trees I felt instantly vulnerable. The birdsong of the evening stop. I heard a crunch from behind me. As far as I knew I was the only one that jogged here especially at this time of night.
It was a man. I heard the thud of walking boots. Beads of sweat were running down my forehead as I picked up my pace, I could hear him laughing to himself, was I being hunted? I ran faster now. He saw that he had unnerved me. I kept my phone out ready to dial nine one one. I even picked up a heavy branch to defend myself if attacked me. I have focused on the small light ahead of me. I was too busy looking back when I tripped on a stone and twisted my ankle. I tried to scramble up and keep running but it hurt like hell so I crawled with all I could. I wasn’t fast enough. He grabbed my leg and dragged me back I even screamed for help but the last thing I remember was the taste of his dirty cloth he’d clamped over me. I struggled, kicked but he was too strong.
The last thing I heard was the babbling brook and the birds screeching as if sending a signal for help, then it went black