#Chapter 27 Chase
#Chapter 27: Chase
I didn’t stick around long enough to find out what would happen if I didn’t run, and I didn’t look over my shoulder. I focused on the sidewalk ahead,
running as fast as I could as my fear came true: I heard the sound of feet running behind me. They were getting closer, and I knew that the stranger was pursuing me.
“Help!” I yelled, but the streets were deserted. No one was around to hear me, and even if they were, I had heard stories about women’s cries for help being ignored before. I couldn’t even call the police since I lost my phone.
“Slow down!” the stranger called from behind me. I picked up my pace, my heart pounding harder and faster with every step, my legs pumping as fast as I could make them.
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Suddenly, the stranger picked up his speed and caught up to me, circling around me and cutting me off. I shrieked and turned around to run in the other direction, but he grabbed my wrist and held me fast.
“Let go!” I screamed, wrenching my arm as hard as I could. My wrist burned and throbbed, but I got away.
I had two options: keep running in a straight line out in the open in the hopes that he would either give up or someone would come along to help me, although he would probably catch me again just as easily, or… I could dart into the woods next to us and use the darkness to my advantage. Maybe I could lose him between the trees, plus the campus was right on the other side of this patch of woods, so I could possibly find a public safety officer once I got there.
I knew it wasn’t the smartest option.
#Chapter 27 Chose
but it made sense in my terrified mind.
Without taking longer to think about it, I sprinted as fast as I could into the woods.
“Hey!” the stranger yelled, crashing into the woods after me as I wove around trees in an attempt to lose him. “You’re not gonna get far. I can smell you!”
My heart leaped up in my throat. He could… smell me?
This guy was really nuts!
I kept running, darting through the dark woods in the hopes that I would lose him, but his footsteps never sounded far off. My lungs and my legs burned, but still I picked up speed. Just a little more distance and I would come out on the other side of the woods….
It was dark, and I didn’t see the ravine.
Suddenly, I was falling down a hill, my
#Chapter 27 Chase
limbs scraping against rocks and tree roots as I tumbled down. I felt my head hit against something hard, then everything went black.
When I came to, I was laying in the bottom of the ravine. I groaned and sat up, mud caked to my face and my clothes, and frantically looked around. The stranger was nowhere to be found; had I lost him, or had he just not caught up yet?
I attempted to stand. Thankfully, my body wasn’t completely broken, although I felt dizzy from hitting my head.
The side of the ravine was steep, and when I tried to climb it, my sore and trembling limbs couldn’t muster up enough strength to haul myself up. I would have to find an area that was less steep, but it was hard to see in the darkness down here without a flashlight.
I started to walk carefully, my shoes soaked with water and mud. Every step ached more and more, but I had to keep going in case the stranger was going to catch up, and even if he did give up and leave, I couldn’t spend the night out here in the woods.
The further I walked, the sounds of the woods became more pronounced and frightening. Every sound of the wind creaking through the pine trees, the hoot of an owl, and the scurrying of a weasel made me jump like a scared animal, but I did my best to calm my nerves and just keep going.
There was one sound, however, that was different from the rest.
It sounded like a low growl.
I turned in a full circle, my eyes scanning my surroundings as best they could in the dark. There was nothing there that I could see, but I felt like…
#Chapter 27 Chose
The growling grew louder. Was it a bear? A mountain lion? A wolf? I had never thought that such animals would linger so close to town and to campus, but it wasn’t unheard of here in Canada. I felt incredibly stupid for coming out here in the middle of the night like this, but what other choice did I have?
The stranger’s voice came right from behind me. I went to scream, but a gloved hand clapped over my mouth and a thin arm wrapped around my waist. All I could do was squeeze my eyes shut tight and hope that my fate. would at least be quick and painless.
The growling grew in volume. It didn’t
sound like any animal I had heard
before. It sounded… human and catlike
at the same time, and it wasn’t coming
Chop 20 Chate
from the stranger.
“Stay back!” the stranger shouted. ”
The growling only continued. The stranger pulled me back with him. I opened my eyes a crack to see something that shook my world for the millionth time in the past two days.
It wasn’t human, nor was it an animal. It was a mix between the two, like a sick science experiment gone wrong.
It was huge, far bigger than any human or feline I had ever seen. It stood on two legs, but its body was shaped like that of a mountain lion while still possessing anthropomorphic traits.
I didn’t know what it was exactly, but I
knew one thing: it was a monster.
The beast snarled and leaped toward us. The stranger released his grip on #Chapter 27 Chase
me and threw me to the side, where I tumbled to the ground with a shriek. The monster turned to come after me, but the stranger barreled into the monster’s side and knocked it over.
They fought in a tangle of limbs. I couldn’t make out exactly what was happening in the darkness, but the sounds said it all. The sounds of the monster yelping and… bones clattering.
The monster suddenly shrieked and
scurried off into the woods on all fours.
“What…” I whispered, pushing myself
up from the ground.
The stranger came over to me.
“Rogue,” he replied. “We need to
He held out his hand to help me up. As he did so, the moon came out from behind a cloud and illuminated him. His hood had slipped back, and his mask and sunglasses had come off to reveal no flesh, no eyes, nothing but a skull
“It’s you?” I screamed, scrambling backwards. “Get away from me!”
The skeleton sighed and dropped his hand. “That thing will be back soon,” he said. “If you want to live, you need to come with me. I promise I’m not here to hurt you.”
“How do I know if I can trust you?” 1
responded, my voice shaking.
“Because,” the skeleton said, stepping toward me and grabbing my shoulders, hauling me up to my feet and leaning close. “Enzo sent me. I’m your bodyguard.”
As I stood, my leg was on pins and needles. I hadn’t realized the pain before, but now I knew that I would certainly be dead meat if I didn’t get out of here, and it seemed that this #Chapter 27: Chase
skeleton was my only ticket home.
With a hesitant nod, I let the skeleton hoist me onto his back and carry me. He walked easily up the ravine without holding onto anything, carrying me as though I weighed nothing. Soon we were back on campus.
He set me down on the sidewalk. “I can’t be seen like this,” he said, “so you’ll have to go the rest of the way. Can you walk?”
I nodded. My leg hurt, but I could still put a little weight on it and limp back to my dorm.
The skeleton nodded in response and disappeared into the woods. I stared after him for a few moments, still in awe of what had just happened, before I started slowly making my way home.
When I got home, I opened the door to my suite.
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“What the fuck happened to you?!” Lori said from her spot at the counter island, her eyes wide as she looked me up and down.
“I fell,” I lied, limping over to my room. I put my hand on the doorknob and opened the door.
Enzo was sitting on the edge of my bed. He looked up at me, his eyes widening as he took in my dirty and bloody appearance.
“What the hell?!” I said, turning back toward Lori.
“He said he really needed to talk to you,” she said. “And he found your phone.”
I didn’t bother to ask why Lori let him into my room, because she was clearly stoned. I sighed and turned back toward Enzo, who looked at me with concern written across his face.
Taking a deep breath, I walked into my room and shut the door behind me. In a strange way, I was relieved to see Enzo.