Running, I can’t catch my breath. I fall down into the leafy underbrush and tree roots. The sweat beaded up on my forehead beginning to slip down to my face. My eyes are swollen and red from crying. Think Shari think. Clear your head for a moment and think. Too scared, too nervous, the terror building up inside me. What to do, what to do.
Oh no, the noise again. Stand up Shari, stand up. I have to keep moving. So dark, so creepy. The stench of these plants and mushroom is almost too much to bear. The branches of the trees swaying and the horrific sound that keeps following me.
I need to find shelter. I need to hide until whatever follows me stops. My lips are parched and my mouth is dry. My eyes so swollen I can barely see in the darkness. What kind of creatures lives here? My body shaking from fear.
I try to stand up, wiping tears from my eyes. I must move ahead. One foot in front of the other I start making my way back into the mushrooms. I avoid hitting them for the smell is making me sick. Picking up the pace, I am so tired from running. Pushing my body against its limits.
How can I leave a trail so I don’t circle back? I crouch down. I find shiny colored rocks, or at least I think they are rocks. I take two handfuls. I quickly drop one on the mushroom nearest me, trying not to touch it. I can do this, I can do this.
I run a little farther ahead, and again I place a rock. They shine so brightly. Something so pretty in this dark murky forest. I keep moving ahead leaving my rocks. As I run out I grab more. So far so good, I haven’t doubled back.
CRUNCH! Oh no the noise, I shift left and beginning running again, only to stop to place a rock. CRACKLE! It’s in front of me, I turn right. Running faster, dropping rock from my hands and forgetting to place them. Dried leaves on the ground rustling as I run thru them.
I see a rock on a mushroom. Damn, I’ve circled back. I stop. Collect my thoughts. I hear nothing. No noises at all. Has it stopped following me? I rest a moment.
Wait, I see something. A small light far off in the distance. It wasn’t there before I swear it. How long has it been there? How long have I been running? I drop my stones and begin walking towards it. It never seems to get closer. Just this small speck of light. It has to be the way out.
I keep walking; I hear no noises, just my foot steps in the underbrush. The light is changing colors. Its hue is not green, I keep walking. Now blue. Closer, I have to be getting closer I can see the light changing colors. Now pink.
A gentle rain begins to fall. It’s cold and I shiver. I’ve slowed my pace and am walking slowly. Exhausted I keep trotting ahead toward this new found light show. I wipe my brow with the gentle rain trying to wash off some of the smell of this horrible place.
Oh, it is getting closer; it’s bigger, and now yellow. I begin to run again, looking behind, seeing that nothing is following me. The giant mushrooms lurking in the background. Faster and faster I pick up the pace. Almost there I know it, almost there.
Suddenly I am surrounded by the warm yellow light. Did I make? Am I really here? I feel like I’m falling. Suddenly without warning my body hits the ground. The shock hits every part of my body. I feel warm and the light is bright and stinging my eyes. I begin to look around as they adjust to the light.
Flowers, a full meadow of flowers. Sunshine on my face. My skin warming to the sun’s rays. I did it. Somehow, some way I escaped. But, how did I get there to begin with?