I pumped all my strength into my legs, pushing them up the steep hill of a road. What was I thinking? I couldn’t out run this guy. My chest was on fire. My wheezes were getting worse, shorter. I had to stop but my mind wouldn’t let me. My throat burned, my eyes watered, my lungs pinched tighter.
I jerked my head around again. He was still there, close but slow. Against my will, my feet fumbled to a stop. My body shook, legs quivering like jello. Okay, fine, I couldn’t out run him. That didn’t mean I’d go without a fight.
I turned to face him, determination to live fueling my breath. He laughed as I went into a fit of coughs and he stopped a few feet away. I nearly choked on my own spit when I got a better look at him. His eyes were yellow.
“Giving up so easily?” He didn’t expect me to answer.
The man leapt at me like a tiger pouncing a zebra. Panic commanded my next move and I shot my hands out as if I could actually push him away. My eyes had shut somewhere in that time and I waited, frozen by anticipation of death.
I opened my eyes and took a step back. He landed on his back at the bottom of the hill. What the—
A black shadow rushed me. With a smack, its force blew into me like a gale from a storm, bringing me along for the ride. I flew back with my limbs flapping like a rag doll. With a crack that sickened my stomach, I landed back-first on the road. My lungs failed miserably. I tried opening my eyes, terrified to move my body. Terrified of what in the hell was happening around me.
Something latched onto my shirt. I tried to scream, but all I managed was a horrible croaking noise at the last of my breath. I flung forward as if someone was trying to stand me upright. My body didn’t cooperate, flailing around limp. A jarring pain ripped up my core. I went numb. The lights dimmed. The inferno in my chest spilled over, devouring the rest of me. Within the darkness taking me over, all I saw was a shadowed face.
He said something garbled or foreign. He pulled me closer with a yank. I wasn’t aware of much anymore, but the fact my feet weren’t on the ground stuck with me. A flash of blurred colors took over my vision. The force holding me up vanished. I plummeted to the street face first. White pain was the last thing overwhelming me before everything drifted away like the ocean receding from a shore.