He stumbled amid the shifting obscurity of twisted shadowy boles. His breath was ragged with exhuastion; deep, violent intakes of air bathed his lungs in the suffocating fear of the feverish night. He felt his heart clawing to be released; the rising palpitations unleashing a pounding beast that could no longer be confined by the prison made bone and flesh. They were here, they were coming… How long would he be able to hide within a darkness that was theirs?
Body slamming against a nearby trunk, he felt his laboured breathing blazing a burning path through his chest. His eyes darted up to a hidden night sky, where a faint spectral moonlight emboldened the talons of the infinite forest. Eyes stung at the touch of the terror brew of sweat, blood, tears and grime. Blinking away the unfathomable fear, he looked around to find any escape. Any break between the thick bramble would surely give him a chance. He only… he only needed a chance.
The wood was thick with silent terrors that trod between the trees. No breeze dared wail this night; a night that belonged to them. A night where their dominion was heraled by their own nightmarish howls. He was an intruder. He was the unwelcome guest. His pulse upset the rythm of their unholy symphonies, and they would find him. They would silence him. They were coming…
…They were coming…
He shook off the numbing allure of the dark oblivion of his own thoughts and darted onwards to outrun the enclosing threat. His vision was suffused in the misty haze of an aching head that threatened to steal his awareness. The trees were becoming longer, the spaces between them ever more slight… he was trapped. Trapped like the unsuspecting prey that walks right into the maw of its killer. The pleas of his psyche roared to contest the crescendo of his racing heartbeat. Run you fool… run… Run… RUN… FOR GOD’S SAKE RUN!
He lost his footing.
The hellish root snapped in lieu of nature’s Machiavelian cackle, as it swiped his foot from under his plummeting frame.
The fall punched the hard won purchase of night air right from his lungs, and a pitched ring filled his forlorn mind as all the noise was siphoned from the night. The ring… the ring was maddening. It overwhelmed his senses in his rapid descent into the abyss… a screeching demon yearning for the ruination of all that was left of him. The world closed in around him. Dark tendrils stole his vision ever so slowly as the temporary tinnitus muffled the sounds of his final desperate scramble to survive. The ring… the ring. His sight swam with the dark silhouettes emerging from the shadows. Or were they the shadows? Everything was so indistinct now. The ring, the ring. Nothing remained. Overcome. Overpowered. Overture of death. The ring.
He knew no more.