The dream was one of fear and anxiety. I know the road we were using as an escape route but can’t place it yet. Behind us, things. Monsters? Madmen? Zombies? No, not zombies, but something pursues us.

Go into the woods, some in our small party suggested.

No, distance is the key, move fast and far. Perhaps find help. If we hide they can surround is, cut off escape.

You’re not in charge.

Do what you want.

The party gets smaller as a half dozen or so people flee into the woods.

We push hard, walking fast, the road open and clear, straight as a drawn line in front of us. Behind us nothing, nothing to be seen. But I want a curve to hide us. One of the party is man who starts limping. He’s young, strong, but stepped between two rocks and broke his ankle a month ago. Panting, he looks behind us. Nothing. Ahead of us, nothing. He decides to hit the woods. We lose another.

At a bridge a dying stream staggers though weeds and broken concrete under the bridge, and disappears into the trees. We rest, eat snacks, drink bottled water, and take stock. We have little. By the time the sun disappears and darkness hunts us, we will have nothing.

We hear a scream.  We all bolt as one now, people tossing away what little they were carrying. The slowest runner has been given a death sentence, cries for help, but no one stops. I look back. The bridge seems impossibly close for us to have run so fast. The woman who gave out first is looking back, too. She turns and looks at me.

Thanks for coming back, she says, and she crying. We’re dead. Be both know it.

We’ll go into the woods, follow the creek, and hope they go after the group.

Okay.

The bramble slows us too much. It’s too thick. The woman is exhausted.

“Leave me, I can’t keep up.”

“It’s too late.”

We can see the road, see things passing quickly. None of them stop to look for us.

We hear screams. Then nothing. We sit in terror, neither of us speaking. The woman cries softly.

Darkness comes, and it is complete. Sounds of something crashing through the woods. The woman bolts, screams.

I wake up.

Right now, as I write, I miss her, and I hope she made it.

Gee, Mike, write this out, and save her!

It doesn’t work like that. I write what is, not what I want to be.

That doesn’t make sense, Mike.

Try from inside here.

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