Pace, Conflict, Suspense

 

Each step glued her feet further into the bog. Her boots came away with a reluctant sucking sound as she dragged her feet forward. Gloom beneath the black-barked trees that bowed over the path made no promise of welcome.  Threads of pale moss hung off them in thickening shrouds that brushed her face with nightmare fingers.

‘I have to.’ Her whisper gasped out of her tight throat. He had been taken this way. The scent of his blood laid too bright a trail in the air for her to ignore. If she had been born a normal insensitive she would never have known. But she did. She knew too much. Those she hunted knew it too. They wanted her and would bind her to their will if they kept him.

The path sucked at her boot again, so hard she almost left it behind in the mud as she lifted her foot for the next step. They would hear her if she continued this way and besides, it was the most obvious way to approach. Thorny and dense shrubbery lined the path but under the great trees where no sun could strike through the canopy the tangle would surely be less. She did not need to follow the path where Commando treads had left a plain trail. They hadn’t bothered to camouflage their tracks. They knew her too well. They knew she wouldn’t give up and go back. The boot prints arrowed her forward.

Mereen scrambled off the path. The vegetation banded against her like an elastic and impenetrable force. She put her head down to make her body compact and pushed with all her strength until she made a dent. The dent became a hole. Thorns stung her fingers, left burning traces on her face but she pushed on. At last she burrowed through. As she had suspected, the vegetation beneath the forest canopy was sparse. Unlike the well trodden path, the ground here was firm. The blood scent remained clear in the air.

Small though Mereen was, and alone against three hunters who had seized her brother, she had an element of surprise on her side. She knew her botany. They had no idea. City crims in a jungle environment – she could use that knowledge again.

‘Wait until the dark,’ she whispered as she padded forward on cat quiet feet. ‘Be ready Dan.’ He would know. He’d understand her plan the moment she appeared. All she had to hope for now was she had two hours’ grace before then, before they began to cut him again.

 

The above was written as an exercise in Conflict with my writing group.

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2 responses to “Pace, Conflict, Suspense”

  1. Amanda says:

    Well I just loved that story, Pamela. Thank you. It was the perfect accompaniment to my lunchtime coffee and salad 🙂

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