Henry Cutler moved through the woods. He kept nervously looking over his shoulder, certain that his pursuers were closing in on him. He ran past some bushes, jumping over a fast-moving stream and ducking behind a large tree.
The sound of blaring sirens penetrated the air. Police sirens. Henry could here the police car moving along the road next to the dense forest. He kept perfectly still, not daring to move a single muscle. Then, the moment was gone and the police car moved off down the road, the sound of its blaring sirens fading away.
Breathing a sigh of relief, the man looked down at himself. He was still wearing the orange prison outfit, which was like a big target sign to anyone who saw him.
I need to get out of these clothes, Henry thought. Then, I need to get money and buy a plane ticket. Get out of the country. And just hide anywhere else.
Henry had been a prisoner for two years. Two long years of sitting in his cell, and being tormented by his fellow inmates. He didn't know why he was in prison. Well, he did know why but he couldn't remember committing the crime he had been proven guilty for.
Apparently, Henry had been at a friend's house one night, when he had brutally attacked and killed his friend with a knife. He had then attempted to slit his own wrists, but medical authorities had arrived on the scene and saved him. He had later awoken in the hospital, with no memory of what had transpired. Yet, there had been multiple witnesses, all who shared the same story, word for word. That, and the security footage. The police had shown him the footage, perhaps trying to jog his memory and get him to admit what he had done.
Henry had watched the footage, watching in horror as he violently stabbed his friend to death. His friend…whose name he couldn't recall either. But with all the evidence against him, he had been found guilty in court and sentenced to twenty years in prison.
But last night, a fight had occurred in the cafeteria. Two inmates had started a fight and soon, a riot broke out. The guards were overwhelmed and somehow, one of the prisoners got into the control booth, releasing everyone else from their cells. Henry knew it was stupid, but he decided to take a chance and run for it. Somehow, he hadn't been shot, hurt, or even scratched in the chaos. He had even gotten out of the prison and ran into the woods that surrounded it.
And now the police were after him. Henry knew he couldn't get back on the main road for awhile, so he was going through these woods, at least until he reached a town or something like that.
He moved away from his hiding place, stepping through the trees. Branches cracked under his feet, and birds called out from the tops of trees. Some sort of small animal ran out from under a bush, disappearing into another set of them farther along.
Henry walked in silence for sometime, the only sounds being that of nature. At last, he came to a trail past some of the trees. Looking around, the former prisoner could see he was on walking on what looked like some sort of hiking trail.
Hmm, Henry thought to himself. Where should I go?
Henry looked to his right first. The trail that way seemed to lead back to the road. He didn't want to go there. The cops were probably still scouring the area, searching for him.
That left only one option. Henry looked to his left, seeing the trail went deeper into the woods.
Well, Henry thought. It has to lead somewhere in the end. I guess I'll follow the trail that way.
He walked forward, away from the road and the police. Again, it was quiet. In fact, it started to become more and more silent the deeper Henry walked into the woods.
That's weird, Henry thought to himself, jumping over a fallen log in the middle of the path. There are no more birds chirping here. Or maybe it's getting close to dark and they all went to sleep or something.
Suddenly, Henry halted. There was a bench on the side of the path. It looked old and rusted. Sitting on the bench was an old woman.
The old woman turned her head toward Henry. She had white skin and bright green eyes. A cane was placed on her lap, and she wore a black dress. Her hair was grey and cut very short.
She stared at Henry for a few moments. He gulped, as the woman's eyes looked at his prison uniform. Then, the old lady spoke.
"On the run from the law, I see," The old woman grunted. "Don't worry. I ain't gonna turn you in. Besides, old lady like me couldn't overpower and restrain a man like you."
Henry sighed, and tried to smile at the old woman.
"Listen, ma'am," He said. "I'll be right on my way. Nobody has to attack anybody. Can you just tell me how to get to the nearest town?"
The old woman narrowed her eyes. She then slowly pointed her finger down the trail.
"If you follow the trail for two miles, you'll find a town," She said. "But you must not go that way."
"Why not?" Henry asked. He thought he saw a glimmer of fear in the woman's eyes.
"Evil lies that way," She whispered. "People who go that way don't return. Most of them anyway. I have seen first hand the horrors that roam freely down there. They won't over the river, so you'll be safe if you don't cross it."
"Uh huh," Henry said. This woman was obviously crazy. "I'll keep that in mind. See you later."
He began to walk down the trail. Two miles wasn't a very long walk. The woman watched him go, and whispered, "There goes another fool. Into death."