This is the first chapter of a story that i'm submitting for a competition. Please comment on it. Also, i need a name for it. Any suggestions?
There was little silence in the wilderness; most of the noise came from the German voices accompanied by the sound of their boots pounding against the ground and the occasional gun shot. Darkness covered the land like mustard gas used in battle. No forest creature made a noise, unless it was a short cry before running to safety.
I wished I could run to a safe burrow and hide there, knowing that I was out of danger. However that wasn't the case. I barely heard the sounds around me as my ears were filled with the gasping of my own breathing. My heart hammered frantically inside my chest, causing a strain on yet another part of my body. The muscles in my legs burned with tiredness, but I kept moving through the trees and bushes. It must have rained recently as soggy mud clung to the base of my shoes, seeping my energy and also slowing me down.
Everything that I'd learned during my life so far was washed out of my mind; only to leave fear behind. At first I had run at a steady pace to conserve energy, but had changed tactic after nearly being shot down. Now I ran like a hunted animal.
Desperate for a rest, I ducked behind a tree, pressing my body firmly against the rough bark. I tried to steady my breathing as I wheezed heavily, trying to take in as much air into my lungs as I could. The last time I had run this much was when I was a boy at school. I had come third in that race, much to my mother's delight. Why did such thoughts enter my mind at a time like this? Was death that close? Shaking my head, I tried to focus and recall any information that might be even remotely useful to me. I had never been to Germany before and knew nothing about the country itself, yet alone able to speak the language.
Even if I did manage to outrun the soldiers, my chance of survival in this country would be next to nothing. On the other hand, anything would be better than the prison earlier; I wasn't going back there again. Either way, I had to think fast and find somewhere I could hide. If the soldiers did capture me, they'd continue to take me to the place that kept talking about mentioned. I might not understand their language, but their tone of voice conveyed even their fear of the destination which they spoke of.
I began to run out of ideas and I was sure my pursuers were nearby. My mind turned to the meeting I had with the prime minister only a few weeks ago. My image of him was crystal clear in my memory: a somewhat round, balding man wearing a freshly ironed shirt with a black waist coat and jacket over the top, a bowtie fastened around his neck and a cigar held between his thumb and forefinger. A gold watch on a chain was attached to his waistcoat which he glanced at every so often.
Upon meeting him, he'd been sitting at his desk with a pile of papers in front of him. There had been other people in the room with him, all of whom went quiet when I entered the room. Mr Churchill had sent them out, apart from two men. Both were introduced to as Mr Churchill's advisors.
It seemed that the prime minister was pleased with me as soon as I had set foot in the room. Mr Churchill went straight to business, brushing the paperwork to one side. I had remained silent as he explained what he required of me.
"A meeting?" I had asked to make sure I'd heard correctly, "In your place?"
"That is correct. However, this meeting will contain misleading information to any persons listening in." He'd said gruffly. "Very few people know that it isn't genuine. You can never be too careful with the chance of these German spies listening in."
I couldn't blame him for this and I had accepted the task. Of all the possible events that could have happened, he never mentioned anything like this. What else would you expect, I asked myself, anything could happen when posing as the prime minister. Speaking of the old man, I didn't blame him for hiring me; there wasn't a chance that he'd be able to do all this running.
Looking at myself now, I didn't feel much like how I'd felt a few weeks ago. My hands and fingers were skinnier as well as my stomach and legs. There was no extra flesh on my face as my cheeks clung to my cheek bones. This had most likely affected my appearance, leaving less of a distinctive resemblance between myself and the prime minister. At least that should prevent anyone identifying me falsely.
A voice cried out in German. I took this as a cue to start running again. Although I'd rested, my body felt even more tired and now longed for more of the rest that it had briefly experienced. I charged through the plant life, snapping braches as I went. A spy would probably be more careful so that he didn't leave huge tracks behind, indicating his headed direction.
A shot came from behind and a bullet penetrated the tree trunk ahead of me. That motivated me to keep moving. The bullet had split the bark where it had entered the tree and I was certain it had gone quite deep. I didn't have any burning desire for the same thing to happen to myself; so I forced myself to keep going.
Another shot was fired before a burning feel of pain buried itself into my shoulder. Shock paralysed me and my body fell to the ground as I cried out. I'd been shot. To confirm my deduction, I reached behind me and touched where the wound was. A wet substance came into contact with my fingertips, which I concluded had to be blood. The thought of being shot had barely entered my mind when I'd accepted the assignment, but even now it felt a lot worse than I had imagined.
Staggering to my feet, I continued to move. I retained the urge to make any noise of pain by biting down firmly on my bottom lip. The movement of pumping my arms to increase my speed was now not possible. I was running blindly through the dark, hoping that I wouldn't collide with anything.
The pain was clouding my mind when I fell down the slope. My vision span as I was sent tumbling down to the lower ground. Everything came to a still when my head was bashed against the ground as well as the rest of my body. I felt myself slipping unconscious, but I still attempted to move my pathetic limbs. None would respond and throbbed with exhaustion as my eyelids gradually closed. I was alone, injured, in a foreign country, under the name of the leader of the opposing army and moments away from being found by the Nazi soldiers.