The wind is a cool caress across my cheek on this dank summer night.
Looming trees rush past. It almost seems as if I'm the one who's stationary, they're the ones sprinting away.
How could I possibly be thinking about that at a time like this? I'm such a poet.
Where are they? Are they closing in?
No, I can no longer hear the steady thumps of their pursuit.
But they've played that trick before…
There's a dark shadow up ahead. Still as a statue. I know it is futile to make a second attempt at fleeing.
My legs are burning with lava adrenaline as they skid to a halt.
The figure remains motionless. But there are more. Hidden in the forest, watching with silent, silver eyes.
I should've known it would come to this.
But…I can still surprise them.
I approach the shadowed figure with weary, but steady, steps. My footfalls, unlike theirs, crunch the leaves and twigs under me.
It is a man, from the look of his silhouette. Dressed in a simple outfit of a grey V-neck shirt and jeans, I decipher as the distance between us lessens.
I am ten feet away and still approaching. His head cocks a slight, disturbing his dark chocolate hair.
My course veers a few degrees. I pass the boy.
A boy. No older than my mere age of seventeen. A boy named Dean. Most other girls my age would call him a man. Perhaps he was. But that is a topic of thought more suited for another time.
Oh, wait. I'm not going to leave these woods alive.
I know exactly where I am. I can feel the others' eyes on me. Even Dean's. He knows where I am going.
As I continue toward my destination, I can sense that he follows me.
My silver dress whispers against the shrubs and tall grasses. It has small spaghetti straps and a tight upper bodice, that proceeds to flow out about my legs. It is incredibly thin, and offers no protection against the chill of the breeze.
Despite the characteristic warmth of the season, a slow wind still creeps between the tightly-wound trees.
Up ahead, my destination appears. The waters of the pond are black in the night, but glitter with the raining beams of the moon.
I know Dean and the others will stop and remain amongst the trees as I descend, as they wait to see what I'm doing.
My bare feet are bloody and raw after running over unfriendly surfaces. The water stings the cuts. But the coolness is refreshing.
The hem of my dress dampens and sticks to my knees as I continue into the water.
The water, I know from previous visits, I incredibly clear and clean. No fish inhabit it. It is simply azure when the sky is azure, stony grey when the sky is stony grey, and obsidian when the sky is obsidian. I do not know how this water could be so pure. But I do not question it.
I am in the middle of the pond. I turn and face my pursuers. They are obscured from my vision, but I know they are there.
The water is up to my waist, just below my breasts.
"Kill me, if you wish," I command. A moment of still silence.
Then, a blur of neutral colors. He stands before me, the water barely disturbed by his entry.
His hand raises. For a second, I am afraid he will strike me. But he simply picks up one of my blonde curls, toying with it.
I am resigned to my fate.
But I am still afraid.
I try not to show it, though I know he knows. My breath is a beat faster than usual. My eyes surely reflect my fear. It would be a miracle for him not to notice.
His hand releases my hair. He looks over me, taking everything in save my eyes.
He does nothing.
His eyes finally meet mine. I'm immediately breathless at the sight of those emotionless silver orbs. How could something so beautiful, so amazing, be so void of feeling? Such eyes are worthy of flaring with every emotion in the world.
Then, for a split second, they flicker with…something…
It must just be my imagination.
He shifts his weight.
Despite myself, I flinch.
His eyes continue to hold mine.
Until he raises his hand.
I squeeze my eyes shut.