Oh, God no! She could feel it coming closer. She stayed as still as she could, trying to slow her breathing. What had she done wrong? She thought she was well hidden, but apparently not. It was coming right toward her.
She could hear its careless stomping. Did it see her? Was she found out?...
<p><em>Oh, God no!</em> She could feel <em>it</em> coming closer. She stayed as still as she could, trying to slow her breathing. What had she done wrong? She thought she was well hidden, but apparently not. <em>It</em> was coming right toward her.</p>
<p>She could hear its careless stomping. Did it see her? Was she found out? The steps passed close by her and then retreated further away. Was it saying something? She couldn’t make out the words.</p>
<p>She thought about the circumstances that had brought her to this place. Why had she ever agreed to this? <em>Loneliness,</em> she thought. Maybe, just maybe, if she played their wicked game, then she might be accepted. <em>Accepted,</em> she now thought, <em>but at what price?</em></p>
<p>She heard a scream and then another sound… Was it one of them laughing? She wasn’t sure. She would have to decide whether to trust this hiding place or move further away from the last scream. <em>Away to where, though?</em> She was only seven years old, after all. She didn’t have that many options. She would have to move soon, or it was bound to find her.</p>
<p>She was fast. She knew that about herself. Perhaps if she made just one dash and kept running, maybe she could make it. But make it to where? There really wasn’t anywhere to go at this point.</p>
<p>She knew she had to do something. To just sit here and wait, even if she was successful and they never found her, was not an option. No, it might actually be even worse if they didn’t find her.</p>
<p>Yes, a blaze of glory was called for. She would wait… wait till it got close and then make her final run. It wouldn’t be long now. She could hear the clumsy stomping coming nearer.</p>
<p>“You won’t!” she screamed, jumping up from her hiding place. “You’ll never catch me!” She leapt in front of her tormentor and ran as fast as she ever had. She saw the glee in the face of her pursuer as she looked over her shoulder and knew there was no going back.</p>
<p>She had never run so fast. Perhaps they would remember her for this when it was all over: she was fast. Probably not, though. It was “They” who had forced her into this situation. Why should “They” care how fast she was?</p>
<p>Her heart was pounding. Sure, she was faster, but she couldn’t run forever. They would never give up now that she was flushed out. That she knew.<...