Friday, 19 June 2015

Find the Girl - MWBB

This was my entry from last weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction contest. I rather liked it, but the last line was hard for me. I wanted it to be more. But on the whole I liked the piece. Hope you do too.

Song prompt: 
The Cure - A Forest

He could hear her; her breath, panting, but it was distant. He followed where he thought it was from, but a crunch of twigs turned him in another direction. Damon pushed through the undergrowth, ignoring scratches and cuts to his arms and face, and janking at his long overcoat as it caught on branches. He had to find her, had to get hold of her, and soon.

He heard another crash and a squeal with it. It froze him in his tracks as he strained to hear more but there was nothing. He slammed his shoulder against a tree trunk as he tripped over a root, pausing a second to catch his breath before going on. How much longer could he keep this up?

Then he heard a shot, fired somewhere off to his left, but no scream followed it. He hoped it had missed, he hoped he still had time as adrenaline gave him another shove forward. He was determined; he had to be the first to reach her, he couldn’t fail again.

A wall of thicket appeared in front of him. As he approached it he wondered how best to get into it, but found that throwing himself into it was the only way. Was she in here? He didn’t know, but he had to try.

As he pushed further in, Damon was momentarily blinded by dense leaves, and felt his foot catch on something as he slid face first into a carpet of leaves and mulch. But he barely felt it as his attention was caught by a sound next to him; a sharp intake of breath.

Damon turned his head and there she was cowering away from him, caught in the undergrowth, hugging her naked body tight in an attempt to cover herself. Her leg was bleeding where he’d caught it with his shoe.

He pushed back onto his knees, and swept round, opening his long overcoat and sweeping it round her as best as he could in the tight space. She pulled it round, and let him embrace her, resting her trembling body against his. Whether from fear or the cold Damon couldn’t tell, but at least he had her first before the monsters came.

Neither of them made a sound as they heard them come crashing through the trees. Damon hoped the twigs and leaves of the thicket had bounced back behind him, and they wouldn’t spot where he had dived in.

Footsteps crunched nearer, and two voices spoke in rough whispers.

“She came through here, I’m sure of it.”

“We should have brought McKlennan, he could have tracked her better than you.”

“She’s here somewhere, I’m know it.”

“You said that a mile back.”

“We’re getting close. Shhh!”

The men went still and Damon held his breath, feeling the girl do the same. Everyone waited. Then something crashed off in the distance, an animal maybe, and they were moving again, excited by the sound.

“She’s over there!”

“I can’t wait to have her!”

Damon and the girl didn’t move or speak, though they relaxed as the sounds of the men became more distant.

Eventually the girl’s head came up from Damon’s chest, and she whispered, “Why?”

He looked into her pale frightened eyes, and said, “Because you’re a valuable human being, not a piece of meat to be hunted.”

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