Lie Beside Me Still
By Michala Tyann
Some shall be pardoned and some shall be punished – Shakespeare
Bare feet pounded into deep copper-colored mud as she ran. A hole of the wet, grimy soil vacuumed Elizabeth in slowing her down. She braced for the fall seeing the tree in front of her a moment too late before slamming her forehead against the trunk. Her forehead scraped down the bark leaving pain and blood in its wake. She fell hard but still looked behind her. She couldn’t see or hear them but she had given up on miracles and wishes a long time ago. He was coming for her. He would lead them to her. She shook her head and tried to fix her vision which was overrun by sparks of light even behind her eyelids. As she rubbed mud on her forehead to stop the blood she tried to gain her balance but fell to the side when she picked up a noise behind her.
Elizabeth pushed herself off the ground. Her long dress tangled around her legs and she fell back down; her knees taking the mud this time. Without a thought she shoved off and up again and made it to her feet. Looking behind her while attempting to get unstuck, a flicker of light caught her eyes. “No.” She whimpered. Her eyes closed instinctively and she almost fell back to her knees as was expected of her. “No. Not anymore.” She screamed inside her head the opposite of the mantra sucking her back towards the void. I am not the child of Rad. I am not the servant of Rad. I will not be his vessel. The words strengthened her and she started running again.
The deepening darkness swallowed her the farther into the forest she moved. Darkness no longer scared her though. Elizabeth’s only terror was behind her. She looked back and knew even though she didn’t see them, they were making their way closer to her. Her chest grew thick and the air refused to move out of her lungs as fast as she needed. She was forced to slow but cursed her body for betraying her at this moment. She wasn’t surprised seeing as how her body had been doing that exact thing for however long she’d suffered at their hands. At the very moment her mind conjured them she heard sounds again behind her. Her head turned and she saw, or thought she saw, white. They found me. Her feet continued to jam into the mud but she picked up speed. Continue reading