Tracy was running as fast her feet could carry her. She could hear her heart hammering in her ribs. Her breath felt like hot flames. Her throat was parched and the stitch in her side was making her wince with every step.
The forest was thick with pine trees and other trees she could not recognize in the dark. It smelled of damp and rotting leaves. Her heart had missed a beat more than once when a cackling flock of ravens had shattered the silence. The shrieking Ravens had made a sharp increase in her adrenaline making her imagination run as fast as her feet.
Tracy did not know why she was running or from what. She wanted to take a pause and examine her fear. Her rational mind was coaxing her to do it but the fear had taken over and urged her to keep moving. There was an urgency of flight from the unknown. It felt that she had been running for an eternity. Her clothes were drenched with sweat in spite of the chill in the air. She could feel the trickle of blood from the scratches on her arms.
Tracy was running in hope, to reach a highway. She wanted to see another friendly human face. She wanted a warm shower and a soft bed. Her feet were getting tired and the stitch in her side was getting worse. She needed to take a break. She wanted answers for her fear.
She spotted a clearing in the trees and heard the sound of flowing water. Shortly, she came upon a shallow stream. She decided to take a break and quench her thirst. She went on her knees to cup the water in her palms. She leaned over the water and saw her own hazy reflection in the water and it all came rushing back.
She remembered the face, the face of evil. His breath, that stank of death, the lustful eyes, and the rapacious grin on his face. He had powerful hands, with manicured nails that had bruised her body. She saw the swelling on her cheek and heard the ringing of a slap in her head.
Her heart stopped when she remembered the bodies. The bodies had long flowing hair and delicate hands. She remembered the faces of the four women. She vividly remembered sitting at the same table with those bodies. Their faces made up. There lips painted crimson and the nails painted silver. He had made her sit with the corpses for dinner, serving wine and making small talk as an attentive host. Her skin crawled as she realized that she was running for her life.
She quickly finished drinking water and washed her face. Tracy did not hear the snap of a twig. She did not hear the rustle of leaves. The cascading water had masked all the sounds. As Tracy was tying her shoelaces, she felt a hand on her shoulder. She stiffened with fear. She kept praying, turned to face the person, and screamed.
To find what happened to Tracy, go to Part 2