The Chase

by Monica Griffin

                   Running. Running as fast as my short legs could carry me. The twigs beneath me snapped, giving away my position in the woods. I could hear my pursuer gaining, panting, but not out of breathe just yet. He kept coming; I could feel his heavy breath on the back of my neck. I darted to left hoping to lose him, but he kept coming, faster. Faster than Ive ever seen a human move before. It was immediately clear that a superhuman force had to be responsible. I lost my footing in my train of thought and tumbled to the ground, in quick, almost rehearsed movements. As I lay face down in the dirt my fate resurfaced as realisation set in. He was standing over me. His presence huge among the fallen debris on trees. Dread seized my chest as I was swiftly turned onto my back to stare into the face of my capturer. Slowly, I lifted my eyelids to peer into his face and come face to face with beauty. Pure beauty. With dirty blonde hair, built upper body, high cheekbones set on either side of a Romanesque nose and then piercing blue eyes, the colour of a summer sky. I began to weep as I lay there defenceless. But, to my surprise he wiped the tear from my cheek and whispered in a haunting deep voice Hello, Cassandra.

                     I sprang from my sweat drenched bed. My dream, not again. They had returned after months and not only were they back but they had brought a new terrifying twist. I wiped my forehead clear of sweat and pulled my legs from beneath the duvet. A cold breeze passed over my bare legs. I shivered. Getting up and moving to the bathroom, I checked my clock. Sitting there on the carpeted floor, it read in orange fluorescent numbers: 6:30. Perfect. I quickly made my way down the dark, narrow hall and into the bathroom. Fitted with a bath and showerhead, along with the wash basin and toilet, it wasnt much to brag about. Peeling off my clothes, I stepped into the shower to wash away the past nights events. As the hot water washed over my aching body, I replayed that nights dream. I had been caught. Why now though? Id always fallen but never, caught. I trembled thinking of it, thinking that I was certainly unaware of what lay ahead.

                     Reluctantly, I switched off the shower and stepped out into the frigid air. I wrapped a thick towel around my still aching body and tread my way back towards my room. As I passed Bettys room, the light snores drifted out beneath the door. Betty is the closest thing that I have to a family. Being abandoned at a bus stop age six, didnt have a positive effect on my life. My true mother would rather feed a drug addiction, rather than her own flesh and blood. So Ive been told. But enough of that, Betty is considered my mum now, whether it be by blood or law. I stepped into my room and looked at the pale blue walls, completely blank of memories because, I was never really found of people. I looked to my bed in dismay and remembered that now that the dreams had returned that I would sleep less not to mention the dark bags that made an appearance. I groaned with frustration and started to root through my endless supply of clothes.

                      Soon after finding and oversized rolling stones jumper, some jeans and my lace up boots, I threw them on and made my way back to the bathroom for some final preparations, for my first day back to school. After briefly pulling a brush through my hair, I quickly brushed my teeth, turned to the vanity area and applied some mascara. I inspected the damage and cringed at the red rings around my bright green eyes, my long black hair hung lifeless to my waist and my paler than pale skin remained the same. Seeing my reflection, I could see the resemblance to my blood mother. Id inherited her delicate features, small figure and a lack in height. Id always been small but this was seen as a weakness to some. At seventeen, I stood at 5ft 4inches and was dwarfed in my senior year by the other girls.

                   I finished my morning routine and headed down the stairs to the kitchen to be greeted by a smiling Betty holding a steaming cup of black coffee. We didnt talk much because usually my foot in the mouth disease kicked in leaving her upset and me guilty. I planted a soft kiss on her cheek, grabbed an apple and my backpack and moved to the door. Pulling open the front door I faintly heard Betty call out Good Luck! which instantly put a smile on my face.

                   Staring at the beat u truck in our yard always made me laugh. With huge tyres and it being the colour of rust, you could say it wasnt too easy on the eyes. Looking up at the dark sky, it showed exactly what was forecasted for a Monday morning in Florida. Although rain wasnt due until that afternoon, the ominous clouds loomed over head, damping my mood and setting a sense of foreboding in my stomach. But I soon shook that off. I stepped up into my truck, shoved the key in the ignition and turned it abruptly- I couldnt wait to see what would happen- With a stomp on the pedal, the truck lurched out of the driveway and into the deserted neighbourhood. It was slightly eerie at this time. I couldnt arrive at school fast enough.

                    Pulling into the school car park fifteen minutes after eight, I was surprised to see it already full. Jocks high fived and boasted about their summer vacations, while the cheerleaders hung onto their every word with immense intent. These were the loudest and most noticed in the car park, but the others still lingered about. All oblivious to the new girl, I hoped. Placing my feet on the concrete and shutting the door, I slung my backpack over my shoulder and hugged my jumper to my body. Keeping my eyes trained on the ground, walking towards the front entrance was when Josh stepped in front of me. To my misfortune. Lifting my eyes to the giant that stood before me, with a stupid smile plastered all over his face. Hi, you much be the new girl. Im Josh, part of the welcoming committee. Ill be showing you around today. He bellowed, with too much enthusiasm for me to stomach. Uh, yeah. Hi, Im Cassandra. But you call my Cassie. You dont really have to; I have a map and all. I replied, with I hope as much enthusiasm to match his. Plus, I didnt want to give the wrong idea, even if I didnt intend to make friends. Dont be silly, Im to walk you inside, give you directions to the office and then Ill meet you in AP Math. He quickly said, pulling my by the arm toward the doors before I could object. I didnt struggle, in fear of drawing too much attention for one day.

               Once inside, he gave me directions to the main office and headed off towards his locker. I was relieved to see the back of him. I pulled myself together and following Joshs instructions made my way to the office. I kept my head down studying my schedule, I didnt see him coming until I had smacked into his chest. I stumbled back and nearly feel, until he grabbed my and helped me stand straight. I was too stunned to apologize or thank him for saving my ass until he spoke, Are you okay? My stomach dropped right there and then. My head was swimming. I looked to his hand placed on my arm. The turmoil in my head was too much to handle. I knew that voice. How could I forget something like that? Maybe, I was just tired thats what I told myself- until I lifted my eyes to meet his, and whose eyes stared back at me. Only the piercing blue eyes of my pursuer.

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