I turned around and looked up just as an arrow seared the air next to my face. I scanned the mountain side, looking for the projectile's owner. But in the dense woods, it was difficult to see. My heart began beating rapidly within my chest as the fear I would soon be killed slowly sank in. There was nowhere left to run, and nowhere left to hide.
I turned and started half-running, half-sliding my way down the pine needle covered slope towards the stream. It was my last hope, my last chance at escape. Another arrow tore past my head, embedding itself several inches in a nearby tree. Adrenaline began coursing through my veins as I gave my all on this one last hope. Tree branches and low bushes slapped and stung my face. leaves occasionally blocked out my vision. Roots and rocks tore the soles of my feet. But I pressed on.
Another arrow ripped by, this time missing by only a hair's breadth. I surged on. I could hear the stream now. The slow babble of the water flowing to a new haven gave me strength. Only a few steps more. Just a few steps more. I could see the light now, the sun shining on asylum. It was close. It was so close.
Before I could even touch the first rays of the sun, I collapsed. The pain was indescribable. My entire body shook as blood spurted from the wound in my leg. I screamed. I screamed an unholy, blood curdling, bone shaking, scream. It was over. Now there was no chance. I could feel my heart shatter, sending another massive shockwave though my body. Blood was everywhere and the pain only grew worse.
But still, I could not give up just yet. I dragged myself forward in a slow crawl, the pain only more exacerbated with each motion. I was inches away now. Just a little more-
This time it was my hand. Right as I reached for the light, there it was. I let out more screams and quickly drew back. Shock began to possess my body as I lifted my hand to see the shaft centered on both sides. Blood poured out of the gaping wound. I wanted to die. I was waiting for it. That last shot. But nothing came and only the pain remained.
I reached once more for the light. Slowly, painfully, I drew myself into its warming rays. a nearby tree stump gave me support as I rolled over and sat up against it. I pulled the arrow out of my leg despite all protests from my body. I was exhausted. There was no running away.
A sudden crack resulted in another rush of adrenaline. Without hesitation, I was on my feet, leaning my weight against the stump. My eyes frantically darted around looking for any sign of danger. When none appeared, I began laughing. Not a joking laugh or a villainous laugh, but a mental laugh, the kind that only those who have truly lost there minds will ever know.
"This is great," I cried. " This is great! No! Its perfect!" I laughed again. "What do you think dear? Can we call this place home?" I turned to my right, expecting to see my wife's smiling face as she laughed at my bad joke.
"Look, and there go the girls. Don't go too far you two!" I called as a pair of birds flew off. "Yes! I think this will do just fine! Just fine!" I spun around on my one good leg, hysterical laughter blossoming forth before I fell on the ground. My entire body ached but still I laughed. And even when I stopped laughing, I laughed some more.
When I finally regained control, sat back up. I was weak and still losing blood. It was only a matter of time before I died from it. Stillness settled in and wrapped me within its blanket. Quiet flooded my ears until even the stream began to grow faint.
And then he was before me. He was no more that six feet tall and his features dark, hidden by the sun. The red and black feather pinned to his hair glowed bright in the fading rays. He stood there, looking over me and I at him. Then he was gone, disappearing like smoke. I smiled and gave one more hysterical laugh. Because I knew tomorrow, yes tomorrow, we would start all over again. Tomorrow, and the day after that, and even the day after that, and the day after that, and the da.....