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Four Minutes
Topic Started: Apr 27 2011, 01:09 AM (1,380 Views)
Grim Wolf
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The Very Best
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(David Meramac continued from White Sparrows)

By the time his collar started to beep, he had already fallen into a full-on sprint.

His muscles--laden with lactic acid and forced to operate on an empty stomach--groaned in protest. Occasionally he broke off, stumbling, and spat: chunky green bile, the last his churning stomach had to offer.

He struggled, at first, simply to walk; then to trot; then to jog. He struggled to go faster, to run: he struggled, at last, to sprint. His muscles were weak from their continuous use--he could barely keep moving. The pain barrier had never felt so insurmountable: every movement ached.

But he was so afraid, and so ashamed, and so agonized, that he cared nothing for the cost: he just ran, as hard as he could, as fast as he kid, until finally the wall of his own limitations began to crack.

He gritted his teeth, picked up speed, went faster. He forced his muscles to carry him, forced his cramping stomach and protesting muscles to work, forced his body onwards. Faster, faster, faster, until the wind rushed in his ears. This was no runner's high--there was no elation. This was closer to a sort of drunkenness--a momentary reprieve from his senses, from his thoughts.

The emotions were still there, but he had buried them beneath this--beneath the running. So he paid no mind to his fear, or the pounding self-preservation that urged him to run as soon as his collar started to beep. He kept moving, kept running, kept working his way towards...what?

That was just it. Running towards nothing. Running from nothing.

Still that beeping. Still this speed. There was a hill in front of him--a relatively gently slope, but its crest was a good ten or twenty feet above him. Without thinking, David took two steps and was charging up the hill. His breath came to him sharp gasps, his legs quivered and threatened to give out. He gritted his teeth and forced himself to keep moving.

He thought, without wanting too, of Maria Graham and Sierra Manning (the latter of whom had his jacket--he liked that jacket). He thought of Maria Graham in the woods--those fingers upon her collar. Why had she chosen not to pull?

In all his time he hadn't truly been hurt. He'd gone hungry, he'd gone thirsty, he'd been tired, he'd been weak, but no one had ever really laid a hand on him. He had come to close to being short, or stabbed, but he was whole. He was intact. Save for this awful fear that was with him at all times, reminding him that he was damned, that he was doomed, that there was not a damn thing he could do about it.

Well, David knew better now. There was something he could do about it. There was something he was going to do about it.

Out of breath, barely able to run, he made it to the top of the hill. He didn't break stride: he accelerated for a moment, gathered all the remaining strength in his legs, and ran for the edge.

As the beeps reached their crescendo, he took a step out into the open air and never came down.

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