He wasn’t sure how much further he could run. His lungs hurt with the effort. Yet he ran on. It was either that or get caught by whatever was chasing him. He could hear the crashing of the undergrowth behind him as he ran. His feet were bloody and cut up by the sticks, small stones and leaves underfoot. The trees overhead swayed with the wind. Otherwise the night was quiet, still, except for the pounding of his battered feet hitting the barely seen trail. And his labored breathing.
He was terrified because he couldn’t remember how he got to this place. He didn’t know what he was running from. He just knew that he needed to get away. He didn’t even know what was chasing him or why. Just glimpses of something not human, eyes glowing green. The sweat pours down his face as his eyes search for someplace to hide. He was desperate to stop and catch his breath. He was afraid if he didn’t he would collapse and that thing would be on him. His fear was pushing him on, his desire to live was driving him to keep breathing and to keep running. He didn’t want to die.
It seemed to him that the sounds behind him were growing fainter. Maybe, just maybe he had finally out run it. Then he spies something off to the side that looks like a shack. He makes a sudden turn without slowing down. A hundred yards or more and he was at the run down building. His shoulder hits the door and it crashes open. He slides to a stop inside, turns and slams the door shut again. Quickly looking around he spots a wood chair and pulls it over to jam under the door knob. He collapses in the middle of the room, his breath ragged. He wipes his sweaty face with whats left of his shirt. He forces his breath to slow, his ears searching outside for any noise. He closes his eyes and listens. But there is nothing to hear. Not even insects. It was eerily calm.
Suddenly there was a loud crash against the door! A large body was slamming against it, but the chair and door don’t give. His heart pounding, he desperately searches the shack for some kind of weapon. Anything to make him feel he might have a chance. He notices a number of small windows set high in the walls. No way for anything to crawl through. A cot with rotted bedding sits against one wall. A large empty fireplace is on the back wall, he notices a heavy, hooked fire poker laying half in and half out of it. It could do some damage if necessary. As he holds it in his hands he instantly feels better, for at least now has some weapon.
He surveys the rest of the shack. Shelves with unknown tins are on the wall opposite the rotting bed. A small round table sits in the middle of the room with the mate of the chair under the door knob laying on its side next to it. The table has a thick layer of dust on it. Doesn’t look like anyone has been inside for decades. He suddenly notices in the gloom another door next to the fireplace. It was smaller than a normal door, maybe a closet he thinks. He remembers noticing as he ran to the shed, that it was built against a large mountain. So the small door couldn’t lead to outside. That could be a lifesaver he thought, as that thing outside couldn’t surprise him from the back of the house. Or it could mean his death as he had no way out of the shed except through the front door.
Suddenly his nose picks up the smell of smoke. Smoke??! He turns around and sees smoke curling in around the front door. Damn! Whatever was out there was trying to smoke him out! He was going to die! In desperation he looks around the shack. There has got to be another way out! He can’t die like this! He won’t die like this! Taking short shallow breaths as the smoke gets thicker he remembers the small closet door. He races over to it and pulls it open. Maybe by some miracle he thinks, there will be something inside that can save him. He pulls open the small door, and he gasps in hope! It wasn’t a closet. It was a door to the inside of the mountain! It was lit by strange crystals. He had never seen anything like it! Briefly he wonders if he was running from one danger into another. But, as he heard the wood behind him crackle with flame he knew he didn’t have a choice. He had to move forward. Behind him was certain death, in front was unknown.
He closes the door behind him and walks forward. The crystals give off a glow as they light the way for him. He hopes that because of the fire, whatever is behind him can’t find that small closet door. The path inside the mountain curves to the left, his bare bleeding feet raise little clouds of dust. As he walks he notices the path heading downward, he’s walking further into the heart of the mountain. He spies a bundle of what looks like rags ahead of him. As he gets nearer he sees the bones. Human bones. He can’t tell how old they are, not even from the rotted cloth. His heart skips a beat, but he knows he has no choice but to keep going forward. On he walks, he loses track of how long he has been walking. Seems like hours. He comes to the end of the path and into a large cavern.
The crystals cover the walls, lighting it up as if the sun shone inside. He stood in awe of the beauty. The colors were clear and pure. The silence unbroken. He is so tired. He can’t resist sitting. Just for a minute he thinks. I have got to rest just for a second. He leans back against one of those crystals and feels a slight warmth. His hand still held tight to the poker. As his head begins to drop to his chest in much-needed sleep, his ears pick up a noise. It’s very slight, but in the quiet of the cavern it echos against the walls. His head pops up, his eyes searching for the source of the noise. He scurries behind the crystal as he sees something that strikes terror in his heart. A creature floats inside, slowly coming right towards him! It has green glowing eyes, in a face that is hidden by a cowl. But the eyes, they glow as they fix on him. He saw no feet. Just a light-colored robe of some kind. It went from head to foot in a silvery type material. There was nowhere to run anymore! Just as the creature floats closer he feels himself fading, he slips down and his eyes close. His fingers relax and the poker slides away.
He gasps awake, sitting straight up, terror on his face. He glances around and can’t believe his eyes. He’s home! In his own bed! Was it a dream than?? Just a dream! Frantically, with his heart still beating hard he looks around his familiar room. Nothing is changed. Everything is as it should be. He sighs with relief. He swings himself to the side of the bed. His feet hit the floor and he winces in pain. Glancing down he feels the blood drain from his face. His feet are dirty and bloody, and hurt like hell. Then he notices the smell, like smoke that drifts from his torn T-shirt. No! It had to have been a dream!! Right?? Just a dream………….