As I run through the trees, the arrows whiz past me. As far as I can see, the forest is filled with these projectiles. With damp leaves underfoot, my footing often falters. I look back at my pursuer, but the arrows seem to be coming from the horizon.
‘Why didn’t I see them coming?’ I think.
What purpose I had in this forest is now gone from my mind. The only thing I can do is keep running.
I see that I’m approaching a fallen log, so I jump it. I stumble forward and quickly recover, but I know I’d lost time.
The onslaught continues without even pausing as I dodge the trees.
I feel a sharp stab as an arrow pierces my back, plunging into my heart and ripping the flesh on my chest, to get lodged in my body. I look down at the bloody arrowhead sticking out of my shirt.
My heart hurts, it hurts so bad.
Why did she do this to me?
A guttural scream escapes from my mouth, pushed by the pain in my chest. From the force of the arrow I fall onto my hands and knees, but I get up and keep going. As I run, I clutch my hand to my chest, feeling the hot blood staining both the shirt and my skin.
I stop behind a tree for a moment, catching my breath. The arrows continue to come and so I pull myself away and continue to run.
We were in love, she was my everything. How could this have happened?
The trees start to thin and I see an empty field ahead of me. Although I am exhausted, I still find the strength within myself to continue.
I duck my head to dodge yet another arrow.
An arrow pierces the back of my calf causing me to fall. I get up, but my pace is a lot slower than before, I can no longer dodge the arrows and another sticks into my side. The pain is unbearable. Miraculously, I get up and continue running. Over the next few minutes, my body is hit multiple times with arrows. There is a great number of them sticking out of my back.
Why did I push away all that I love?
On the other side of the huge field, on the edge of the forest, I see a small cabin. Help! Maybe someone might be there!
But it’s so far away… could I ever reach it?
A splitting sensation enters my throat as an arrow buries itself in my neck. I reach up and snap the half of the arrow which is protruding from the front. I go to call for help, but the words are caught in my throat, mixing with the blood that then runs down out of the wound.
I spit blood onto the grass. I can’t breathe, but I continue running.
I should have said something. I should have told someone before they were all gone.
No matter how fast I run, it seems as if the cabin is moving further and further away from me.
I approach a plastic can. Finally! Water! I look back at the forest and notice that the arrows have ceased. With a smile playing on my lips, I tip the can over my head, preparing myself for the sweet, cool liquid to run over my wounds. Instead, I am met with a strongly vile smelling liquid which burns at my orifices. Agh! Gasoline! But I don’t care. It’s over.
I drop the can and look to the tree tops above the forest I just escaped from. I see small, flickering lights heading towards me in the sky. Black puffs rise from the objects. Fire arrows.
I close my eyes and prepare for the fire.
I open my eyes. I’m in my bedroom at home. I no longer have arrows piercing my body, but my heart still aches. I am cowering on the soft, plush carpet, my fiancée Anna, standing over me with her hand raised, fury in her eyes. My cheek tingles, preparing itself for the blow.
I close my eyes and let the onslaught continue.