Time trickled on, steady as the sun. Her breath quickened as each second ticked away on her brown watch, growing louder and drilling more persistently into her brain.
The ten-minute mark came and went leaving her throat dry and her chest heavy. He’d said if he were gone more than fifteen minutes to run, run and never look back.
Eleven minutes. Her palms were sweating profusely. She rubbed them on her denim jeans hard as if she could rub the fear out of them.
Twelve minutes. “Come on, James. Please, please hurry.” She whispered harshly, terror making its way into her voice.
Thirteen minutes. Impatiently she shifted from right foot to left and back again, unable to stand still with the adrenaline pumping through her body.
Fourteen minutes. She bit her lip to hold back the knot slowly rising in her throat. She couldn’t cry, not now. She would need to run and she didn’t need her tears to blind her or her sobs to be heard.
Fiftee- “James!” Sara whispered a scream as he ran towards her, his sweaty hair clinging to his creased forehead. Terror was written clearly on his face as he ducked behind the bush beside her. Without whispering a word he grabbed her hard, slamming his hand over her mouth. “Shhhh!” He shushed her.
Eyes wide, she stared at the fear in his eyes. She’d never seen him like this before. He’d always been the rational one. But Sara did believe, at least a little. “Ghosts don’t exist, Sara, don’t be silly. Those are stories people fabricate when their fear clouds their judgment.” He’d always been insistent that ghosts weren’t real but now as his eyes held steady on the spot in the woods he’d just emerged from and he held his hand firmly to her lips, Sara was suddenly more terrified than ever.
She whimpered, despite herself, as the sob worked its way up her throat once again. “Sara, be quiet!” James whispered harshly. “I don’t want them to hear us!”
It was very quiet for the next few minutes as Sara fought to control herself and James’s eyes never wavered from that spot in the trees. A cool wind hit their backs and rustled the leaves in the trees giving an eerie feeling to the area and sending a chill rushing down Sara’s back.
Suddenly a twig cracked in the distance and Sara’s heart leapt into her throat as she realized it came from the spot James watched. James wrapped his free arm around Sara’s waist pulling her close and then… they emerged.
Photo courtesy of mzacha @ morguefile.com