Sweaty and tired, Aaron’s legs pumped faster than his heart. If it were at all possible, he’d imitate the Spirit of St. Louis and soar to the heavens, but even on this strange planet he was abused by gravity. His head flipped, pounded, and throbbed. With a brigade of bows and arrows clanging and clashing just behind him, Aaron darted and wove his way through the dense forest. He was pouncing over fallen tree limbs and bodies and splashing mud midway up his denim-clad legs as smoking balls of fire and brimstone hailed toward him from the luminescent sky and sizzled and hissed as they came up inches shy. Whipping around him, the wind combed his dirty brown hair through its fingers. At best he was a helpless beast. Turning to discern the disappearing distance between himself and the monsters on his trail, he cartwheeled over a slimy green boulder and landed face down in the mud. His only weapon, a broken pocketknife from Earth, ripped through his dirty bluejeans and shredded the flesh on his side. In burning bubbles, air squeezed out of his nose and mouth. Blood oozed out of him as he rolled over and realized he couldn’t see through his right eye. Great, he thought. I would’ve had a better chance if I were in H. G. Wells of Jules Verne. Heck, compared to Fate, Poe would have lightened my spirits. He couldn’t have struggled upright, even if his window of opportunity hadn’t been sliding closed with every millisecond that passed. Blinking up with his damaged left eye, he saw a distinct form suspended over him like Doom itself. The Grima they called Pan was jiggling towards him, leaving a trail of slime. “Good to see you again, Gooball,” Aaron wryly commented to his captor before the world went dark and he lost all consciousness.
August 7, 2011