Run! This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   There was a loud crashing sound outside. Another storm was on its way, carrying heavy rain, wind, and bright, dangerous lightning. Karen was home alone watching television when she heard a blood curdling scream from outside. The first couple of screams she ignored, thinking it was the wind from the storm, but the screams got louder and closer. They were so loud that the booming thunder couldn't drown them out. She had heard these screams for almost a week now and she knew where they were coming from. The was a huge, dense wooded area behind her home. Every evening she heard these screams and every morning she woke up to the morning news telling about the disappearance of yet another woman.

Late one night, she heard a knock on the back door. She knew that no one used that door, so she peeked out a little side window. She saw nothing. Maybe someone is in trouble, she thought. Her curiosity got the best of her and she stepped out onto the back deck. The cold air took her breath away. "Hello!?" Karen called.

She looked around the deck and heard a crashing sound beneath her feet. She carefully walked down the first few steps to see if she could find a reason for the noise. Suddenly, two large, grimy hands grabbed her ankles. It felt as though those hands were crushing every bone in her ankles. She kicked and screamed, trying to free herself from that powerful grip.

She had an idea. She bent down and chomped on one of those large hands, feeling the blood ooze in her mouth. She felt the pressure released from her feet and heard someone howling with pain.

She ran, straight into the forest. She knew the area well, having lived here all her life. She thought of the small ravine at the edge of the forest, knowing that there was a cave she could hide in. It seemed like an eternity before she arrived at the hole-in-the-wall. She ran inside, letting her eyes adjust to the darkness. The cave was smaller than she remembered. There were several short tunnels, and she ran to the end of the one she knew best.

She slide down the dirt wall, her heart echoing in the emptiness of the cave. Her hands ran across something cold and wet. Karen looked down and saw a pair of dainty hands tied together and stained with blood. As she glanced around the tunnel, she saw three more pairs of hands. This had been what she had been hearing all those nights, women screaming for mercy. She knew she would be next, but she wasn't going to give up easily. She had to find something, anything, to give her a chance to live. Karen noticed a glimmer of light against the wall: a shovel, her weapon.

"He must leave it here so he can hurt the next woman!" she whispered to herself.

She heard footsteps and heavy breathing coming down the tunnel. She grabbed the shovel just in time. She swung the blade and hit the murderer square in the nose. His hands instantly went to his face and blood flowed freely through his hands.

"You crushed my face!!!" he shouted angrily.

He rushed her, but she was faster. He stumbled into the wall and she gave him another blow to the head. His body went limp. She was safe for the moment. She ran out into the forest and headed to the highway. She heard sirens. With a new inspiration, life, she sprinted to the Highway 34. She saw the flashing lights coming from the distance. She waited in the middle of the road. Her thoughts and feelings were jumbled in her head, causing the world around her to spin.

The police stopped and listened to her explain why she needed help and then followed her to the cave. They went in and came back five minutes later, their hands empty.

"Well, what did you find?" Karen asked slowly. The officers had a stern look on their face.

"Look, lady," the officer said shortly, "we don't have time for jokes or pranks. There is nothing in that cave. Not an unconscious man, no dead bodies, nothing. Now go home and try to get some rest. Maybe you were just having a very lively bad dream."

She couldn't understand where the murderer or the bodies had gone. Had the police officers missed the tunnel that she wanted them to see? She walked down the cave, back to the tunnel were she had hidden. As she walked she felt the anxiety rush through her body and the eerie silence was the only thing she heard. "Hi," someone called softly.

Her heart stopped. She felt her hands being tied behind her back. 1

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 8 at 8:00 am
i love this !
Arachno said...
Nov. 12, 2010 at 12:16 pm
Excellent story! I just love suspenseful short stories! I can't wait to hear more of this article! Anyway, please read my stories and comment on them; I need more comments and ratings. Thanks!
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