October 20, 2009
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His lungs were burning, his legs ached. But he knew that if he stopped running, that would be the end. He couldn’t see anything in this darkness except the beam from the flashlight behind him. He cast a sharp glance over his shoulder to see if his pursuer was gaining, then he was falling. He fell through the midnight air, blind. He could feel the chilly atmosphere rushing past him, so he knew he was still moving. He braced himself, wanting to cry. He knew there would be pain at the end. Suddenly, he was under water, and every part of him was on fire. He was still moving down, the momentum of his fall pulling at him. He hoped it would end soon, that this pain would stop. He would welcome death and the release it would bring to him.

He hit something, and his downward journey stopped. Now he hurt even more, if that was possible. He would have been perfectly fine with drowning, but instinct kicked in. He pushed off the rock he had hit, and kicked his way up. Relief came over him as his head broke the surface. He tried to tread water, but his arms wouldn’t cooperate. They were useless, and in such pain that he couldn’t move them if his life depended on it. He started kicking. Eventually, he would have to hit shore, he reasoned. And eventually he did.

He managed to trudge his way up onto dry land. He collapsed with his feet still emerged, but managed to worm his way up farther. He felt darkness surround him, and wondered if he would ever wake up.

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