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Five minutes passed and sirens shrieked as the young man ran from his personal nightmare. Focusing on moving away from the horror of iron bars and cell doors that was behind him, his legs repeated an instinctual running motion. The barren landscape did not change and he did not either.
One word flowed through his head. Escape.
His heavy breathing passed in and out of his mouth, disintegrating all saliva that remained. His throat was dry and shot quick bursts of pain through his essence every time he breathed. Yet, his burning desire overcame the pain. Proceeding into tunnel vision, he did not see anything but the dark horizon.
Would the prison guards find him? He did not know. What would they do if they found him? He shied away from those thoughts. He heard that having a one tracked mind helped people escape.
Shaking his head, his mind returned to that one word. Escape.
Ten minutes passed and he knew the armored prison trucks would have started by now. His fellow prisoners told him the resounding roar would shake his bones and tense his muscles. They convinced him if he heard them, he was dead.
He was also told that the prison would send out helicopters with spot lights. They claimed that the flying mechanical birds were black as night and would blend with the sunless sky. They said the sound would electrify your body and your pace would increase. They repeatedly told him after that if the spotlight was not on you, you are still safe. But, they always continued with if that spot light looks you in the eyes, you are dead.
Again the word raced through his mind. Escape.
Twenty minutes passed and he knew the guards were on their fifth round searching the cells, the corridors, and every corner of the prison.
Before his escape when he was in prison, he had experienced the frantic search of an escape. The memory stained his mind. He vividly remembered a man who escaped had knocked out a guard and frantically scaled the wall. Once over, the man ran. He remembered they were instantly put in their cells and sat there, no meals, for the rest of the day and night.
What happened to that man who attempted escape, was so horrendously brutal, that this man did not dare venture to the end of his memory because of the fatal ending it imposed.
The man’s leg gave out. Surprise was plain on his face as the man tumbled to the ground. He laid his face on the grubby dirt. He slowly, painfully rolled over on to his back and wiped his face clean. He stared at the specks of light that dotted the sky. His mind told him to rest his worn body.
As he lay there, his mind started to argue as if he had an angel and demon on his shoulders. One side urged him to give up. It taunted him, telling the man he was finished, done. The other side whispered words of encouragement, telling him to rise and run. It proceeded to tell the man that he was so close, only had to last a day.
The man rose up, slowly, his mind focused. The same word returned. Escape.
Twenty-five minutes passed. Taking a deep breath, the man’s aching legs began to fall into a walking pattern. He felt no need to run anymore. He looked back quickly and saw the distance he had made between him and his past.
Returning his gaze to the horizon, he saw change. It was no longer the barren landscape that he tread on. Bushes, trees, and soft lush earth were ever closer. Excitement filled his soul as he imagined resting in this peaceful oasis. There he felt he could find a source of water and maybe a source of food.
Walking, now with joy in his heart, he watched the horizon grow closer. Suddenly the happiness was ripped from his soul as the whir of a helicopter’s wings came within earshot. As his mind raced with thoughts of failure he remembered the comforting words of his prison companions. He knew he still had time, he knew that he only had to fear the spot light. He gave a quick searching glance; he could not see any light besides the dots in the sky.
Turning to run to the woodland, a word ran through his mind. Escape.
In the background a new noise joined the continuous whir of the helicopter. The roar of the armored prison truck sounded in the air. The man almost froze in fear, but pure will kept his legs moving while his mind raced to catch up.
The logical thoughts of hope comforted him. He knew that the trucks could not travel through the thick trees and enormous bushes. He knew they would send guards to search the forest, to hunt him. Confidence told him to not worry, not to lose hope. It told him to he could hide better than the guards could hunt.
As he reached the edge of the forest the word ran through his mind. Escape.
Thirty-three minutes had passed. The dry thin grass gave way to lush green weeds. The rolling tumble weeds were replaced with the bushes that crawled through the air and across the ground. The sky was slowly covered with thick branches and large leaves. He knew this was the place for him to reach his freedom.
His pace slowed as he entered the forest, his eyes searched hungrily for a hiding place. He remembered that a fellow prisoner told him that if he actually made it to the forest he should search for a river. He recalled that the man said his foot prints could “disappear” in the water.
Eventually he came upon a rushing river. Like the white bubbles slowly rising to the top, so had he over this impressive challenge. He knew he had won. The prison had lost. Wadding into the water he struggled to swim up stream for he knew they would not expect him to. He did not realize how tired his body had become. So deciding against his previous thought, he floated down the chilling stream, relaxing into the current.
As he floated down the river a new word formed in his mind. Freedom