All he could think of was to keep running. His legs continued to pound on the soft, jungle ground while his arms wearily swayed beside him. Sweat dripped off the edge of his ears and nose. He pushed aside the branches praying he wouldn't be slowed down from being bush-whacked. He looked behind him to see the trees and grasses rustle and heard the loud grunting of a monster. Why he was there, he could not tell. What he was running from, he did not know. Why he was dressed formally, he didn't have the slightest idea. He just kept running. He threw off his suit jacket and loosened his tie. As quick as he could, he kicked off his ninety dollar shoes and plunged on. The limbs scraped against his arms and legs. Blood trickled down every cut, and the wounds began to burn his legs and arms as they swiped against the sides of his body. He breathed heavily gasping for air. He began to feel strains and cramps all over and could only hope to soon stop. He peered through the thick foliage and saw a cave. He smiled and coughed out dust. As he saw the cave come up closer, the grunts and rustling got louder. He ran toward the dark tunnel and entered its realm. His heart raced with every footstep. The light began to dim as he ran further into the cave and soon he was surrounded by blackness. He felt his way through as his running began to slow to baby steps. His arms reached out guiding him through. His foot rammed into a boulder and he tripped. His body sprawled out and he lay still on the sandy floor, motionless. The grunts behind him suddenly grew closer and he could now hear that they were words, but he couldn't decipher them. He couldn't stop now. He stretched his arm for a wall of support when he touched a stair. He stood up and felt upward more. Another stair. He whirled around to hear the sounds of the monster's breath. He dug his toes in the dirt and without taking much thought into it, he raced up the staircase. As he continued to race up, he noticed the staircase began to turn. His hand scaled the rock wall as he continued up the dark passage. Just as his stomach tensed and he didn't believe he had any energy left in him, he saw a bright light around the corner. Determined, he struggled up the spiral staircase. As he got closer, he began to notice that the light was actually an exit to this darkness, and the exit was actually a way back outside. Continually watching his feet hoping not to trip again, he unbuckled his belt and tossed it back down to the depths of the pit. He heard the creature's cries and listened attentively to the series of echoing footsteps below. The staircase straightened out and the steps began to steepen. He could now see the blue sky outside and began to climb for the top. Suddenly he felt himself racing out of the exit, but instead of finding himself back to flat ground outside, he found himself trying to stay balanced on a steep ledge. He peered downward and saw he was on the edge of the earth. The abyss never ended. The groans deepened behind him and the man edged his way around the side of the rocky ledge. His temple pounded with fear as he ever so slowly squeezed on the two-foot shelf. He laid his head back against the rock closing his eyes. He breathed so deeply and looked back toward the exit where he had just escaped. Thick claws cascaded over the side of the doorway and without hesitation he jumped!
December 7, 2007