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The woods are dark and there is no moon, yet I can see. I run yet I don’t know where I’m going. It hurts to run because of the surgery, and though it was noninvasive, only in surgical terms, I believe I may have triggered some bleeding. The cold air strikes my face I am running so fast. I can hear the vehicle pursuing behind me. As they close in on me, I see the headlights projected beyond into the trees of my path, casting a sphere of light broken into the shield of pure darkness. I run into thickets and roots and broken branches in order to prevent the vehicle from getting through. I run fast and by foot, my predators would never catch me. The vehicle stops and as I continue running, their voices dull behind me. I think I have a chance of escape, until I hear the dogs.
I drop down and use my hands coordinated with my running legs in order to increase my speed. There is a light in the distance and I can sense sound, the vibrations of people moving about and speaking. I continue in that direction; perhaps it is where they are keeping Fay. As I close in on the place, the light gradually disappears since I reach an incline, and a wall cuts off my vision. The wall is about 15ft tall with barbed wire along the top. Glancing around I see few options, so I begin to dig.
I dig fast, the thick dirt burying itself beneath my fingernails. The dogs are getting closer, and the voices of the men behind them are becoming clearer. I never learned the name of the man I was last with, nor much of the information he may have chosen to share with me. Now he is dead; these men killed him, and now they’re going to kill me. They don’t want to capture me, this is no longer a game. If they get me, I am dead on the spot. As soon as I am a proper target, they will shoot me, no formalities about it. I am only a target. I am a mistake to rid of. I am a monster. I know no more of my existence than that.
The wall goes deep into the ground, and my muscles burn from their use. After my captivity, I’d have thought they would have atrophied to the degree of near uselessness, but their kinesthetic strength endures. I dig vigorously and there is such intent in the process I lose myself in it. Digging becomes the only thing. No cause, no consequence, only the focus. Only digging.
I create a hole large enough to worm through, continuing to dig as I crawl beneath the wall, tearing the earth from my path. The dogs have nearly reached me. They are so close they may catch me before I break through to the other side. Instincts guide me as I thrust on; I sense the wall above me and make no attempts to emerge until I know I can. The pressure of the wall upon the ground reaches me in a denseness, allowing me to be aware of when I will reach the landscape.
My hearing is piqued, so I’m unsure how close the dogs really are, but it seems they will reach me any moment. I hear a man say, “He’s digging beneath the wall, contact them.” Now I’m sure someone will be awaiting my arrival. Then the weight above me diminishes and my hands cup through steadily until at last, as I believe my hand will break through grass, there is a barrier. The land is paved.
The dogs have reached me and one dog chases me into the tunnel. I must have dug about 5ft down and 20ft across, without thought, only instinct, and I scarcely recall doing it. The dog grips my ankle with its jaws, pressing its teeth into me and begins to tug, backing itself out of the tunnel, attempting to drag me along. I have no squirm room and I’m suddenly claustrophobic. There is no space to move, no air to breathe. The pain in my ankle sends shocks up my body as I try to pull my foot away. I fight, though it is impossible.
Other dogs are digging their way in to get me. All I can breathe is the dust and soil and my lungs feel thick and grainy. The ground above me crumbles and starts to cave in. A second dog reaches the first, and grabs my other ankle. Escape is impossible now. But I don’t want to die. And I don’t want to beg for mercy.