What Happens Next? You Decide! Chapter 7


How’s Tamara gonna get out of this?!

Jack grinned. “Yeah. And we’re just getting started.”

Eli’s arms restraining me made breathing difficult. Sharp pains spasmed in my chest. Whimpers fell out of my mouth. I wondered what exactly they were planning. Of course, my mind went to the worst tortures and humiliations imaginable. Fury twisted my stomach, but fear turned my limbs useless.

“Shush.” Eli shook me like a ragdoll.

His grasp loosened from the movement and I used the opportunity to duck out of his grasp. I kicked his shin with my right foot before launching off my left toward the hedgerow marking the edge of the field.

Eli yelped. “Stupid girl! Get her!”

I crashed through the low shrubs, ignoring the cuts from thorns and branches raking across my bare flesh. Groans emanated from my throat, but I kept running.

Jack and Brandon had to be only steps behind me. I heard them cursing and yelling. It spurred me on to run faster. Good thing I wore my outdoor cheering sneakers. The cleat-like tread prevented me from slipping too much on the fallen leaves and slick moss coating the sapling forest floor.

“Where you going, Tamara? You can’t get away from us!”

Brandon’s warning reverberated through my ears, as did my quickened pulse. What if he was right? Two high school football stars against me? Besting them seemed impossible. On the other hand, if I just gave up, I’d no doubt face unimaginable horror. I mean, really, two guys emerging from their makeshift grave after I thought I’d killed them? Anything seemed possible now.

Jack growled. “This is ridiculous. She’s getting away, Brandon.”

Brandon huffed. “No, she’s not.”

“You’re an idiot. Go that way. Circle around her.”

I didn’t dare look back to see if they split up. Their panting in stereo indicated their strategy clear enough.

Their effort gave me confidence. As I ran, both their stomping and grunting faded. I was actually gaining distance. Soon, I didn’t hear them at all. Slowing my pace, I turned left toward the highway leading back to Main Street. I didn’t dare stop running, but the pain in my side and ache in my legs prevented me from maintaining a full out gallop.

For several minutes, the only sounds came from my heavy gasps and steady footsteps against the mercadum. If I made it to Anne-Marie’s house on the edge of town, I’d be safe.

Smiling at the thought of reprieve, I let out a giddy chuckle. Maybe I’d get out of this hellish situation after all.

A sharp snap resembling that of a tree-limb fracturing echoed through the night. I skidded to a halt just as a thick maple branch crashed to the ground inches in front of me. The edge, frayed and splintered, rested at the white line marking the road’s shoulder, while the body, full of browned leaves, reached past the double center lines.

Stunned, I stood rooted to the earth, staring. Had I been one second faster, I’d be pinned under its bulk. I peered into the darkened forest, searching for a wounded maple.

Brandon, chest slicked with sweat, emerged from the woods. Illuminated in the moonlight, his muscled bulk appeared twice its normal size. Dark veins trekked along his arms and legs. His eyes flashed a luminous green. Fangs spilled over his bottom lip. He smiled, revealing two rows of uniformly sized, sharp-edged teeth. “I told you, escape was impossible.” He clicked his long, claw-like nails.

A satisfied laugh sounded behind me.

********

Eep! What Happens Next? How will Tamara get out of this one?…Or should she? Let me know–You Decide!

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