Running From the Crime
By Astra Crompton
The mud and grit seeped through the shoddy soles of her boots as she struggled to keep her footing. Her blood was pounding in her ears, her skin as much slick with the rain as with her own sweat. As she scrabbled to climb the hillside to get off the road, she had to duck low-hanging pine branches, hands slapping between the sodden ground and her skirts to untangle them from her knees. Behind her, hot on her heels, was the man responsible for all of this.
“Blast you, girl! Can you not move any faster?” His voice was rough as the rest of him. It sounded as though crafted by the same rough chisel that had hacked the contours of his face. She thought briefly to reply, but hadn’t the breath. She pulled herself heaving into a shallow cave beneath an outcropping of rock. “What are you doing? You’ll get us both killed,” he hissed, but also clamoured over the boulders to take refuge in the dark beside her. They exchanged a look full of mistrust. Somewhere below, the police and their dogs began scaling the mountainside. The water dripped from the forest around them. The sky sweltered above, a thunderstorm fast approaching.