A free writing exercise

My lungs are begging for oxygen. The muscles in my legs feel like they are burning. But I continue on running.

The sun shines down on me like a spotlight. I’m the lead actor in this play. Sweat keeps on sliding down my muddy face—leaving traces of cleanliness. My lips are cracked and my throat is dry. I know my feet are bleeding from the nonstop running. The pain was terrible at first but as I continue on running I could barely feel it anymore.

Behind me, I can clearly hear the sound of footsteps running hard to catch up. There is the sound of voices as well—shouting voices. But I’m able to hear them clearly through the loud beating of my heart. Thump. Thump. Thump. It feels like it’s going to explode. There’s only one thing in my mind as I am running. Escape. I know I had to escape. To stop running is death.

How long have I been running? Minutes? Hours? It feels like an eternity. The scenery around me stays the same. I’ve been running for so long but it feels like I’ve never really gone anywhere. The same bright sun shines down on me. The same rocky terrain pierces the skin beneath my feet. The same dry wind passing me by. And still the same ones behind me never giving up the chase. I keep on running. It won’t be long now. I keep my eyes focused in front of me. I know escape is near. In front of me I see the outline of trees. I see the light of the sun being reflected on the clear surface of the small body of water. I see escape. I smile. I continue to run.

I open my eyes and I find myself back in darkness. I’m back in my cell. I feel the familiar pain of hunger lingering in my stomach. I close my eyes. I shut them tight. Please, let me go back to sleep. I want to go back to escape. I turn to the side. It doesn’t take long. The next time I open my eyes I find myself running once again.