It is the feeling that you get when every hair on your body suddenly rises one by one. You feel like your being watched by uncaring and unblinking eyes. Footsteps can be heard tapping in time with your every step. Your heart pounds with a constant, fast-paced thudding beat that sounds like it’s coming from somewhere outside your body. Damp-palmed, you can feel the slow, cold slither of a single bead of sweat winding its way down your spine.
You are afraid, more afraid than you have ever been before. As your terror builds, you feel reason fading away and your control breaking down. You want to scream, but the tightening of your throat makes it impossible to hold even a single note. You want to run, but your legs have turned to jelly and can barely support your weight simply while standing. Breathing is erratic and painfully; you try so hard, but you feel like you aren’t getting any oxygen at all.
You try to force your brain into analysis, to figure out what is happening and what to do next. You need to escape, but you’re in lockdown. Your body is rigid, but your mind is paste. This is a situation that requires a plan; this is a moment for fleeing.
The pressure inside you is building to unbearable levels. Your skin is stretched and it feels like you are about to burst at the seams. You can’t contain your panic. You are overwhelmed physically, mentally and emotionally. There is no outlet and you are on the verge of exploding. Like a time-bomb counting down, detonation, annihilation is imminent.
Suddenly it’s as though something within you snaps and you’re running faster than ever. Your legs are pumping, arms swinging and the world is rushing past. Everything around you is a blur and your mind is focused on one thought: flee. Nothing else matters.
Something looms is your path; you dodge it and keep going. Something lies on the ground before you; you leap over it and rush on. You duck under, skirt around, feint left, dash right; whatever it takes.
As you conquer each new obstacle, you feel your energy draining away ever faster. You know that you won’t last much longer. They are catching up.
A net drops from above and you trip. Tangled up in tough black mesh, you hit the pavement hard. You’re bleeding and they have you.
Roughly you’re pulled up and grasping hands tug the net tighter around you. Harsh voices laugh and jeer. You’ve been caught.
As you’re force-marched off to the enemy camp your heart starts to slow down. The worst has happened and you suddenly become aware of all the aches and pains left over from the taut tension you have been under seen it all began. You stumble in their wake, dejected and alone.
Then you remember: Catching is not keeping. And you know that this is far from over.
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