His heart pounds against his rib cage like a wild animal stricken with fear. Twilight is almost upon him and he is freezing in his light T-shirt and jeans. How he got lost in the woods is beyond him. The last time he saw his friends is now nearly two hours ago.
He leans further into the tree he has been crouching under for the past hour and starts to mutter a mantra under his breath.
…..I’ll be okay… I’m going to be fine…. They’ll come to get me….
It is all he can do to keep from passing out.
Suddenly he hears a mangled howl from the distance.
Dear god….. it’s a wolf. It has got to be a wolf…. only a damn wolf would make that sound……
He is almost crying with despair now. The fear is real and his palpitations are painfully apparent.
He crawls deeper into the bushes. He can barely feel his legs and is pretty sure they are useless now anyway. It is really not like he can move from whatever safe haven this little forest nook provides him. He can feel his breath becoming increasingly laborious that he is almost panting at this point. His chest constricts painfully and he has to scrunch up his eyes as he lets out a hopeless little whimper.
Please don’t be having a panic attack now. Please not now.
I’m going to die here, aren’t I. I’m going to be eaten by wolves but hopefully not before I freeze to death.
I hope I freeze to death.
This time, he has to clutch tighter at his chest as his breathing becomes more tumultuous and he struggles to regain his composure. A few more painful minutes pass. Time is moving sluggishly slow. He knows because the same fat bead of sweat that has been travelling down his temple for the past few minutes, had only just passed the corner of his eye. His cold sweat is making him colder still. How is it even possible to perspire in this weather?
He rubs his palms together, hoping for some warmth. He knows that his shivering is only partly due to the cold. He is terrified and is about to lose it and have a full blown panic attack.
Oh god… please don’t…. please don’t….. please…..
He goes back to chanting his mantra, his voice barely a whisper ,the pitch of which increases with every word.
By now the silence is overwhelming. It is so dark and dense, it fills up his ear canals like oil on paper. It is so heavy that is makes his head want to burst.
He does not immediately realise what happens next but his breath gets caught half-way and he freezes. He swears he hears twigs breaking not 20 feet from him.
This is it. He knows for sure that his heart is going to fail here and now. He is going to be eaten.
He squeezes his eyes shut so tightly that they begin to hurt in their sockets. He is crying now, his silent sobs uncontrollable.
Oh dear Lord…. it’s even closer this time….
Suddenly he feels strangely warm.He forgets to breathe as he dares to open his eyes. He meets the eyes of his tormenter. They glint a dirty gold, in what little light the darkness fails to capture.
He is not shivering anymore. The beast circles him, his warm fur coat grazing his skin.
He feels its sickly hot breath on his cheek as the animal licks his face. There are no sounds. No growls, and no snarls. It is simply the first and last meeting between man and beast and only one of them will walk away today.
Paralyzed with fear, he comes to terms with the situation. The seconds leading up to his demise are excruciatingly long and slow, but he has not been eaten yet.
Now what are people who are about to die supposed to do?
Mom…. Dad…. I love you. I have never been the best son, but I love you. I hope you love me back. Dad…. we have had our disagreements and differences. But miss me anyway.
Sister….I know that I am the biggest pain that you have ever had to deal with. I’m sorry that I was never there for you. I did not know that he was beating you. I should have killed him with my bare hands when I could.I hope you forgive me. But miss me anyway. I love you.
Cute girl in my Economics class. I’ve been crushing on you since college started. I should have told you…. It’s alright. Just miss me anyway.
He is not afraid anymore. He has paid his dues and should get going now. Enough time has been wasted.
He hugs his knees,bows his head and smiles sadly.
I’ll miss this world even if not many people loved me.
But miss me anyway.
*image from google.