Home > Fantasy, serial > Whistle While You Work #9

Whistle While You Work #9

Back at it after a nice vacation. This is when something like this really helps. A schedule and a deadline to get things back on track.

L. E. White

#9

Tomas lunged to his right grabbing a small tree and using it to whip his body to the side. Burning pain shot through his shoulder, but he ignored it as the sound of a runner bird crashing into the thorns told him just how close he had come to death.

Again.

The race of runners was bearing down on him, fanning out through the forest to box him in. He hadn’t had time to climb. They were too close for him to be able to get high enough to be out of reach for a jump. He was desperate, and he was scared.

He was running out of breath, but the race wasn’t.

Three trees stood in a rough line in front of him. Each had limbs that spread out low to the ground. If he could jump onto one of the low ones and then vault up to another, Tomas thought he might be able to lift himself up enough to wait the birds out.

A loud snap to his side spurred him to even greater speed. The carpenter’s legs and lungs both burned. Sharp pains in his side screamed at him to stop running, so he headed straight for the tree.

He leapt from the ground. As his lead foot came dawn on a limb that was no more than three feet above the forest floor, a blur of motion caused him to turn his head and look into the smooth black eye of another runner.

His next step planted his foot on the limb of the second tree. With his boots almost six feet off the ground, Tomas began to stretch towards a limb that was still above his head.

His mind did not register the snapping of the limb. He did notice that the limb seemed to be getting further away, but he just stretched, trying to reach further, unwilling to let go of the idea of his salvation being just ahead.

Tomas’s feet touched the ground, and tangled in the fallen limbs. His body pitched forward, slamming his face into the leaves. His breath blasted out as he came to a stop and he remained still for a second.

With a groan, Tomas rolled over, blinking his eyes to try and clear the spots away. When his mind caught back up to him, he looked up in horror. A runner bird stood above him, its head cocked to the side while it made a clicking sound.

Tomas could hear leaves rustle and limbs snap as others walked closer.

He closed his eyes and prayed that it would be quick.

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