Ella knew fear. Of course she did. She’d felt it before. There was a time when she walked on a lonely street in the night and flinched at the faintest sound… She dreamed about it. In her dream she was running in the forest, someone on her tracks. She even felt the hair rise on her arms. She read books about fear, imagine the killer coming to her, a knife in his hands. All of this Ella knew, she could easily recognize fear, but she could never feel horror by just reading or dreaming. You only feel it when it’s real.

She saw the bad guy’s face so close to hers just before she ran gasping in the forest. When Ella couldn’t see him anymore she only had in mind a frowning face, eyes full of hate, black around the unrecognizable face. Her heart was pounding, she gasped for air, tears running down her face even though she had no reason to cry. Her chest wanted to explode. She had no more power in her limbs but she had to run! Her bare feet hurt when she stepped on a fallen branch, a rock, a thistle. Ella felt her feet bleed, the strength running out of her body as she hurried downhill in the almost dark forest.

But she can’t run anymore, her feet hurt, everything hurts, Ella’s eyes couldn’t even weep anymore, her eyes begin to blur, she could only guess there’s a tree in front of her that she had to avoid. She doesn’t even need background music to her run because it was already in her head. Her ears tinkled, her stomach felt empty, her palms were sweaty, as well as her whole body. She’s hot, a few seconds later she’s cold. Ella shivered and all she wanted now is to get out of this endless crazy run. Ella felt the man behind her and felt grateful he’s in his late forties and she could run faster than him. But she still felt hopeless, still the heavy dark cloth covered her she still couldn’t breathe normally and wish she’ll just pass out and let the man kill her, at least she won’t feel anything. Ella stumbled over a tree trunk. This is it, the end. She could barely move her feet to get up. She stumbles again and falls, her head hitting hard the ground. After that, everything becomes clear, the man’s gasping, her heart pounding and she closed her eyes hoping it will all finish fast.

Ella hears a scream. A scream of terror and feet approaching her. It might be on of the man’s subordinate but somehow the dark cloth is lifting and she feels light and flying as she hears a voice, HIS voice, whispering in her ear: “Hang on! Grab my neck!”. She was really flying, or running, in Deniel’s arms. She listened to him this time and held on tight on his neck. He ran faster than she did, even with her in his arms. Ella puts her ear to Deniel’s chest and listens how fast it pulsed. She closed her eyes and let the tiredness finally take over her.


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