They ran screaming from him, scattering to all points of the compass. Their young minds calculating the best way to escaper their pursuer. He selected one girl as his target and focused in on her. She was eight and was one of the least athletic children present that day. She would provide the easiest catch as her chubby waistline would make her slow and unwieldy.
Her bulk was nearly as great as his, which meant he’d have a realistic chance of catching her. She was running away from him as fast as her legs would take her. Pigtails and shrieks flew over her shoulder towards him.
The father observed with pride as the son hunted down his prey.
Now only thirty feet separated them and the girl was looking increasing fearful as she knew she was gaining ground. The only sounds coming from her mouth were gasping asthmatic breaths. No scream or shrieks came now. Every mouthful of air was forced into her lungs to oxygenate the driving pistons that were her legs.
She was terrified of being caught by her pursuer as she knew exactly what his intentions were.
Twenty feet behind her, the thumping of his superior weight sent great echo’s forward to increase her desperation. She had an idea and veered towards the creek.
By the time she had crested the ridge which started the slope down to the burbling water the gap had closed to ten feet.
She heard the shout of encouragement as his father drove him on after her. She’d never trusted the old man with his pointy face and stinky breath.
Now she was heading down a steeper slope and was struggling to keep both legs below her torso. The mysterious force which was called gravity gave her upper body the extra propulsion the lower half lacked. A fall now would signal the end of her escape attempt.
She glanced over her shoulder to see where he was. Her eyes opened wider as she saw he was now within a couple of feet of her. He saw the panic in her pupils and laughed a cruel laugh which further twisted the knot of nerves in her stomach.
Her attention snapped back to her chosen route. A sapling tree lay straight in front of her so she veered left and executed her plan.
As the tree drew level with her shoulder, she flung out an arm and used the infant oak as a pivot. Her momentum carried her through one hundred and eighty degrees and sent her panting back up the slope.
The move worked, as her hunter shot past the tree before copying the trick with another tree and resuming the chase. She had gained herself twenty feet with the manoeuvre and his breathing was becoming more ragged by the second, as he too toiled up the slope.
She didn’t look back until she reached the top of the slope. The glimpse she afforded herself was fatal, as her tired legs no longer fully obeyed her demands. Left and right legs collided when he was a mere five feet behind her.
He paused gasping for air while as she hauled herself back to her feet with unshed tears in pleading eyes. When she was stood beside him, he simply touched her arm and said one damning word.
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