Leonard raced past the tree, colliding with a prickly bush.The sounds of shouting men and barking dogs pounded in his ears. Pushinghimself up from his knees he began running again. He simply had to make it.
He turned on the light on his wristwatch. He had tenminutes. Ten minutes before the borders closed. Ten minutes to get through theforest.
The thoughts of his family flooded Leonard’s mind. Hisbeloved wife, Agatha. Peter, his eldest son, Millicent, James, Annie and the baby,who he hadn’t met yet. The little one had been born, after he had parted withhis family. He imagined the child’s face. She would have dark eyes like hermother, as well as her beautiful blond hair. Perhaps she had his own nose, and afew of his expressions.
The man grimaced as he scraped his leg on a low protrudingtree branch, but he chose to ignore it and run on. The dogs were howling now.Did that mean anything important? He looked at his watch; eight minutes.
He simply had to run faster! He pushed on. His heartpounded, the thuds in his chest causing a dull pain against his overtaxedlungs. How much longer could he run? Could he make it to the border? Thethought of his family, left alone without him, grieving his loss, uncertain ofhis fate, sped him on. He had to makeit!
His thoughts began to wander again. His mother was with hisfamily. His dear mother. He and his family were all she had left. His fatherwas gone, as well as his brother. Poor, dear mother, in these her latter years,so near alone.
He pulled up his watch again. Six minutes. Was he sure hewas going in the right direction? What if he had swerved. No. Dark as it was,he was certain that he was still going North. He had to be. The border was tothe North – he had to make it! How much farther was it?
A raindrop splashed against his cheek. Rain would cool himdown, but would serve to make his path more difficult if it came down intorrents. He began to pray. The rain came down harder, drowning out the voicesof the dogs and the men. How close were they, anyway? He wasn’t a very goodjudge when it was quiet, now with the pouring water, he was even morebewildered as to their distance.
Copyright 2011 Rebekah J.