Written by Donovan L. Green,
December 16, 2008
The heat from my body rushes from me with each heart pounding breath I take. My teeth ache from the frigid air rushing across them and I feel as though my chest is going to explode as my lungs demand more oxygen for the depleted blood rushing through them.
It is said in certain moments of stress you see your life pass before your eyes. I think of my friends and all the fun we’ve had together. The games we’ve played. The hours of riding our bicycles until the street lights come on at dusk. I think of my parents and the despise they have for me. The times that they were upset with me for reasons I do not understand.
Between each desperate gasping breath I take I can hear the sound of freshly fallen snow crunching beneath my swiftly moving feet. Running as fast as I can my heart is racing twice as fast as my feet. I feel the snow slipping from under me as I desperately try to change directions. Branches from a bush slap against my body yet I feel no pain.
I think of my friends again, what about them? Have they escaped? When a good person is under duress he thinks of his friends and loved ones. Good thoughts race through your mind, but despite that, the returning thought is of your own survival.
I feel my assailant getting closer. I can hear breathing and the footsteps almost in unison with my own. I twist and turn, and dart as fast as I can. My exposed arms are pink from the cold but sweat is rolling down the side of my face. My breath clouds my vision in front of me. I think not of giving up and I find the strength for one last burst of energy hoping to outlast my assailant.
Everything seems a little surreal as what seems at this point to be the inevitable. The footsteps behind me grow closer. I can hear heavy breathing as I feel a near miss strike across the back of my shoulder. It is more than enough to send my body surging forward faster than my feet can keep up with. I dive head first toward the trampled snow-covered ground.
Tumbling to a stop on my back I lay outstretched. Looking up at the deep blue sky through the crystal-clear air, the sun is setting and the temperature is dropping, Twilight is fading to darkness. My breath swiftly bellows off towards the heavens through the cold air. No more flight or fight is left in me. The space above me, a vast void of endless space.
My assailant is laying nearby in the same exasperated condition. For several minutes we both lie motionless fighting to fill our lungs, trying to catch up to the demand of our racing hearts. A sigh of relief escapes between breathes. And in an unwilling gesture of acknowledgment of being outran and defeated a slight grin hints across my exhausted face. Between big deep breaths of gasping air, I hear him force out the words in my direction, “tag, you’re it!”