Suddenly, my thoughts began to cave in. Something inside me whispered I wouldn’t make it out of this, but I had to keep moving. I needed to hold onto the hope that I would survive. As I stared at the two men standing in front of me, I couldn’t help but look in horror. Behind me, my original stalker was just moments away. Once he hopped the fence, I would be outnumbered three to one. I took a chance and charged at the dark figure as he was making his way over the fence. He landed on the ground, hard. I pulled myself up over the fence, pushing to the other side. The stalker grabbed hold of my ankle, but I wasn’t going back. I kicked furiously until finally I pulled myself loose. Finally I made it over the edge, falling down onto the dumpsters, then the ground. I pushed myself up and started running into the darkness.

I kept going until I realized something terrible. This dark wasn’t right. Everything was pitch black. Not even the stars were visible in the sky. There was no light at all, and it scared the hell out of me. I kept running until my lungs were burning with breath. I couldn’t tell if they were right behind me, but I kept going. After a few moments, I had to take a break. I stopped and fell to my knees, trying to slow my heart rate. When my hands touched the ground I felt the surprising tinge of something natural. It was grass. Where did I end up? A familiar warmth washed over me and my heart was suddenly beating at a steady pace. A voice sounded within my mind.

“Claire, can you hear me?”

“Who’s there?” I asked.

“You can’t run from this, Claire. You have to face your fears.”

The voice was basically telling me to let the dark strangers kill me. I couldn’t let that happen. Nothing was making sense. I stood and tried to run once more but the voice inside was now so loud, I couldn’t move.

“Claire, listen to me. Once you accept it and let it go, they can’t hurt you anymore.”

It took me a minute, but then I realized who the voice was.

“Mom?”

“Fight them sweety, but do it by letting go.”

The voice’s echoes finally faded and the pain I had felt was gone. There were footsteps in the distance. I could hear them running towards me. I was in the dark and out of options. Where could I run to if I didn’t know where I was? I sat there, lonely and scared. I could feel the tears rolling down my cheeks. Was this how I was going to die? In a matter of seconds, one of the strangers was there, standing just inches away. I heard the cock of a gun and winced, waiting for the shot to fire. I couldn’t imagine my life ending this way. Why did I have to die?

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