He stared unblinkingly at me, twitching slightly.
“What is wrong with you?” I stammered and scrambled farther away from him. I didn’t dare avert my gaze. He had only been alone in the forest for a minute… What had happened?
He didn’t answer my question, which was unlike him. He took a lurching step toward closer.
“What’s wrong with you?” I repeated. My back hit a solid wall.
He came even closer, then stopped two feet away from me.
With a jolt, I realized he was missing an eye and his head hung awkwardly to the side. Blood ran from the corner of his mouth and his fingernails were torn from his fingers.
“What happened to you?” I yelled and glanced up the wall. It was steep, almost straight up. I could see the top, perhaps I could make it there in a minute’s time.
He gurgled my name, choking on some liquid in his throat.
I jerked back around to face him and yelled.
He stood directly in front of me, gazing intently at me with his only eye.
I swallowed and cautiously sought my first handhold behind me. My hand clasped around a sturdy stone. I whipped around and hauled myself up, scrabbling for a foothold. I found one and pulled myself up. I reached for another handhold.
A slimy hand grasped my ankle and I shrieked. I fearfully looked down.
He stared back up at me, his eye wild and his mouth twisted in a terrifying snarl.
“Let go of me!” I yelled and frantically tried to shake him off.
He yanked on my ankle and my foot slipped. I screamed as he dragged me down in front of him.
He seized my neck and squeezed. I choked on my cries. He spat blood in my face. I accidentally swallowed some with my gasps.
“If I’m dying, you’re coming with me.” He hissed. His other hand ripped at my hair and his fingers poked at my eyes.
I tried to call for help, but his hand around my neck was too tight, suffocating me.
I froze. It felt as though something were itching at the inside of my skull. I looked at him through a haze of red. My mind jerked and all my feeling dissipated. All that remained was anger and confusion.
I snarled and flung him off me, then leaped onto his chest. I gouged out his remaining eye, discarding it off to the side. I ripped at his neck until his wails were cut off and his breathing stopped.
I stood and gazed at my dead friend. I twitched involuntarily. “Something is wrong with you. This isn’t how you act.” My heart whispered.
I didn’t even care.
Copyright by Amelia Jacobson