A Flash of Fiction

woman running on street

I wrote this little piece a month or so ago.  It was written from stream of consciousness and just for a practice writing activity.  Hope you enjoy the short read.


Running Out of Time


Her chest ached, and her throat was dry as dust. She’d run two and a half miles and kept sprinting down the sidewalk parallel to the city’s park, as the sun hovered over the horizon. Its pink and orange rays fell softly on the street. The road and town were deserted.

The pounding of shoes on the pavement behind her made her quicken her pace, as her calves bunched in protest. Her breaths came out uneven and ragged. The running footsteps at her rear grew louder, and she willed her body to move faster, even as she heard his grunting and heavy breathing creeping over her shoulder.

“Oh, God,” she said through a bedraggled exhale.

Seeing the sidewalk’s end and an intersection, she turned the corner sharply to her left, rapidly moving her sneakers and extending her legs, cutting the distance ahead of her. A shop’s neon green sign blinked at her from further down the street. She kept her eyes focused on the store’s window just as a hand gripped her bouncing shoulder. She screamed, tearing away from him and continuing to run. The light breeze in the air carried the scent of garbage from a set of dumpsters as she flew by them, grimacing.

The silence of the empty town was shattered by the man’s gravelly voice. “You can’t run forever.”

She didn’t waste her breath answering, but tilt her head down, stared at the cement before her, and pushed herself as much as her body could bear, her legs burning in response.

Just fifty more feet, she told herself, as she closed in on the shop’s window displaying various antique clocks. Slowing long enough to grapple the door’s handle, she sucked in her breath as the man’s callused hand landed atop hers, his body slamming against hers.

He wrapped his bulky arm around her chest and held her so tight that she thought her ribs would crack.

“Let me go!” she cried.

“Not a chance,” the man said, putting the hand he’d had over hers against the door to prevent her from opening it.

She struggled, her eyes wide with fear.

“Time’s up,” another voice announced.

“Ah,” was all she could say.

She slowed her pace on the gym’s treadmill and stepped off, as her personal trainer jotted down on his clipboard the recorded mileage.

“You’ve improved, Gena, by two minutes. Wow! You were really going for it the last thirty seconds.” He smiled in appreciation.

Gena wiped her glistening neck with a towel. “I had motivation.”




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