As published at 101 Words
Sonia’s foot caught on a root and she crashed to the forest floor. Old pine needles pierced her palms as the weight of her backpack held her down. She gulped for air, a drop of sweat splashing on the back of her hand.
Knees stinging and blood leaking into the earth, Sonia looked back, but only dark branches and shadows followed her. She slowed her breath and listened past her pounding heart. Nothing. Even the squirrels dared not speak.
As she moved to stand, the chilled air crept over her skin.
The crack of a stick echoed through the deep woods.