...And when you read this, you'll understand why I dislike reading and writing in the present tense! I find it very jarring as a reading (which is why I dislike "Book of the Dead" by Patrica Cornwell - but I do like "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham or the "Wake" Trilogy by Lisa McMann.)
So, enjoy, & forgive my awful present writing.
Running down the stairs. Grabbing the handrail as I slipped.
Jump the last two steps. Lands oddly. Pain shoot up leg, but I ignore it.
Runs towards the door.
Yank the door open.
Running down the corridor. The dark making it hard to see.
Still running. I see a door. A Fire Exit! A way out!
I crash into the door. It opens as an alarm shrills out. There are stairs. Up? Down?
Down! I run down them, gripping the handrail as I go. There’s not enough time!
Keep running! Another door. I push through and run.
“Ten! Coming! Ready or Not!”
I spin round in the dark corridor, running backwards.
I’m going to die. I’m never going to leave here alive.
I spin and run forwards. Only to skid to a stop.
They’re there. Standing as calm and as still as statues. All three pairs of red eyes on me.
A sob sticks unpleasantly in my throat. “No…”
“We found you,” the first member says. His voice sounds nice, pleasant even. Not a voice that should belong to a killer. “The game is over.”
I slowly back away; my insides go cold with terror and fear. “Who – what – are you?”
“That,” replies the first man, “is sadly not important. What is, however, is you.”
The second man, the man with the cropped hair, growls as he pulls back his lips to reveal unnaturally white teeth. The woman of the trio, her hair shocking red, gives a sideways glance to the cropped hair man then her gaze returns to me.
I take another step back, and they, in unison, take a step forward.
“This,” says the man with cropped hair, “is getting bored.”
“Yes,” agrees the woman. “This is getting tiresome.”
“Patience.” The first man comments as he waves a hand. “The game isn’t complete yet.”
They’re going to kill me! Why aren’t I running? Why aren’t I screaming?!
I take another step back, and my back hits the wall. I try not to gasp out with the shock.
The three keep their distance.
“Now,” spoke the first man. “I must explain to you, Mister –“ He pauses. “I’m sorry, I didn’t ask you your name…”
Lie! “Syed.” Why didn’t you lie?!
“Well, Syed, this is nothing personnel. It’s just … well… instinct.”
And with that, I understood. “Please…” I beg. “Please, don’t.”
James turns his face a little away, his face unreadable. Victoria’s eyes seem to glimmer. As for the third…
“Please!” I throw myself at their mercy. “Please don’t! I have a daughter!”
Mia! Mia, my beautiful Mia!
I cling to the last memory of her. The way she smelt: sleep, talcum powder, fresh nappies.
Mia, I love you!
“You have a daughter?” The first man says slowly.
I can’t feel my lungs as I take slow breaths. I count the silence in my head.
One Mississippi… two Mississippi… three Mississippi…
“Then… I am sorry for her loss.”
My breath catches in my throat. My eyes wet with tears. “No… Please, no…”
All three of them smile a hungry smile.
“Please,” I plea, tears roll down my face. “Please…”
All three of them pounce and my screams echo through the darkness.