ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Too Late to Run: Horror Flash Fiction by cam

Updated on November 14, 2019
cam8510 profile image

Chris has written more than 300 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

Source

Too Late to Run

A wintery blanket covered the trees and ground of the woods, a result of the quirky weather of late November. The light from Jack’s headlamp penetrated the darkness and sent shadows racing away to swallow up the path behind him and the imprints of his running shoes.

He passed beneath the leafless canopy for the second time that morning. The tracks from his previous lap ran ahead and around a bend. He entered the turn and the beam from his headlamp swept the scene, revealing an unexpected set of tracks which led out of the woods and merged with his own.

Source

Jack stopped and knelt down to examine one of the new footprints. Its maker had been traveling on two bare feet. He placed his shoe beside it. The barefoot print was slightly larger than his size 10 1/2 trail runners.

The prints seemed to be human except for some kind of extension off the end of each toe. Claws? He ran forward a few yards. Yes, the barefoot, claw footed visitor had been behind him. Relax, he told himself. The fact that it was behind me doesn’t mean it’s following me. He proceeded on in the direction he had been running.

Source

Bare hardwoods gave way to tall evergreens, changing the forest from moderately dark to the blackness of a cave. Jack's light bored into the night until he was forced to stop. Across the seven-foot wide trail lay the trunk of a fallen tree that had not been there on his first lap.

The strange tracks he was following were scattered around the obstacle. A snorting sound, such as a deer would make when alarmed, came from behind him on the trail. Jack darted into the woods on the right to go around the dead tree. More snorting sounds came from the direction he was headed. Either his pursuer had gotten there before him, or there were others.

Jack moved farther into the trees. Dawn had not yet begun and he hid among the shadows. He knew this woods very well, and it was too small to get lost in. He had to get back to his car.

He heard sniffing, like a dog that has found a new scent. He was being hunted, but by what? Tingling fear crawled down his neck and back.

Source

Jack resisted the temptation to run. He needed to know more about his pursuers. Who were they? What were they? He could climb a tree, but the idea of being caught with no way of escape chased the thought away. He retreated even farther into the trees. Would dawn ever come? He looked up. Clouds. Only clouds. It would be a gloomy sunrise at best.

He moved toward where his car was parked. The snorting was more distant and hope welled up inside him. He pulled the car keys from his pocket. If he got close enough, he might be able to outrun whoever was chasing him.

The sound of footsteps pounded in his ears. At least one of his stalkers was onto him, but still Jack did not run. He had been trained as a marine and knew how to fight. He would stay and learn something about these hunters. He grabbed the only weapon at hand, a sturdy oak branch.

The first sight of the enemy struck Jack with paralysis that would not be shaken off easily. It was too late to run. The creature was upon him. The fur-covered beast leaped into the air like a cliff diver. Jack recovered from his immobility and swung his club at the canine face, its fangs bared, snarling. Clawed hands reached for his throat.

Source

Jack was running before the unconscious devil hit the ground. He ran with the speed and stamina he had been developing for years. This time it wasn’t to win a medal or recognition, but to save his life. The howling began while he was running through the trees toward the trailhead. They were on both sides and behind him.

The car was a hundred yards away. Jack and the creatures emerged from the woods at different points. He could see them in the darkness, because their eyes glowed green. He fumbled with the key fob, thumbing buttons at random. The trunk flew open. The alarm wailed.

Howling became snorting as the beasts closed in. Jack grabbed the door handle and pulled. It was still locked. He squeezed the fob once, twice. The lock clicked. He jerked the door open and slid in toward the seat. Fabric and flesh tore as claws ripped across his back.

He was in the car with the door pulled closed as far as the fur covered arm and clawed hand would allow. He grabbed his wife’s metal fingernail file from the drink holder and stabbed it into the back of the monster’s hand. Screams from the creature and gravel from the car’s tires filled the gloomy dawn air.

Jack skidded into the driveway, nearly ramming the back of his wife’s car. Inside, she held him as he shook them both with adrenalin and terror. He tried to explain, but the words were nonsense. Blood dripped from his saturated shirt, pooling on the hardwood floor.

That night, after returning from the hospital emergency room, his wife slept beside him. Howls drifted across the landscape from the woods as if calling to him. Jack lay with his eyes open, and a green glow filled the room.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)