His steps pounded on the sidewalk. I’ve got to get away. Just as another enemy appeared around the corner to his left, he was out of its grasp.
You’ll never escape. Give up now! the enemy bellowed. You can’t run that far. We’ll never stop.
Every time Jake passed another street, another enemy would pop into his peripheral vision. But every time one did, Jake was just out of its reach.
I can’t stop, he told himself. I’ve got to keep going.
He had been running for five miles. They had been chasing him since he finished his first hundred yards.
He didn’t know where they came from or how they kept appearing. He just knew that if he could make it the last quarter mile to his house he would be safe. They can’t touch me in there.
As a runner he carried the least weight possible, so his only weapon was the repeated steps of his feet on the sidewalk.
He had no phone, no music. The only sounds were his footfalls, his labored breathing, and the voices of the enemies: Give up. You’ll never make it. We’ll never stop chasing you. You’re ours.
He just kept running. One foot in front of the other.
Jake was now within 100 yards of his house. He kicked his pace into high gear as he pushed himself on. But even as he did, everything seemed to shift into slow motion. He felt like he’d never make it. He felt like his enemies were right as they screamed at him. I can’t make it. Everything hurts. I want to stop.
I can’t though. The finish line is right there. If I give up they’ll kill me. Just a few more steps. I know I can make it.
Jake put on a fresh burst of speed and covered the final 10 yards. As he ascended his driveway, slowing his pace, all his enemies disappeared. He glanced over his shoulder and saw no one. They had been there; he was sure of it. But now they were gone, and he was safe. He breathed deeply.
As he stepped foot within his house, he looked back over his shoulder and thought, I can’t have been imagining it all, could I have?
He made his way to the kitchen, where he opened his fridge, took out an ice cold water bottle, and drank deeply.
Another of his daily runs was in the book.