A rapid beat slowly fell upon the peace. The sound of drops and the light noise of rain hitting leaves filled my ears. The sound would have been relaxing in any other circumstance. I watched as water cascaded down from the sky.

Looks like Mother Nature was having a bad day as well.

I slumped down against the trunk of the tree, the bark scratching up against my neck. My legs dangled limply from the branch, and I felt the pain strike through my calves as I tried moved them. I fell back again. I was too exhausted to move.

I closed my eyes and let the water envelop me. The leaves offered little protection, and the rain continued to pound down against my faithful tree. The water soaked through my clothes, sticking to my body. My hair clung to my face and water continued to run down my cheeks like unforgiving tears. But I was already used to those.

I turned, giving the left side of my back a break from the pressure, and slowly opened my eyes. What lay before me was not the familiar scene of leaves and branches.

Staring back at me, were a pair of eyes. Hungry, malicious, and glowing blood-red.

I threw back my head and let out an ear-piecing scream. The shriek rung throughout my ears and my heart leaped into my throat. Desperate for safety, I fell back, searching for another branch, searching for anything to get me to safety. Falling backward, I felt the branch disappear from under my legs. I let out a gasp and reached out but grabbed nothing but the crisp air. Panic ran throughout my bones and the falling sensation enfolded my every being. The rain’s steady flow hammered against my head.

Time seemed to slow, and there I was; body sprawled out in the air, arms still reaching out, mouth open to scream but my breath stolen, and the jungle before me turned upside down. Thoughts flooded through my mind all at once.

Why did you run away?

I thought it was worth it.

Why did you do this?

I can’t go back to the place they said was my home.

Were the red eyes in the tree scarier than the monsters in my mind?

Is this better than being with the monsters back at “home”?

What happens next?

There I was falling, a familiar subject. With all the thoughts flooding through my head I barely got a chance to see the muddy ground down below.

But I was about to.

I had fallen.

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