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Sarah - by Deb Rebisz

Sarah runs to escape the cabin as he turns on to the 50-acre property. In the snowstorm, sounds are muffled but she can clearly hear Mike’s truck as it makes its way down the long gravel driveway.  She hopes with all her heart that the heavily falling snow will quickly cover her trail.

She runs for at least a mile into the woods until her breath comes in gasps and she can go no farther. Taking cover under the shelter of a huge pine, the lowest branches sweeping the forest floor and creating a small place that appears impenetrable, Sarah struggles to control her breath—afraid its fog will give away her position. The needles tickle her ear as she tries to make herself as small as possible against the wide tree trunk, shivering uncontrollably. She left the cabin without even grabbing her coat or her cell phone.

She knows she can’t count on the sheriff to guarantee her safety after providing the testimony that will put Mike away for life. Hell, she knew that before going to the station with the bloody evidence she’d found in the basement of their house in town. Mike’s brother, a local deputy, would know immediately of her betrayal and would let him know. She just didn’t expect it to happen so fast.

She hears his voice in the far distance, “I’ll kill you, you fucking bitch!”

Sarah is torn between running and staying in her hiding place. Peering from under the pine boughs, she can see her footsteps are nearly invisible in the falling snow. She decides to stay put, trying to slow her breathing.

Mike is getting closer now…she can hear his footsteps crunching on the snow. He’s still shouting. “Do you want to end up like Marie? I can do that! Or you can retract your statement. It’s up to you, Sarah. Everything can go back to normal.”

She knows what he’s capable of. She makes no sound.

The cabin and property belonged to her father who used it for hunting and trapping every fall before he passed away just three months ago. Sarah knows her way through these woods and can use that to her advantage. She’s walked the property with her father dozens of times, setting traps and repairing deer blinds with him during warm summer months in anticipation of fall and winter hunts.

Mike is now less than 30 feet from the tree Sarah hides under and she can see he holds a long rifle. Unbelievably, he’s staring at the ground, tracking her faint footsteps toward to the tree. She thought the fresh snow would leave nothing for him to find. She was wrong.

Ten feet from the big pine, Mike yells, “IT’S OVER, SARAH! I obviously can’t reason with you. Get your ass over here NOW.”

She can’t hold back the loud sob that overtakes her.

She intentionally gave away her position with that loud, helpless sob. Now Mike slowly walks ahead, covering the last few feet to her hiding place, rifle pointed directly at the tree. With less than a yard to go before reaching the pine boughs shielding her, Mike screams in pain as the steel bear trap closes on his leg. He falls to the ground in agony, dropping the rifle he carried.

Sarah scurries from beneath the protection of the tree and grabs the rifle.

She stands over Mike as he twists in agony, and points the rife at his head.

“Game over, asshole.”

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