Written in response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. Thanks for the inspiration, Sue – I hope you’re having a good time on your travels 🙂
Joanna crawled up the embankment, leaving a trail of red in her wake. She looked back, tracking the path she had taken; the trail like a flag to the raging bull on her tail. He was as relentless as the animal, too, and she imagined she could hear his snorting breath.
Her gaze shifted back to the ruins in front of her, her beacon of hope. If she could just find cover, she had a chance.
Pressing her body lower to the ground, she clamped her teeth together as shots exploded around her. She was a sitting duck out there, and she only had herself to blame. Joanna knew he couldn’t see her, knew he was aiming for the stark colour that leaked behind her.
She had to fight the urge to give in to her fear and stay put. Sure, it would make him sweat, but the longer she remained in place the less likely she was to succeed. Already her muscles screamed in protest. He never tired of the game, and though adrenalin had carried her this far, it was about to crash in a big way.
Taking a deep breath, she inched forward, her eyes narrowing in on the foliage covering the ruins like a protective coat of armour. Perhaps they would extend the courtesy to her. After all, the creeping plants that flared into a wide skirt at the foot of the stone were the perfect for hiding place.
It’s now or never.
Ignoring the soft pfft-pfft sounds that hit the grass around her, Joanna crawled as quickly as she could to the top. None of the shots hit her, and she felt a surge of triumph. The assault course her brother forced her to complete had finally paid off.
She didn’t get to her feet, didn’t allow herself to make a mistake now. Instead, she scrambled forward, through the entrance to the ruins, until she had ample cover. Only then, did she ease her body into a crouch, crab walking – her eyes on the empty windows – until she reached the small pack hidden in the debris. Snatching it up, Joanna let out a whoop of triumph, even as she was digging inside for her treasure.
The sound of footsteps outside didn’t deter her. She whipped the flag out of the pack and waved it in the air.
“Well played, Jo-Jo. Well played,” her brother said, panting.
She turned to the doorway, eyeing his readied paintball gun and gave him a winning smile. “Thanks, bro.” Her gaze dropped to her own gun, which was still leaking paint. She had doctored it, of course; taunting him. Luckily, she didn’t get a drop on her clothing.
“Do you think the others packed in by now?” he asked, gazing out across the meadow.
Joanna snorted. “Of course. They’ll be back at camp.” Their friends always let them go their own way, knowing how competitive they became whenever they played the game – any game.
When he turned back, he was grinning too. “Then let’s join them.”
Grabbing the water from her pack so she could clean the evidence of their game, she walked to him. “With any luck, they’ve already started dinner.”
The sound of her brother’s laughter tickled her ear as he hooked an arm around her shoulder and led her out.
Thanks for stopping by.