Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Runner

Maybe I should call this fanfic wednesdays? Nah. This is yet another short story based on a popular science fiction series. This one is based on Stargate: Atlantis. If you've seen the show, you'll love this. If you haven't seen the show, then first, why not? And second, you still might like this. Comments welcome.

It is often said that the worst thing you can do, when running for your life through unknown woods, is to look back. The man knew this, but fear can often make people do stupid things. He glanced back, and promptly tripped over a tree root. He stood up and continued running, not even bothering to wipe the mud from his face. He had no idea why he had been set free; all he knew was that he had to get to the ring. If he could reach it, then he could escape. He had nowhere to go, not anymore, but anywhere was better than here.
They had come. It had happened before, although not in living memory. The stories he had heard as a child were terrifying, but not as bad as the reality of it. The ring had activated, and their machines had come darting out. At first they appeared to have no interest in the town, but then they returned. They had taken everybody. He had been hiding in his basement, trying to keep his children safe, when he was taken. The creatures had slaughtered his family in front of him, and he had been powerless to protect them. But when it came to be his turn, they had set him free. He had no idea as to why, but he wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity. He had begun running as fast as he could.
The woods were dark, and it had recently rained. His feet slipped and slided in the mud, but the adrenaline kept him moving. He climbed over the hill, and turned left at the old oak tree. Just a few more minutes, and he would be at the ring. He reached the edge of the woods, and he set his eyes upon the ring. Standing well over ten feet tall, it was completely deserted. He scrambled down the hill, and ran to the dialling device. He began slamming buttons, and the ring begun moving. He was just about to press the final button, when a hand grabbed his wrist. Stunned, the man slowly looked up into the face of his oppressor. It was just like in the stories. The white hair reaching the floor. The black spiked clothes. The slits on its cheeks and the needle-like teeth. But worst of all was its rattling breath. It studied him closely and seemed to make up its mind.
“You humans are all so predictable.” It said in that ghastly rattle of a voice “Running to the gate the moment you get a chance. Where’s the fun in that? I was so looking forward to this hunt.” The Wraith let go of the mans wrist, and fear propelled him away. He really did have nowhere to go now. If the ring was compromised, then there was no escape. He ran into the woods, hoping to last long enough to come up with a plan. He ran for what seemed like hours, never looking back once, lest the Wraith be there behind him.
The shack loomed up out of the forest like a wooden fortress. He opened the door, and bolted it from the inside. Searching the small room, he found one of the weapons the Lanteans had left his people. He sat against the far wall, facing the door. He had a weapon, and there was only one entrance. His family would be avenged, even if he died in the process. He sat there for what seemed like hours, but was probably only a few minutes. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest, almost as if it wanted to give away his position. He wiped the mud from his brow, where it had been mingling with sweat.
He was just drifting off to sleep, when he heard a noise. He aimed the Lantean weapon towards the door. The loudest thing he could hear was his own breathing, closely followed by the constant drumbeat that was his heart. He calmed himself down. Maybe it was just a small woodland creature he had heard. He rested the weapon again, and leaned back against the wall. But as he did so, he heard the rattling breath of the Wraith. His heart jumped into his throat, and he strained to hear where it was coming from. Was it from the other side of the door? Was it to his left, or his right? He didn’t realise in time. Hands smashed through the ancient wood behind him and clamped themselves around his mouth. The wood splintered as he was dragged through it. He flailed with his weapon, but he could feel his life being drained from him. The last thing he saw was the face of the vile creature. It inhaled air and spoke one final sentence “Such foolish creatures. Why struggle when you know all is lost? Just sleep; and maybe you could see your family again.”
The man faded out of consciousness, his mind filled with memories of his family playing in the sunshine. He would be with them soon.

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