Run of the witch

The girl ran, her life depended on it. She could hear the hoofbeats behind her getting closer and closer. Her heart pounded in time with the hooves behind her.
They were gaining on her fast, and she couldn’t keep this up for much longer. Her chest was starting to hurt and she was sucking in air so hard it choked her.
She decided the only option was to try and find somewhere in these Dea-forsaken woods where they couldn’t follow her on horseback. The main problem with that though, was the surprising lack of underbrush. She scanned around, toying with the idea of climbing one of the enormous trees but dismissing the thought almost as soon as it came. They’d just wait her out, or cut it down.
She glanced at the thick canopy overhead, cursing it for not letting enough light reach the forest floor to create some underbrush for her, and she didn’t stop running.
Through the steady pounding of hoofbeats and heartbeats in her ears she heard something else – a steady rush of water. Hope leapt up into her throat and she headed towards the sound.
“The witch is headed to the fall, try to cut her off!”

Two of the three men chasing her broke ranks and split in different directions, with the one who shouted still bearing down on her.
I am no witch! the girl thought fiercely, but she didn’t have the extra air to rebuke the man. She was only concerned with survival. Besides, they hadn’t listened to her before, and that was how they had gotten here.
She nearly ran directly into the horse of one of the men who’d split ranks, but at the last second she twisted her feet and slid right underneath the belly of the beast, picking back up her run on the other side.
The water was getting louder now, and her hope was constricting, twisting anxiously inside her.
She finally reached the falls and prepared to make the jump; when as much to her own surprise as anyone else’s, she popped right out of existence.
The horsemen were left to wonder if they’d really just seen her disappear, or if they’d just missed her jump over the craggy falls.

 

On a green grassy knoll, somewhere very far away, the same girl popped back into existence with a muffled thump as she hit the ground.
She got to her feet, wincing at the pain of the fall, still out of breath from running, and looked around herself in bewilderment.
“Huh. I guess they were right.”

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