Please feel free to critique or offer constructive feedback
Untitled, chapter 1, first draft
It was a peaceful midday, and a little family of deer were grazing quietly, as rabbits ran by and birds were singing. The doe led her little family further into the woods, and ducked her head down to get a particularly savoury-looking mouthful of grass. Suddenly, she noticed the birds were fleeing the trees, and she lifted her head, adjusting her ears in the direction of an approaching sound.
Branches were breaking and a thudding noise got nearer fast. The doe and her kids quickly gallopped into the woods, far away from the emerging noise.
Just as they had ducked out of sight, a young woman emerged from the bushes. She had not noticed the deer, in fact, she barely noticed where she was. All she knew was she had to keep on running.
And boy, did she run. Branches were grazing her face and arms, leaving tares in the process, but she did not notice. She stumbled over a root, but quickly regained her running stance, her white dress now stained with both blood and mud, and her knees badly scraped.
She ran through the forest as fast as she could, constantly listening for the swirring sound of surveillance drones. She had spotted one earlier, but managed to duck under a particularly leafy tree before the drone passed over her head. She knew if she was spotted now, there was no escaping.
Her escape itself had been a mere fluke; had she not used her sleepwalking mother’s handprint to unlock the main door, she never would have made it out.
She could almost picture her father’s face when he came to wake her and realised she was gone. She did not, however, want to imagine his rage, and the tremendous amount of effort he undoubtedly put into finding her again, nor did she want to imagine what her punishment would be if they got their hands on her.
More intense ”treatments”? No school? Would they completely abandon her after she was married to the wealthy, nasty businessman they had promised her to?
She stopped for a moment to catch her breath and shuddered at the thoughts she was having.
As she put her hands on her knees to breathe better, the full realisation of what she had just done hit her, and she could not hold back the flow of her midnight snack coming back up.
She wiped her face with her sleeve, and had some water from a nearby pond before she turned her head quickly to look around, and continued her run.
She ran until it got dark, and she thanked the Gods that she had run track all those years in school.
She only stopped because an overwhelming sense of fatigue and hunger took over. The sun was still setting, and she could see the immediate area around her.
She had run to a larger pond, surrounded by fruit trees. The fruits were large and orange, and resembled mangoes. Too tempted to think about it, she picked one off the nearby tree and wolfed it down, quickly followed by another. The fruits were juicy and sweet-tasting, with a slight bitterness to them, and she ate them with great joy
This, however, turned out to be a big mistake.
Minutes after eating the fruits, she felt a prickling sensation in her mouth and throat. She ran to the pond and tried to rinse it out, drinking huge gulps of water in the process, but to no avail. Her head felt lighter, and she could have sworn she saw the shadows move. Suddenly, the pond started sparkling and the trees were whispering to her to return to her home, and she made the grim realisation that these were no ordinary fruits.
The feeling in her head, no, her entire body, reminded her too much of the ”treatments” her parents and the doctor had given her, and she stuck her fingers in her throat to try and throw up the fruit before more damage could be done. But it was to no avail.
She got an urge to run again, and tried, but her legs would not cooperate and she fell face first into the ground. She smelled the ground, and thought it smelled wonderful. She tried to get up, but the dirt was just so soft, and the trees were singing her what resembled Nana Marta’s lullabies.
She slowly drifted off while having a conversation with a friendly-looking nearby branch, and had no idea of the imminent danger she was facing.