Running Blind

This is part twenty of my novel in progress, The Last Grain of Sand. <– Click on the title to read the previous chapters.

Part twenty: Running Blind

The sun was barely peeking over the palms at the other end of the semi-circle of beach. Two men and two women—stood beside the small boat that had spirited them from the compounds. One, the commander of the women’s compound where Anna and Katrina had been prisoners glanced around nervously then at the other woman, the guard named Sharon.

“We need to keep moving,” he whispered.

“Just give them a minute, Leonard. This has to look good to them.” Sharon said. She spoke quietly and calmly, glancing toward the couple a few hundred feet away embracing each other.

Roy, the guard from the men’s compound who’d helped John escape walked briskly toward the group and whispered something to Sharon. Sharon smiled at him.

Leonard, still whispering, but louder and with a lilt of anger in his words said, “What did he say?”

Sharon leaned toward him and said, “John bought the story. He’s convinced.”

Anna’s arms were around John’s neck and she was staring up into his face as the morning sun sparkled in his eyes. Smiling, she said, “I don’t trust them.”

John kissed her, and as his lips left hers, he said, “I don’t either. Something doesn’t feel right about all this.”

“What do we do? I don’t understand any of this.” Anna said, speaking in a soft voice, even though the waves sliding gently to shore were sufficient to cover their conversation.

“Neither do I,” John said. We’ll just have to play it by ear and see what happens.” John said, lowering his head to kiss Anna again. As their lips met, the sun seemed to go behind a cloud—a very dark cloud. They both turned their heads to the east as the ground undulated softly beneath their feet, and a rumble came from the dense forest behind them; a sound like thunder, but bearing the semblance of an angry, animalistic growl.

The moon shone brightly in the low western sky, and as if on a switch, went dark. Complete and utter blackness enveloped the beach and the ground beneath them shuttered. Anna dropped her hands to John’s forearms and stifled a scream, as the black sky suddenly seemed to break in half and scream in pain; the lightning and angry sounding thunder so close together as to seem like one.

John took Anna’s hand in his and turning, walked toward the forest. The group by the boat was murmuring—one of them women was crying—when another flash of lightning split the night and the wounded sky roared once more.

As they moved into the dense forest, John felt his way from tree to tree. A final—almost feeble—flutter of lightning, followed by a low rumbling of thunder cast a dim glow on the darkened world, and behind him he heard the commander shout, “They’re gone!”

One of the women cursed then Roy yelled, “John! Stop! We won’t harm you!”

John kept a death grip on Anna’s hand as they literally ran blindly into the jungle. He had no idea where they were, or where they were headed, but he knew one thing for certain; he trusted no one; no one, but the woman whose hand was in his.

Copyright © 2012  C. Mashburn

This segment is being shared with Bluebell Books on their Short Story Slam, Week 21.

Image Credit:


  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    What’s happening!!!!!

  2. zongrik said

    nice post

  3. Dawn said

    WOW… nice story behind that picture 🙂 kind of scarry too 🙂
    Well twist in the story…

    • Glad you enjoyed it. There is much more to the story, if you have time to read it!

  4. elizena said

    Darn, darn, darn, darn, darn!!! You did it again Charles! (whining into her pillow!) What’s happening!? Now I knew none of those people could be trusted, but now I really want to know what’s up with them! What were they trying to accomplish with their deceit? Who put them up to it? I want to know!!!!
    Okay, now as for John and Anna, “Run guys, run and don’t look back until you’re safe!!!!!” I’m seriously screaming this and my brother just turned the television’s volume up full blast. I guess that’s my cue to stop screaming. LOL!!
    Oh yeah, I’ve been feeling really run down and poopy since I got this dumb infection, but boy you really got my heart racing with this chapter. So, are you done with the next one? Just kidding! NOT! Looking forward to the next one. Be blessed.

    • It’s been so long since I wrote this last one, I’ll have to go back and read it again to find my place. As I said in my reply to your comment on the chapter before this one, that is not a good thing. I have to be passionate about a story if it’s going to be any good, and my passion for this one is waning. Again, we will see.
      And, again, thank you so much for your support and encouragement!

  5. Usha Dawn said

    Came back to read the rest 🙂 and wow!!! I really enjoyed it specially cause I got time to read it patiently 🙂 Keep it up

    • Thank you very much, Dawn. I’m sorry to say, I’ve all but abandoned the story due to a severe lack of interest from my readers. Maybe I’ll pick it back up one of these days.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

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