The Beast – Short Story

It’s gaining on me, and fast. From behind, I hear the click of my predator get closer and closer.

In a flustered frenzy, trying to get away as fast as possible, I stumble around names. They’re letters discarded from the threat of the ever creeping monster.

I swipe a look at my friend – sweating, just like me, staring ahead, trying to go as fast as possible.

We’re fuelled mostly by coffee at this stage, and the remnants of the bitter bean lingers on my tongue.

This isn’t my first encounter with the beast, and it certainly won’t be my last, as it tries to get its grubby claws sunk into me day after day.

My hands wipe away sweat, as I try and power on, knowing escape is a fleeting opportunity, and provides momentary rest.

“I don’t think I can do it anymore,” I say to my friends.

One has earphones in, a way to distract from the beast, and listens to music, rather than its toxic clicks.

The other friend shakes her head. “We’ve got to go on. There’s no choice.”

I feel a sob rising in my throat, and my friend reaches a hand out to me. For a second, everything slows. We glance at each other, sharing a look of understanding.

*’We can get through this,’* I think, and give her a nod.

After returning it, we break from the distraction and return to the task of evasion.

My fingers glide, feeling the motivation replace caffeine as my main fuel.

I glanced at the clock in the corner of my laptop. It was quarter to five, and I had fifteen minutes to finish this assignment and leave the library. My fingers were a flurry, as they tapped the keys, and banged out the final paragraph.

The beast continued to creep, as I saved the document and raced to upload it in time.

While I could hear time clicking away, waiting for a false move, the document uploaded, and I had finally escaped unharmed yet again.

I would live to see another day.

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