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[at-l] *Fiction, Part 3*

I was glad to see the light of day. Even though it was a rain-drenched 
foggy day, it was better than the lonely darkness I had been in. Today I 
would have something to think about as I hiked. Something to take my mind 
off the hotspots at the backs of my feet. Something to mull over so I 
wouldn't be thinking of a warm bed and real food. Yes, today I would be 
able to solve another man's problems. 

As I hiked across the viewless opening that is Rhododendron Gap, 
something very strange happened. A man, I presumed, galloped by on 
horseback. I could only barely make out the dark figure moving through 
the soupy air. The incredible rate of speed he was travelling is what was 
so odd. I'm certain he couldn't see me, but I slipped behind a boulder to 
be sure. As I listened to his steed carry him farther away, chills ran 
down my spine.

A blood-curdling scream came from behind me. I lurched forward in a 
start. I turned around to see if I could figure out the source of the 
scream, unsure if I really wanted to know. As I stumbled from behind my 
boulder hiding place, I could hear another horse approaching from the 
direction of the scream. As I was already heading that direction, I 
decided to fall into a thicket and take cover.

As my face met the Earth, I could feel a gash opening on my cheek. The 
weight of my pack was pinning my arms beneath me and I could see my blood 
on the rocks below my face. The sound of the approaching horse quickly 
made the throbbing pain seem ancient. I scrambled to situate myself in a 
better viewing position. Adrenaline was streaming through my veins and my 
heart raced like never before.

I crouched down and tried to focus on where I thought the horse would 
pass. In a blink the sound was by me. It was so loud, it couldn't have 
been more than 20 feet away. The ground rumbled with its power. The air 
deadened with its presence. I never saw it.

 And then, as quickly as the horse had passed, something clamped on to my 
shoulder strap and lifted me into the air.

It ain't much, but try http://members.tripod.com/~Felixhikes/index.html

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