All in a Heart Beat
Stacy looked at her sports watch. Her heart rate was steady. She wanted to beat her best time. She turned onto a new trail. It would extend her run, but she felt good about pushing her limits today.
The sun was setting, and the wind was cool. The rustling of leaves was calming; they helped her focus on her breathing.
Suddenly, the ground gave out beneath her.
The air was knocked out of her lungs as she smashed into the walls of a pit. She instinctively spread her limbs out to slow her descent. The soil was loose. There was nothing to hold on to. Thirty feet later, she crashed into the ground.
The pit opened up into a tunnel that stretched into the darkness. She heard breathing. It was not her own.
A large beast stalked slowly towards her. It was the size of a large wolf, but with the maw and arms of a bear and a long, lashing tail, like that of a rat.
The beast lunged and took her by the neck. There was no more breathing after that.
Stacy wasn’t going to be beating her best time this evening.