Cody missed the ground. Instead of exploding into a thousand pieces, he found himself flying through the air horizontally through a different forest over a used path. He landed 30 feet away, bounced once or twice and skidded to a halt, kicking up dirt all around. His shirt got more torn and his back had got cut up on rocks that were laying on the path. Cody stayed down for long moments, trying to grasp what had just happened. His heart was racing and he couldn’t stop his hands from shaking. His ankle still pained him and desperately needed attention. He forced himself to sit upright. Ripping off what little was left of his shirt, he brought his foot closer to him. Blood was still flowing out. Cody gritted his teeth as he tied his shirt around to cover his wound. The tightening cloth made him cry out from the stinging pain.
Once the aching became bearable, he looked around the unfamiliar territory, unsure how he landed there. The cliff he fell off of was nowhere to be found. The sun had no dark, murky clouds to pass through before shining through the sky. Nearby trees gave shade to the pathway he landed on, but they didn’t help the overpowering humidity. Every breath was a challenge.
Did I die? No, I don’t think I did. I don’t think I’d still be in pain if I did. But what happened...where am I...?
Cody couldn’t stand, at least not without help. He glanced around and saw a few fallen limbs in the trees. He pulled himself across the dirt with his left hand and arm, pushing with his right foot. He imagined what he must’ve looked like, then tried to put that out of his mind. After minutes of this he managed to find a sturdy looking stick. It would be at least able to support his full weight while standing.
Not like I weigh much anymore Cody thought with an exhausted smile. He hadn’t had any sort of meal in days, and barely had found any water to drink. Sleep only came for an hour or two at a time over the last week because the predators after him were always close by. Cody wasn’t even sure he was safe here. He would probably leave a trail of blood behind him, since his ankle had already bled through his thin shirt.
He heard a laugh from far away, a high-pitched cackle. Not willing to be found, Cody ventured farther into the trees before finding a hidden spot under a small ridge to lie down in. He pinched his nose shut, covered his mouth, and closed his eyes, feeling little bugs starting to crawl over him. His heart picked up after having slowed down on the path. As he laid still, voices carried over to his ears. It was two girls, older than him, talking to each other about how some other people were never ready or how fun some party was going to be. Cody thought they’d just pass by when one of them cried out.
“Oh, gross! Is that blood?”
“Oh my god, something must have died.”
Yeah, just about, thought Cody.
“I bet it's those redneck hunters around here again. I bet they were shooting squirrels or something.”
“Aw, I hope whatever it is is okay.”
Not at all.
“I doubt it, those rednecks probably caught it when it moved out into the forest.”
“Well let’s keep going, I don’t wanna keep looking at this.”Their voices carried away and disappeared before Cody dared to move again. He forced himself to stand up again and wiped off all the ants that had crawled over him and in his hair. A few spots on his legs stung, probably from getting bitten. He got back onto the trail, looked both ways, and headed away from the direction those girls went. Cody would’ve asked them for help, but he learned not to trust anybody outside his family. One of his best friends turned on him, nearly getting Cody killed several times and put the colonel on his tracks. Since then he had been surviving on his own, always watching his back.
He limped onward through the thick heat, walking stick at his side. Cody’s mouth was already dry from thirst and he started to feel dizzy. Now without distraction, his entire body protested against him. The lack of sleep was catching up to him, making every foot forward a struggle. He was able to get half a mile before stopping to rest. He didn’t dare sit down, afraid he might never stand up again. With his right hand, Cody grasped the pendant that hung to his bare chest. Its light was still glowing a dim blue. He glanced downward to see that the bleeding had slowed, but there were red spots along the trail. His entire left leg was shaking slightly. He felt like all his energy had been drained out of him. Cody shifted his weight to take his next step, and fell face forward onto the ground. The humid air was still as he slowly closed his eyes.
[Part 2] [Part 4]
Oh no! Not after having survived that fall! Poor kid. Maybe someone will come along and help him out? I hope so!
So I hope you're enjoying the story so far - I really have no idea how good of a writer I am, where on the scale of terrible this is, or what. I was considering figuring out how to put things onto the Amazon Kindle store (for free, because I'm a nice guy). Given that all of three people ever read this, I don't really know if my stuff would even get downloaded, but I want to try, at least.
Basically, if you think this doesn't suck, share it. DO IT. Or not. I don't mind either way.