Panting.

The tired pant of a man running for what seemed days. Days in the pouring rain that burned his tanned skin. Days in constant fear. Days knowing that this was the end of it all.

The man nimbly hopped over the trunk of a tree that had been cut down. Finally, out of breath, he slumped down and cried. He shuddered violently with each new inhale of a breath. Cried until he had no tears left, only the choppy, raspy, breath that accompanied it. And then he cried some more.
This man let out all of his emotions, thinking of what he had left behind. He was leaving his wife and two kids, all because of this god forsaken dig. A big find they said. The man remembered his wifes warm touch in the cold, burning rain. He remembered the laughter of his two children as they ran to him in joy.

Then, laughter. A hysterical laugh of a man beaten by fate and destiny. He laughed like a madman until he had no air left in his lungs. He bent his head back and let the rain burn his flesh. He began to doze. Slowly closing his eyes as he drifted in and out of reality.

Sleep. It was a concept that had eluded him for days. He spent nights thinking of the new disovery. The strange occurrences. He spent nights trying to figure out the connection. He couldn’t. This failure is what drove him mad. Then this happens? Hell on Earth, he thought. He almost liked the idea. Sleep would mean death, but it would also mean relief. Relief from the anguish that he has experienced these past days. Relief from the stress. That idea pleased him. The man began to fall asleep.

Static

The man looked lazily at the radio attached to his hip. His matted brown hair slightly covered his dark eyes. Blood covered his palms and marked his face. His left leg had a deep gash that soaked his camo pants with thick, red liquid. Part of his right ear lobe was missing, he had forgotten how. There was a bite on his shoulder, oozing dark blood. It didn’t matter. He didn’t feel it anyway. The static continued. The man unclipped the radio from his belt and clicked the “Talk” button.

“Private Wilkens. Private James Wilkens. Can you read me?” the radio crackled. It was the voice of his Seargent. Wilkens laughed.

“I read you loud and clear, Sarge.” Wilkens replied.

“Private, get your ass back here! We need you with us goddamnit!” Sarge yelled, almost pleadingly.
Wilkens laughed. He had never heard anything so funny in his life! He laughed in hysterics. To think that somebody needed him! Hysteria consumed him. He knew he would never leave here. So he did what he thought was best. He cursed the heavens for this tragedy that has befallen him. He cursed and cried. His cries mixed with his insane laughter.

“I tried.” He told himself over and over again. The two words seemed to comfort him in his time of need. The words that will comfort him in only the way a mother can comfort her baby. Wilkens said it over and over again to know one but himself. He was lost in his own realm now. He felt no pain from his various injuries, or from the acidic rain that pelted him. Wilkens laughed and cried. He went through all the emotions he knew. He laughed at himself and everyone around him for being so blind as to not seeing this coming. He cried for the perfect life that he was leaving behind. He grew angry at the world and God for letting this happen to him. Then the pain. The pain of all of his injuries that he had somehow sustained. It crept back. First starting as a slight tingle, then to an itch, and then the needle like jolts of agony. Wilkins didn’t care though. He almost enjoyed it. He knew that every second he lost more blood, it was a second closer to death. To sweet release. So he resumed his cursing, crying and laughing. Recollecting his life, or what he remembered of it at least. The good times seemed to have been stripped from his memory. Only the sad and the evil did he remember, taking him into an even deeper state of depression. Little did he know that his insanity attracted something. There was a snarl from the bent creature behind him. Wilkens turned around at a lightning speed. He only got a glance of the creature behind him, before…

Darkness.

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