“THE CHASE”

She’d been running for about ten minutes now, though she had no idea what it was she was running from, it had been chasing her. Whatever it was, it was after her she was certain. She had to rest, flinging herself by a nearby tree, she panted heavily. she always hunted here, she had never been chased. She did the chasing instead, or maybe it was the spirit of the dead animals. “okay, i’m getting delusional”. Her body was crying for help,weak and tired, yet her senses were alert. Alert enough to have heard, the rustle in the bushes, it was coming, it was coming for her.

She was running again, she could hear its footsteps now.Why had she rested? She was confident…maybe too confident. She had always won the trophy,of the fastest runner in the village,her tiny legs had never failed her,she would even beat the Men. But whatever was chasing her,was way faster. She wanted to dare, she had to dare to look back at the monster that wanted her. It wasn’t a “what”? it was a “who”? It was a man, and she was doomed.

The women of Arisa village were known to be virgins… thus the title “the virgins of Arisa“. The old women talked about “the bush men” and how they once raided the village,the women were deflowered…all of them. She had always thought they were fictions and stories to prevent women from hunting. As a child, she was stubborn, and when she was eight all she wanted was to hunt and that was it. But now she was grown, almost a woman.

Her grandmother always said they were never seen again after the king, her father sent the warriors to slaughter them all.It was a vicious and horrible sight. But the victory was theirs. He was now only a step behind her,he would grab her anytime from now. She turned to him, he halted, panting with desperation he reaches out to grab her. She stabs his hand with her hunting spare,she stabbed him. He groaned in pain,forcing the spear out of his hand. She was gone, but he would find her. At all cost,he must find her,ten years in exile was enough. He had been watching her for ten years. She was now fully grown,and he wouldn’t give up now. He was gaining up on her again, this time in desperation and in anger. There was no running anymore,she was getting weak, and he seemed to be getting stronger…one, two steps…he almost grabbed her,she ducked..She kept running,gathering strength from both her dignity and the shame she would face…

Night was falling and she could hide. But until when, he would find her.She had never been to this part of the forest,she was lost, she was cold and she was afraid.

She kept whispering the name,the name the reverend said whenever he started a prayer and whenever he ended a prayer. He could save her…It was said that he was the savior, and most part of her believed. He could rescue her, she kept whispering the name, Jesus…She heard a loud groan, it was him,he was near and she could hear her heart thumping through the dead silence in the forest. It wasn’t so silent anymore.He was close, then she heard the chattering of a spear, someone had just been killed…”Beluisa”…that was her name, “Beluisa”, she heard her name again…

It was her father….

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