Looking back on it now, the hardest part was when I finally had to tear myself away from her empty, soulless eyes. Yes, the chase had been tiring, and my hands ached from pulling the rope tight around her neck, but I’d known all along it would go my way. She was a fighter, and she’d resisted with all of her strength, but I was stronger. When she went limp, I knelt down and smelled the warm saliva on her breath. She should’ve known better than to run, but I knew I’d definitely been clear about the consequences. I lowered my face even closer and asked a simple question that was too late for her to answer: why?
The woods were thick that night, and an overcast sky made it harder to see. Dry leaves crunched under my feet, and the tips of my fingers were numb from the bitter cold. I know the woods well but, in my desperation to find the other one, I tripped a couple of times over protruded tree roots, which made me concede that I wasn’t thinking clearly. Vapors of white mist hung in the air every time I exhaled. My eyesight continuously shifted back and forth as I began to wonder if I should just turn back and go the other way. Then, over the vibrant sound of my beating heart, I heard something; a slight whimper in the light wind. I quickened my steps, and that’s when I saw her in the distance, which caused me to stop.
My heartbeat skipped as I watched her maneuver around a fallen tree. Then she tripped. She didn’t know the woods like I do. When she stood up, she looked around sporadically, and I’m sure she was hoping that I hadn’t found her. But I had. That’s when the two of us caught sight of each other. Her eyes widened as mine narrowed. She screamed and took off running. I gave chase and caught up to her with minimal effort. I knocked her over and then wrapped the rope around her throat. I pulled with all of my strength until I heard the final spells of life leave her body. Once she was limp, I grabbed her feet and dragged her back home.