I gasp my hands on my knees, bent over, out of breath. I can feel my lungs compressing and pushing hard against my chest in an effort to fit just a little more air. My palms are wet, beads of sweat trickle down my forehead, making my hair feel wet and sticky. My shirt is drenched in sweat. I stare at the ground and see the stalks of grass, standing tall like trees to the tiny ants that scurry among them. What I must look like to those minuscule creatures, like a giant, so big that I block the blazing sun and give them shade. I wonder if they are afraid of me?
I lift my eyes and glance ahead. I’m almost there, only a couple more meters. I hear footsteps behind me, they’re catching up quickly. It’s now or never. I push off with my back foot and go into a sprint. My heart speeds up, almost as fast as I’m running and I can hear its pounding in my head, like a prisoner beating on locked doors, wanting to be free. If it had feet of it’s own it might run alongside me and race me to the fort, but that’s silly, hearts don’t have feet. I swing my arms back and forth to help me run faster and I try to take longer strides. I’m running so fast now, I feel like everything around me is standing still, as if I’m the only thing in the world that is moving. I don’t want to stop running, I want to keep going, faster and faster, forever. Now I understand why my heart pounds so hard, why it tries to push out of my chest and run on its little feet and never stop, never look back. But I cannot keep on running forever, I have to stop. My legs finally give in and I plop onto the stiff ground. The dust sticks to my sweaty clothes and turns into mud. I take big, loud breaths but I cannot hear myself because my heart is sti...
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...in a scientific experiment. Everything is set to provide you with the perfect living conditions, the right amount of food, water, the right temperature, etc. And while you’re in that perfect, controlled environment you feel safe, you feel happy and yet, somewhere lingering in the depths of your mind is the gnawing sensation that at any given moment someone will unscrew the lid on your jar and let in the wrong air, that you will be forced to wake up from your perfect world and dragged, kicking and screaming into the world that everyone else lives in.
That is my fear. That I will wake up one day and not be able to return to the world in my dreams but that I will have to learn to survive in the real world. Much like the adventuresome Alice, my wish is to live somewhere between the non fiction and fantasy of daily life, to allow the lines to be blurry. But how blurry?
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