• June 16, 2024

The Last Run – A Inspirational Short Story by Aryana Moonsong – Reedsy Prompts

This was it. No more. She just couldn’t do it anymore. She had been doing it for so long that she didn’t even remember why she had started running in the first place. Her body could easily go on forever but her heart, her mind and her soul were tired, so very tired. But day after day, her feet kept on the same path, running away from her responsibilities, her life. She didn’t know how else to live anymore. Running had become all she did, all she knew, but she wanted to change, she needed to change. She felt like she would die if she kept going like this.

But to stop meant…the end.

But to stop meant…death.

But was that really so bad? Death was the end but it could also be a new beginning for her. She would be free, be able to make her own choices, be able to live!

The chains that shackled her to this place would be no more. All she had to do was stop running and she could break them. Or so she hoped that was how it would work. That was what he had said.

“When you have nowhere left to run, I will be there, waiting for you. And you will find that you have run everywhere you can, someday you will realize that you can’t run anymore. And when that day comes, then you will find me, waiting.”

Every night in her dreams, he stood there on the other side, holding out his hand, his dark eyes beckoning her to take it and come with him. But each night, she would run away from him, again and again. And he just stood there watching her, patiently waiting for the day when she realized that she could run no more.

And today….

Today was that day.

It had finally come and she knew it. There was no place that was safe from him any more. Her time had come, that day that he spoke of every night, was finally here. And she was scared. She was nervous. She was weary. In truth, she was just tired, so very tired, of running away from him.

Tonight, the dream would be different, she knew this deep in her soul. Tonight, the dream would have a different ending, for she would make it so. He had won and she had lost. His words were prophetic. His patience was better than her resolve. She could no longer run, she could no longer hold on.

Her time had come…

It was time for her to go…

And so she closed her eyes for one last time, and as she had each night of her life, she opened them to see him, waiting for her. He was in the same place, across the chasm, holding out his hand to her, speaking to her, though his mouth never moved.

“Come to me. Take my hand. You know that the time has come. You are mine now, my dear. You have nowhere left to run, nowhere left to hide. And you have realized this in your heart and soul. Join me and you will be free of the shackles that have bound you all your life.” 

Tears ran down her cheeks as she looked back behind her. Though she knew this day would come, she didn’t want it to, no matter how tired she felt. She wanted to break the chains but at the same time, she didn’t. Though she didn’t remember why, she knew that they bound her to something special.

She turned back to look at him and suddenly she saw him…

And he was smiling at her.

His eyes were sparkling with unshed tears as he nodded to her once more and held out his hand to her again, beckoning her to just lean out and take it.

“Trust me, my dear. I will catch you. You are mine. I won’t hurt you or let anyone else hurt you ever again. All your pain and suffering will be at an end. Please, come to me, join me.” 

She closed her eyes and stepped to the edge of the chasm, taking a deep breath, her body shuddering as she reached out to take his hand. But the chains held her back!

She opened her eyes to see that her fingers were mere inches away from his as she strained to touch him as he begged her with his eyes to try harder. She could no longer run. Her time had come. It was time for her to stop running, she just couldn’t do it any more. She was so tired and she wanted to be free, finally free.

With a final look back over her shoulder, she saw the chains straining to keep her there, saw shadowy figures on the horizon that called to her just as he did. But their voices were muffled, she couldn’t make out a word they said to her. But she knew they wanted her to stay, to not go with him.

But she had to.

She had no choice.

She could no longer run.

And so with one last ounce of strength, she stretched out just a little further, her fingers brushing his hand…

And she felt herself falling, down into the deep abyss below and she screamed…

But no sound came when she did.

And suddenly, she was no longer falling. She looked up and saw his smiling face, tears streaming down his cheeks as his hand grasped her own, and slowly he began to pull her up, closer to him

She had made it.

He pulled her up and immediately pulled her into a hug and she realized that it felt…right.

“Welcome home, my dear.” 

Those four simple words, so full of love and acceptance, filled her heart with joy. She no longer felt the pain, the suffering. She no longer felt the need to run. She was where she belonged.

She was finally home.

And so, those standing around her bedside, cried that day, for they had lost one that they loved so dearly, one that they would miss so much. But in those last few moments of life, they knew she was no longer in pain, she was no longer suffering.

The smile on her face said it all.

She was no longer running…

For Death had taken her home.

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