Lilly pressed her back against the cold, dirty wall of the abandoned building, sweat breaking profusely on her forehead as she remained hidden behind the door.
She covered her mouth tightly, trying not to make any sudden movements or even the slightest sound as the wood creaked beneath the approaching predator’s feet. Moments passed and her heart pounded when a shadow slit through the filthy floor of the room she was in.
Lilly held her breath in fear, praying to all the Gods above for the figure to turn away and leave, partly wishing she could just sink in to the other side of the wall. Much to her relief, the shadow slowly retreated, disappearing from sight.
A little while later, Lilly slowly got out from hiding while her eyes wildly searched around the area for any possible threats. Clear. Lilly swallowed hard before gathering the little energy that she had left and dashed out of the room, heading towards the exit of the building.
Only a few feet away from the opening, she felt something hit the back of her head and wet substance began to soak her shirt. Lilly felt her heart in her throat. She stopped and looked over her shoulder in complete dismay. The tall, lean being was already giving her a mocking smile.
“You lose!!!!” he yelled.
Lilly rolled her eyes in annoyance and wiped away the red paint that was dripping down the crook of her neck with the back of her hand.
“Out of all places you could have aimed, you chose my head, Alex. Now my hair is covered in paint,” Lilly grunted.
Alex giggled. He had to admit that it took everything he had to catch Lilly. She was getting better and better at escaping each time they played this game.
Now, he succeeded. Lilly is not squeaky clean anymore with paint all over, just like the rest of her friends.
“Stop complaining, let’s go home.” Alex chuckled.
“First one to reach wins!” Lilly shrieked in excitement and ran out of the door.
“Cheater!!! You got a head start! Come back here and let’s start again!” Alex yelled, frantically trying to catch up with his friend.
A few days later, in the same building, the walls told a different story. A little girl was struggling to stop herself from panting and making any noise that would give her away. She pressed her palms against her mouth and nose as the predator searched for her – only this time, it was not a game of paintball.
Cover image by Collin Armstrong on Unsplash
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