The Smell of Pine

The woods smelled of pine as I ran through them. The smell took me back to young days, exploring days, to sun-specked forest floor, soft with needles. But today smelled of pine and rain. My path was marked with gravel that hurt my feet, and strewn with small branches blown down by the storm.

Only moonlight lit the path, and that barely enough to save my neck. Every scrape on my hands and knees had been a close call. The storm that had given me the smell of pine had cut the power, killing the searchlights and the electric fence, and so now I ran.

Until that moment, I’d thought the baying of hounds to be an overblown turn of phrase, but when I heard them I thought my heart had stopped. It hadn’t; just my breath. I made myself breathe, breathe and run, before my body remembered just how weak I was.

Was I running in a straight line or in circles? Toward safety or danger? I had no idea. But I would run, despite the gravel, the scrapes, the gasping lungs. Better than waiting for the hounds at my heels.

At least I had the smell of pine.