I decided to go ahead and actually try to write something for you all so you have something of mine that's actually recent to critique. I started it yesterday, so I can't really say my daily word count is decent yet. But this summer is all about improvement, so let's get it on!
The idea started out as just a guy running through a forest, but then I decided to make it a decaying forest and I abruptly had descriptions that made me reel away in joy (it was a complicated feeling). I hope you enjoy, and please let me know what you think!
688 words. (Gotta improve that word count!)
Gripping his side in pain, Earl continued to run through the dying woods. He passed trees with colorful infections and plants slowly ripping themselves apart beneath his feet. He jumped over a fallen log that smelled of rotting bile and sugar, wove between the liquefying corpses of dead fawn, and skirted the edge of a shallow pond that was turning a putrid black and red. He sought relief from the torment around him by turning his eyes upward, only to find that the bright blue sky, barely hidden by trees shedding poisoned leaves, was mocking him with its normalcy. He felt the urge to scream, but he didn’t for two reasons; if he opened his mouth he would add tasting the foul air to his list of sufferings, and he was rapidly running out of strength to keep running. It took all he had to keep going.
The side stich was stabbing hard enough now that it reached the top of Earl’s awareness; it was now literally the worst part of his flight. For a brief moment, he reveled in the fact that the worst part of running through this Damned forest was that “his side hurt a lot.” It almost gave him hope to think that he could escape if he only kept his eyes on the pain. But of course, as soon as that distracted him, Earl misstepped and plunged headfirst into a decaying hole in the ground. Slamming his head against the side of the cavity was only the second worst part of his ordeal; some of toxic vegetation had seeped into his mouth, much to his alarm.
Violently spitting it out, Earl laid at the bottom of the pit trying to reorient his throbbing, spinning head. Involuntarily, he retched, sending naught but a small amount of gastric acid out from his empty stomach. He angrily noted that the foliage had burned his mouth more than the spew had, and for a brief moment he wondered if he’d ever taste again. When all of that was finally sorted out, he rested in the tight hole awkwardly, with all his limbs bent above him so that he could barely move.
After some twisting and shifting, Earl finally gained control and was able to stand within his tight confines. As he did, he noticed the flat edge of a buried rock jutting out and was suddenly relieved that he hadn’t slammed into that wrong. He was about to step closer to examine it when a dark shadow passed above.
Earl ducked, silently cussing to himself, and waited for a full minute before standing again. He realized that he had now escaped his pursuer due to luck so poor that it looped back around to respectable once more. Grimacing, Earl kicked the side of the hole. The dirt shifted, reminding him of why he had entered the forest in the first place.
Looking back up again, Earl considered the risk. He was well hidden and had already evaded his hunter, but for how long? He had no choice though; now is the time, he thought as he fished into the pouches at his waist for the Seed. He thankfully found it right where he had left it, in the rightmost bag. Pulling it out, Earl considered its robust heft and size; it was more pebble-like than seed, but it wasn’t meant to grow a plant so much as it was to absorb the Damnation flowing through the Earth around him.
Another rustle overhead gave him pause, but he decided it wasn’t a threat. Earl bent down and dug a small indent in the dirt for the Seed. He held the Seed close to his mouth and whispered the blessings it needed to trigger it. The small pebble began to glow like a candle as its transporter placed it in its new home. Before Earl could cover it, however, a large, bladed tentacle shot down and impaled him through the chest. Blood began oozing down in the moment before the appendage retracted with its prey. The Seed, unabated, began digging for itself, falling as if it were in midair.