This is probably in my Fae Apoc setting; its landing page is here.
She hissed it in his ear, and the man had no choice but to run.
She called it after him, and so, of course, he fled. She’d given him pants, at least, a shirt, and shoes, although all were too thin for this forest, for the trees that lashed at him and the rocks that caught his feet.
“Escape!” It echoed through the woods, an order; it echoed through the man’s body and self, an imperative. It echoed in her dogs’ barks, a taunt. It echoed in the pounding of his feet, a song.
His feet hit the ground, hit the ground again. He could run quickly; when there had been tracks, when he had had a name, he had been a track runner, a good one, a prize-winning one. Now, he was nothing but the running, and so he did it with every ounce of his being.
Behind him, the hounds were baying. Behind him, the chase was beginning. A little bit of a head start, of course; it wasn’t sporting otherwise. And then they would come after him. They would chase him, unless he could flee.
Somewhere, deep inside him, the man knew what happened to the runners. He knew he wasn’t the first; he knew that most of them never came back, and those that did never came back more than once. This was his third run. He had to escape. He had to find a way out of here.
Run. Flee. Escape.
The man’s feet caught on a vine and he stumbled, but there was no pause, no option but to keep running.
A branch hit him in the face; a thorny vine ripped at his shirt. His lungs burned. He kept running.
Sun shone through the forest ahead, sunlight; he had not seen sunlight in his memory. Sunlight meant freedom. He kept running.
Run, flee, escape.
The woman followed, the hounds followed. The man kept running.
Feet bled, and kept pounding.
Feet shuffled in a run that was mostly stumble.
The man tripped on a root and fell, hanging at the edge of a precipice.
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