They were following him for forty eight hours and never seemed to stop…
The sky looked gloomy and dim as if it was late-afternoon and obviously it was going to rain. The wind blew past him in all directions like it had forgotten which way to go, it was the same as his mind right now.
He forced his exhausted body to wade through a big pile of mud in front of him. Seconds later, he made it. He turned and looked all the way back to where he had just passed. Those long, wild and woolly paths made him feel he was nearly getting there, though his stout muscles were all shaking, trembling in weariness.
“Did I make a wrong decision running away like this? Is it because that I really want to get out of that ruthless prison or because I only want to beat those guys?” he questioned himself.
“I totally made a wrong decision.” he thought.
This ridiculous thing started few days ago.
“Three years, five months and another fifteen days…” muttered Nicole, “I’m sick of staying in this place!” she raised up her voice so everyone around could hear.
“You even count months and days, Nicole? Really want to get out of here?” asked Phil.
“Use your brain to think how many people ever break this prison…none! You’re not going to make it anyway,” added Dave, laughing.
“…..But if you think about it carefully, there are chances. This dungeon has at least three blind spots. If I really want to escape, then I believe I can, it’s not a big deal,” said Pan in his usual voice tone.
“Then, prove it.”
No one had ever broken out of this jail, some tried but failed and the penalties they would face were grievous. Though they could escape from those bullets from the warders, they would eventually die by catching diseases or starving in the middle of the wilds. But still, freedom was one thing they desired. Every single person had it at birth, but some just mislaid it. That was when it suddenly became the most wanted treasure.
But for Pan, freedom wasn’t a thing he wished for right now, it was dignity which meant more for him. He had a gamble on this and of course, money is what it mattered, but again, it wasn’t the reason making him want to do this. It was that he wanted to prove a person like him knew how to use his brain more than strength.
He felt his heart was beating faster and faster. His legs could fail him at anytime. His arms scratched with the branches along the way through the thick bushes and they bled. Still, he didn’t stop. The jailers were following him faster than he expected. There was no way he could have any rests until he found himself away from them at a safe distance.
Hours later, he was trotting straight on the ragged, bumpy way, trying to gasp for breath at the same time. In front of him, stood a small river covered with a heap of dead leaves and mud. He purposely stepped onto it, looking to the other side. The slush suddenly collapsed down, left with deep footprints, clearly seen. He stopped and smiled…
“They will fall for my trap.” thought Pan.
He then hurriedly climbed onto one of the big trees near the river, slowly moved towards the opposite side and jumped down, removing his ripped clothes, throwing an empty water bottle onto the ground, and traced back all the way through his old footsteps to the side he just left, climbing and hiding calmly on a bulky tree, with branches, twigs and leaves covering his body. Nobody would see him there.
He waited and waited.
Each minute passed by very slowly..and finally, he heard the footsteps penetrating through a mass of grasses. From where he was hiding, he could see those three followers clearly. His eyes fixed steadily on them. Noticing they had their own guns in their hands made him feel very uneasy and uncomfortable. One of them gave a short glance to his place but turned away.
“Do you see those footprints on the mud?” said one of the jailers to his companions.
“I’m certain they must be Pan’s,” another replied.
“The footprints are all new. That means he couldn’t go so far. Let’s follow him!”
“Don’t. Wait.. I knew him well, he was a smart man, lots of tricks, he could possibly be playing one on us…”
“Come on! I feel he’s very near to us. Let’s go or we’ll lose him!”
Their voices slowly faded away..
“Look, that’s his clothes. Hurry up!”, bellowed one of the jailer from a far distance.
And then..there was complete silence.
He hid there for another fifteen minutes, just to make sure they’d already gone. He climbed down. “They fell for my trap, now I’m going to run to an opposite way.” he thought, wandering onto his way. For a short while, he passed a grove of pinery. The rain had stopped and the atmosphere around him was quiet. Too quiet.
He froze to the spot, turning back, saw three men in the pinery grove, with their guns all pointing at him. They deceived him, made him think they followed his footprints but actually, they retraced and waited for him to come here.
“Good afternoon, Pan, that was a good plan..agree?”, they grimly smiled at him.
Pan didn’t answer.
“..but any excellent plan wouldn’t do me, I knew you well.”
He still didn’t answer.
“See? No one has ever broken out of this jail..never before! But anyway, I have to admit that you’re good at doing this, can survive for three days…not bad. Are you giving up now?”
Pan looked at those jailer’s faces, subsided to the ground and answered in exhaustion,
“Okay, okay..fair enough. I give up now!”
They lowered their guns down, throwing them onto the ground.
“Well, the game is over now. He lost it. Nicole, give him some food! Phil, give him a new uniform..look at him…even if you win, it is still not worthy. Why you wanna try to be a prisoner when you are actually a jailer!? That only gives you problems.”