Josh walked his dog Jazz along a dry leafy path through the woods toward a clearing where the shelter he was staying was located. With every step he took, the leaves rustled under his feet.

Suddenly, the dog began to growl.

Josh stopped and heard the sound of a step on the leaves behind him.

He looked back but saw nothing. He calmed Jazz and kept walking, with his senses alert.

Yes, his noisy footsteps on the leaves were followed by other footsteps, but when he stopped to look back, the mysterious walker would stop and hide.

Josh quickened his pace, his gaze on the clearing in the woods, and soon he was running, the footsteps that followed also changed rate. When he was already reaching the exit of the forest, Jazz turned around, growling and barking loudly.

Noises of dry leaves crushed with violence, and a scream that no one could hear other than the motionless and silent trees, died in the lonely forest.

The footsteps continued to sound on the path. A bloody hand opened the shelter door where Josh’s friends were waiting for him for dinner.

-Who are you? They asked him, scared. Where’s Josh?

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner 48

Author: Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

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