Scafell Pike #4
-In the last installment, Lu was stalking the killer down from the summit of Scafell Pike-
Lu crouched on the lip of the small gully and looked around. There was no other way ahead that she could see, only down into the shallow stream and up the steep bank on the far side.
Already she had allowed her indecision to waste precious time. Lu had lost sight of the killer and, if she did not get moving again soon, she might never catch up with him. The sense of adventure had begun to wear off and she could feel the wind pricking at her skin.
Her first step down failed to find solid earth. A tuft of soil and grass gave way, and Lu was sliding down the side of the gully. Her feet went into the water first, then her shins and knees.
It was deeper than it had first appeared. Water so chill it was almost frozen gripped her ankles, soaking through her thick walking socks and thin trousers. She waded forwards, wincing with each step and feeling the biting cold burrow itself deeper into her legs.
Not caring about the mud and muck, Lu scrambled up the far bank on hands and knees. Her long fingers dug into the wet brown sludge and came away with grit lodged beneath the nails.
Lu reached the top of the gully and stood. Shivers racking her whole body and her teeth were chattering together.
Something hard hit her in the ribs, crushing the air out of her lungs. She rolled sideways with the heavy thing tumbling with her, large hands scrabbling to pin her arms. Lu did not care that she was being attacked, death was not something she cared about either way.
She only prayed that the struggle would not carry her back into the gnawing cold of the mountain stream. Something burned in her heart, not pain or fear, but a desperate desire not to die cold.
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