On the ground
As your ankle reaches a roar of blinding pain, you insanely remember something your uncle said about them before he died.
If you lie still they can’t see you. They detect movement, not heat.
Face-down, with no other choice, you try to lie as still as possible as pounding footfalls climb the trail behind you. At the end of your first silent breath, the pounding stops.
Using everything you have, you will yourself not to breathe—not to move in any way. Your eyes are still open and you wonder if blinking might be enough to alert them.
A quiet but heavy crunching sound in the grass proves what you already guessed: whatever it is, it’s right behind you. Your ankle continues screaming pain throughout your body, but you manage to remain still.
From the distance you hear momma call out to you…