Decamot inspired by the following items: pier; Tupperware; trim trail; Sarah; fish; observatory; cave; train; cup; fan
The hours that Sarah had put in on the Trim Trail were really paying off. Not naturally a fan of exercise, she had forced herself to train hard. The laps she had swam around the pier, the healthy food she had been making for herself and packing in carefully labelled Tupperware boxes, all the preparation and all the sacrifices she now knew had been worthwhile. She was in peek physical fitness. If she was ever going to escape capture, it was going to be now. They were on her trail, there was no doubt about that, but she was never going to be caught, she was sure of that. Not today.
She scampered passed the observatory and into the woodlands behind. Now she really was in her element. She was small and could fit through the tightly packed trees with ease, like a fish slipping through the corals. Her pursuers were much bigger than her and would get snagged on the low hanging branches. She knew she would never cave under pressure, but she now knew that she had a distinct advantage. That thought made her heart pound even more than the running alone. She could feel the adrenaline pumping through her veins. She had to be careful not to let the sudden feeling of euphoria make her blasé.
She forced herself to slow down to a gentle trot. In the distance she heard breaking branches. They had reached the woodland, but they were still quite a way behind her. She turned a corner. In front of her was a steep grassy bank. This would work in her favour: she was an expert hill runner; it would break the spirit of her pursuers when they got here.
She set off at a sprint, leaning forwarding and pounding down with her feet. Halfway up, as the slope got steeper, she leaned even further forwards, every so often grabbing hold of foliage to help propel herself upwards. She felt her thighs burning with the effort, but kept going; they could take this punishment for hours.
Then, less than 10 metres from the top, disaster struck: she stumbled on a tree root. She fell forwards and instinctively put her hands out in front of her. She then started to slide backwards on all fours, slowly at first, but then gathering momentum. She tried to get a grip on passing tree shoots with her hands, but this only left her flat on her face sliding backwards.
Just as she reached the bottom of the slope, her closest pursuer rounded the corner. He was on her in a flash. He grabbed at her back and ripped off the pendant hanging there. Moments later the rest of the chasing pack were surrounding them. Sarah rolled over onto her back panting: it was all over.
He held the stolen pendant aloft and bellowed:
"I claim my prize!"
There was a cheer.
One of the other pursuers pushed his way through the pack. He was holding a stop watch.
"Congratulations Roger! A fox well caught. And very well done Sarah, our first vixen. You lasted 17 minutes and 37 seconds, a new course record. Another quarter mile and you would have been the first fox ever to have made it home."
This prompted another cheer from the pack who now converged on Sarah and Roger. They hoisted the pair up and carried them back down the hill at shoulder height. They headed towards the White Hart where they would present Roger with that year's cup and celebrate the successful conclusion of the 15th Annual Cranleigh and Ewhurst Bloodless Hunt.