She couldn’t believe that this was actually happening.
Standing in the middle of the long grass plains that filled the horizon, she has never felt more alone and vulnerable—though she can think of another incident that can almost trump this one. But this was cutting it close. And scared. She was scared for her life.
“Hello?” She knew that this question was futile, and dangerous, considering where she was standing. She didn’t dare raise her voice.
Of course she wasn’t expecting a response. There was no one else here. She shut her eyes and she heard her own breathing accelerating as she sought for some kind of a plan. A way out. The silence certainly didn’t help. It was simply too quiet, too peaceful to be true. And then she listened—really listened—and the sounds that she somehow shut out began to sneak their way back in, one by one. First, she heard the beetle’s wings, buzzing loudly as it flew past her. Then she recognized the acacia cicadas, playing their song high above the trees. And hoof beats. A lot of hoof beats.
“Wait a minute…” Right when she opened her eyes, she saw a flurry of black and white movements rushing towards her and she quickly backed away, tripped on a big rock as she fell hard on her bottom. Dismayed, she lifted her head to inspect what almost ran over her, she heard their bark before she recognized the animal. Yes, for the past few days she’s seen hundreds of them grazing on the grass, a mirage of black and white stripes that she’s become accustomed to. Zebras.
Thank God they were zebras.
Alison’s hands were covered in dust and she struggled to stand as she pushed herself up from the ground. She wanted to cry but there were no tears. It was simply too crazy to be real. She closed her eyes again. Maybe this was all a dream. Maybe she never came here. She never came, they never left, this never happened. And then she heard the sounds again, ringing ever so loudly by her ears. Beetle. Acacia cicadas. Zebras.
Beetle. Acacia cicadas. Zebras.