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His body towered over her, entrapping her between the stove and

his tall, menacing figure. A wave of anxiety washed over her. Ted

Barker was no longer the attractive stranger, he was an imminent

threat. She had to escape, but where could she run? To whom could

she run to?

‘Naomi? You’re as white as a ghost..’

For perhaps ten minutes she ran clumsily through the darkness

wilderness, the sound of her lungs gasping for air filled her ears.

Dead branches and leaves crackled under her feet, the rapidly

increasing tempo of her strides becoming a signal of her growing

anxiety. Her throat was beginning to constrict and her head was

starting to spin, yet Naomi L. continued to stumble on through the

wall of green (or black as it now appeared for nightfall had well and

truly arrived). Survival instincts were spurring her on but soon it

grew impossible to continue, the feeling of constriction had now

spread to the chest and her desperate gasps for air were almost

inaudible. She needed to calm herself down. Lying on the ground

with hands under her trembling shoulders and legs outstretched

behind her, she began to perform her pushups. Her voice croaked

‘one, two, three, four…’ it took ten repetitions before the exercise

began to have its soothing effect, her heart rate and breathing slowly

returning to their usual rhythm.

The anxiety had passed by the time she felt something creep up

her left leg. Darkness impaired her vision so she could only just

make out the spider’s fluorescent red-wedged back as it disappeared

onto the forest floor, leaving an acute stinging sensation in her

upper-thigh. She knew that lying still would slow the venommoving

through the body, yet she needed assistance. Already light-

headedness and nausea rendered her motionless, the only option

was to call for help.

Naomi L. lay paralysed on the forest floor, all she could see now

was pitch black.

‘Someone help me… please! I don’t know where I am... I’m not from here…’

Her voice was soaked up by the looming bloodwoods, drowned in

the darkness around her.

A Wall Of