Morris is breathing too hard.
Everything in these woods with ears can hear her. Things without ears can hear her. This is not something she worries about.
There's a carcass on the hill, it is also listening. It is keen on the sound of life just out of its reach. Little shoots sprouting little leaves shudder across the decomposing body, a shade of not any sort of green associated with life or welfare. The carcass moves, the vegetation moves with it, the vegetation moves the carcass. In a sickening shamble, it slides down the hill.
It is too slow. Morris has legs that will carry her far from its reach before it could ever reach her.
For now, Morris is breathing too hard.
At her feet is the stump of what could have been an oak tree, oddly placed in hollow of this valley between hills. It oozes dark and grime from cuts. So thin so as not to be seen are the threads, a vivid yellow like lichen, that draped from the stump onto the peat ground.
Axe still in hand, Morris used her other to pull yellow threads from her person. The ones that had made it around her throat had fallen with the rest, but more were to be removed from her shoulders, her torso, from tenderly grazing along her jaw and wrapping around her head.
The axe dripped dark and grime to the peat ground; Morris was breathing too hard.
She no longer had the comfort and luxury of being buried in the ground, of soupy coffee, of expired vials. In the blue light under the betwixting sky – that one knew better than to gaze upon – her eyes flashed grey and sharper than ever. Now teared up from prior strangling. There were no comforts, no luxuries here. If such things existed, surely they were distractions unto certain death.
She gripped the axe harder. Its head bowed, glistening drops of poison fall and stain the ground below. This axe, a relic of once hers, was a luxury no longer shared by informants, by gold eyed individuals, by Brandys. It is survival.
Morris is breathing. She moves on.
Behind her, the carcass shudders to a still as the distance to its desires becomes further and furhter insurmountable. It stops too close to the oak stump weeping poison; it stops too close to where something was breathing just recently. Its unfortunate drive to consume will see it consumed.