This may be a one-shot since I know the genre is old and most people probably either never heard of it or don't remember it, but if people seem to have an interest in it, I'll post some more later. Characters and Spellbinder world does not belong to me, it is the property of Film Australia.

Fleeting Shadows

The sweat was dripping down his face as he ran through the forest. He ducked quickly behind a wide tree and tried his best to keep the sound of his own panting as quiet as possible, and all the while he listened intently. Nothing. Maybe I lost her.

Slowly he tilted his head around the edge of the bark, and risked a look back.

CRAAACK!!!

As he stumbled backwards he could still feel the hot dust where the powerbolt had struck the tree mere centimeters from his face. He scrambled for purchase among the dry leaves beneath his hands, and pulled himself along the ground to break into another run.

He saw the ground dropping to the left and moved his legs as fast as he could, desperate to find some cover or shelter to hide him from his pursuer. There was an opening down near the base of the shallow slope, and he recognized the pale stones of the quarry. Faster and faster he ran, his muscles burning like acid within his legs. He could feel his sinews stretching and tearing as he pushed himself beyond acceptable limits to reach the safety of the caves he knew were below. Just as he saw the edge leaping up at him, he heard the rustling of leaves to his left, and as he turned his gaze for a moment he tripped over a fallen limb and tumbled over the edge.

His body was stiff and cold, and he realized that he had fallen into the quarry. He felt as if he was one giant tuning fork that had just been struck, though he knew that he was motionless. Laying there for countless heartbeats, he tried to lift himself repeatedly, only to meet with failure. After what seemed like nearly an hour, the feeling began to return to the tips of his fingers. Burning and tingling trickled down his arms as he forced them to respond to his will. He commanded his arms to bend and leaned his head up to see a discoloration in the air in front of him.

He heard it then, the familiar crackling sound, and could smell the faint taste of ozone in the air. What appeared to be a jagged hole was cut out of the air before him like a torn image of a moving picture. That was it. That was home.

Fighting the numbing pain of the thousands of needles that prickled through his nerve-racked body, he threw his arms in front of him and began to pull at the loose rocks and hard-packed soil, desperately crawling centimeter by centimeter towards the one place where he could truly be safe. He heard his own gasps as his cracked ribs filled his breathing with agony, bringing himself closer and closer. He reached out, only a few hand spans from his relief, when he saw the boots step down in his path.

The black leather glistened with the moisture of the forest, and shadows began to fall across his vision. The tear in space that was so near to him faded away into shadows and all he could see as he looked up was the face of his pursuer. The red hair hung over the black shoulders of her powersuit with its gold symbol burning brightly across her chest.

"Surely you didn't think you could get away from me so easily, Paul?" She threw her head backwards and began to laugh as the darkness closed in around him, choking out the last glimmer of light and sound and smell and touch...

He awoke with a violent shudder, and took a few moments to realize where he was. He was safe after all. He was in his own bed, in his own house. In his own world. Safe. Sliding his hands beneath his pillow he propped his head up and looked at the shadowed ceiling above. He became aware of the gentle patter of rain on the window and looked over at the clock on the night stand and saw that it read 4:26 am. He would have loved nothing more than to be able to curl back up again and drift into sleep for a few more hours, but he knew that it wouldn't happen. He was fully awake now and just like all the other nights when he had been woken so abruptly, he knew that he wouldn't be able to fall back asleep again. But at least he was home. At least she wasn't here.