Children Of The Night

Children Of The Night

Hunted

Chapter 1 by ServantOfLilith ServantOfLilith

All seemed quiet in the substantial forest, as the rays of the moon pieced through the uneven canopy and illuminated the dull floor below. Low howls began to resonate around the forest as a lone figure darted through the tightly packed trees before collapsing against a nearby tree as they desperately tried to gather their breath. The howls began to gather as the sound relentlessly echoed all around the cowering figure. With the bloodthirsty howls ringing in their ears, the lone figure set off once more at breakneck speed through the thick undergrowth.

Claire ran past the trees as fast as she could, needles scratching at her face and arms. Her lungs were on fire, but she kept racing through the forest at top speed. She was tempted to stop and rest again but If she slowed down, even for a moment, she knew it would catch her this time. Claire knew what it would do if it caught up with her. The horrifying thought alone spurred Claire on as her pace quickened. Blood oozed from the wound on her arm as a fresh wave of anxiety ran through her mind.

Surely her wound was leaving a perfect trail for her pursuer to ultimately follow. Claire knew she had to make it to the road if she was to increase her chances of survival. As she ran forward the trees to either side of her began to part until she stood in a wide open meadow. She felt alone and fully exposed under the blue light of the full moon. Claire stumbled on a gnarled old root but managed to keep herself upright. Her hands swept through the long grass, struggling to keep her balanced. She turned back for a moment and finally saw it.

The beast raised its head high, releasing a long howl into the still night air. From behind it, Claire soon heard a chorus of similar cries answer. She fell to her knees, the strength suddenly knocked out of her. Keeping low in the grass, she could only hope it hadn't spotted her in the almost featureless clearing. Finally having a moment to think, the pain in her arm roared to life, bringing her close to wailing. But she knew enough to hold back and stay perfectly still. To leave the twigs in her hair. To restrain herself from wiping the dirt off her cheeks.

Her pursuer sniffed at the air loudly, still panting from the chase. She could feel her stomach knot as it loped into the meadow, the nearly human mass terrifyingly familiar to her young eyes. The creature howled once more, attracting another chorus from the distant woods and making Claire's teeth clench. But she also felt an odd sensation in her chest. A rumbling of some sort. She clutched the grass in her hands, still holding onto the idea it'd miss her. It was so close now, she could smell the musk wafting off it. The rumbling in her chest grew louder.

Please God, no, she thought as the face of her tormentor, bathed in moonlight, seemed to tilt its head in her direction.

How Did Claire Get Into This Predicament?

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