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Wild Essence

Copyright Notice- This story is the product of my mind. Please do not reproduce it anywhere else without my permission. If you wish to archive this elsewhere, please contact me and remember to credit me as the author. I have had problems with plagiarism in the past and would be greatful if you would respect my wishes and my work. Thank you.

Believe me. My revenge is not pretty.

     She picked her way through the dark woods. She was hunting. She didn't know what, she just knew they were there. They picked off children that wandered out too far from the village. They had to be destroyed. She came across two sets of footprints very visible in the dirt. Though nobody has ever seen them, she could tell they were huge from the depth of the prints. The prints themselves were huge, and couldn't have been a bear's, being too deep. The prints also had claw-marks. They were deep and deadly, good for ripping and severing.
     Jade looked into the night and sighed. The tall, Autumn colored leaves of the trees blew gently, rocking the trees side to side like a Lullaby. Jade's deep brown eyes scanned the forest, a raccoon's set of eyes watched her. The mysterious, glowing set looked deep into her, feeding on her fear of what's to become and disappeared. The wind played with her long, black hair, turning it in the wind. She was slender and strong. Her legs took confident strides from experience of running with the pack.
     Jade blinked and looked at the crossbow in her hand, a not-considered-stolen item from her father's supply. Her father was the leader of the hunts which brought food to the village. He would disagree of her hunting these creatures on her own. Which is why she snuck out. She wore tan breeches and a white shirt, something she took from the hunter's supplies. She also wore a black silky cloak which was her own. The cloak bore a lone white wolf howling to the moon. Because of their skills as hunters the wolf was the symbol of the hunter's family. The hunter's family's mark was tattooed on her left upper arm.
     They haven't solved the problem so I am. She thought. Besides I'm turning sixteen soon and will be a member of the hunt.
     Jade slowly walked on, keeping all her senses alert, her legs ready to run at any danger. She came across a rock and gasped in surprise and aw at the sight. An enormous silver wolf sat on the top of the rock watching her calmly. The wolf's coat glowed in the moonlight and shimmered before her. He had a deep, powerful chest and strong hindquarters. His ears were pricked at the slightest sound.
     "Silent hunter of the night," Jade whispered, "I pray for the success of your hunts," thinking a moment she added silently, "and mine."
     The silver wolf stood up slowly. He looked at her with strong, silent eyes, studying her with such tranquillity that amazed her. Then he ran into the dark, endless woods. Jade let out her breath and walked on continuing her hunt.
     There was a noise behind her. Jade lifted her crossbow slowly and turned around. There were two huge looming shapes in the distance creeping towards her. They hadn't see her, yet. She crept away as quietly as she could, aimed her arrow at one of the creatures and released. The arrow sunk into one of the beast's shoulder, but didn't seem to do any damage. She had a second arrow quickly in the air following the first, but it only pierced the trick fur. Their eyes glittered as they smiled a fangy grin. They calmly loped towards her with reassurance. She was nervous from their confidence and fitted another arrow. She was in a trance, her legs were jelly. They came closer and closer. She dropped her weapon and sprinted.
     She ran as fast as she could. Through a clearing and following familiar paths. Her mind raced. Her heart pounded and her legs began to tire, but her strides were still strong. She ran for what seemed like hours, but she couldn't lose them. The creatures bounded on all fours, lunging and leaping, trying to catch her and bring her down.
     Jade began to slow down. She couldn't run any more. She dropped to her knees and closed her eyes. She didn't dare to glance behind knowing what she'd see; wild red eyes of the dark beasts striving for her life. Something wrapped around her waist and pulled her up. A strong repulsive smell filled her nose and mouth. She began to hack, twisting and wrenching in the creature's arms for fresh air. Her throat burned and the matted fur scratched her skin. Her screams were muffled by the nauseating fur and she became dizzy.
     Abruptly she fell to the ground and her mind sunk into endless nonsense. She heard snaring and the sounds of clashing beasts. She managed to climb to her knees to see the backs of the dark beasts disappear. A pawstep made her ears prick and she felt the silver wolf's soft eyes watching her. He trotted over to her. His pelt was ruffled and blood covered his muzzle. His eyes gleamed and he licked the wound on her head clean.
     "Thank you," she said to the wolf, "I hope you didn't get hurt because of me."
     The silver wolf grinned a wolf- like grin then ran into the woods.
     The sun began to rise, gracefully pushing warm, bright rays into the woods. Jade's heart was pounding, ready to burst, her breath ragged and wheezing, and legs so sore they felt like they would collapse. She welcomed the sun with a smiling face and, wobbling slightly, headed home. She was safe for now, thanks for the wolf, but she knew they would be back, whatever they were.

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Copyright 1999-2000, by Alix.