Featuring…Vynasha! To help get me in the spirit of revisions 😉
With a sudden wind and sweep of terror, the candles that had lined either side of the hearth were quenched with a low hiss. Exhaustion and hunger were forgotten in the blink of an eye as her senses came back to life. Unseen eyes burned into her back. She realized then they had been watching her for some time and with a sigh, lowered her head in defeat. A sudden wind broke through the stuffy heat causing beads of sweat to fall down her neck. With an equal sweep of terror, the candles that had lined either side of the hearth were quenched. The draft blew into the fireplace, dashing embers to pieces and tossing ashes up in a cloud that burst and then scattered through the room. She cringed from a terror that was due more to the sparks singeing her cloak than the monster hunting her. She scrambled back on her hands and knees to avoid the black cloud billowing towards her.
It was her fear of fire that became her undoing, her knowledge of what it could and had already done to her. She stumbled over unfamiliar stone steps, until her fingers eventually found something hard, sharp and ringed by thick fur. Her scream died in her throat as she stood and twisted to meet a high-set pair of luminous golden eyes.
Those intelligent, animalistic orbs were too similar to those belonging to the creatures that had haunted her on her journey through the endless forest. She could still see their glowing green eyes when she shut her lids and hear their cries as they had stalked her long into the night, desiring her flesh. Now she was faced by a terror far worse than a pack of hungry wolves.
With no other alternative, she raced back into the dissipating ashen cloud until her hands were braced against the shoulder-high hearth. The beast’s golden eyes, the only part of it she could see, pursued her with growing fury. But she had not come all this way for nothing and was not about to be eaten for dinner by a wyld animal. After taking in several deep breaths, she reached into the edge of the dying fire and gathered a fistful of hot ashes. Had her hand not already been damaged by injuries inflicted on her a lifetime past, she would have screamed from the pain. Instead the golden eyes disappeared and the massive shadow outlining the beast’s form let out a strangled and deafening roar when she threw the ashes into its face. Her heart clenched painfully and she gasped in wake of the beast’s vile breath. She coughed and choked as she decided not to wait for the creature to recover. She had no wish to feel its teeth rip her to pieces.
Without thought she ran around the ashen cloud masking the beast and down the way she had come. This must be the great evil Wolfsbane had warned her about. He had told her it waited for someone to come and wake it. Yet it was almost as though the creature had been waiting for her.
Her legs were weak after so many endless days spent traveling the wilderness, with little nourishment remaining in her aching belly. She was so weary and wondered why the cold hadn’t simply taken her when it had the chance. She should have been dead many times before this night. Whatever forces were at work, whatever it was that wanted her to remain alive, Vynasha sensed she mustn’t give up now. She must honor it.
She heard the pounding of the creature’s heavy limbs tearing upon the floor with every scrape of its claws. Unbroken roars echoed her flight over the blood red carpet of other trespassers. The hall was black as pitch without the light of the fire and candles now. It wasn’t long before she felt the creature’s hot breath high above her neck, keeping pace with her every step. Her heart pounded as she pushed harder and barely missed colliding with a thin, stoned column. She pivoted to avoid one agony, only to feel the rip of sharp clawed hands sinking desperately about her waist and then she knew no more.