"WING!" Adela called as she crashed through the bracken. She was making enough racket to scare away any wildlife, god damn birds included, and to hopefully attract her horse.
A branch snapped back from her outstretched hand and into her face. She felt it tear her cheek and release a trickle of blood down to her mouth. She recoiled at the salty taste and spat.
"That's not very lady-like," a sing-song voice came from her left. Adela wheeled around to face a squat little man in a park ranger uniform.
Her usual "fuck you" response was lost in a sigh of relief.
"I'm sorry, I've been trudging around this forest for at least an hour looking for my horse. Have you seen him? He's a dark bay with white socks."
"Nope, can't say I've seen a horse wearing socks," another voice came from her right. She turned to see another ranger - completely identical to the first.
Her head snapped back and forth between the two odd, little men with funny hats. She had never seen either of them before.
Weird, I thought I had met all the rangers.
The first park ranger chimed in, "I think it's very rude to speak to someone without first introducing oneself."
Adela pinched the bridge of her nose, took a deep breath, and swallowed her unease. There's no cell service - Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum here are my only help.
"I'm Adela," she plastered on a huge smile and extended her hand.
"Drew, have you ever seen a cat smile?" the ranger on her right asked. He completely ignored her outstretched hand.
She moved her other hand toward the knife in her back pocket in response to his nonsensical question. Something about these men was off - very off.
"Never, Dan, but there's a first time for everything," the ranger on her left answered his twin. He turned his attention back to Adela. "Funny, I would have guessed your name was Alice."
What the fuck - how did they know I was thinking they were Tweedles?
Adela took a rapid step back and pulled her knife from her pocket. She flipped it open and held the handle tight in her right hand.
"Look, I don't want any trouble. I'm just trying to find my horse," Adela said.
The Tweedles eyes widened along with their smiles. "Do you mean to have a battle?" Drew asked.
"No!" she cried. Dan stepped closer. "Stay back!"
Oh, how I wish that damn crow was here to scare these two away now!
Before Adela could even begin to puzzle at the strange logic of her fear-fueled thought, the large black bird dove down from the sky. It hovered between her and the two short men.
It flapped its wings and brought forth a great gust of wind. The blast lifted the two men into the air and sent them flying deeper into the woods.
Adela stood rooted in place. What she saw made no sense. Her eyes returned to the great black bird. He ceased flapping his wings and alighted on a tree branch at eye-level with her.
He stared her down, then uttered a single "craw," and rose into the air again. He flew in the same direction he blasted the Tweedles off to.
Adela slowly walked backwards until the bird was out of sight. Then she turned and ran in the opposite direction.