Her face felt hot, she opened her eyes, but couldn’t see anything more than the blinding light of the sun.
She closed her eyes then opened them again and raised her hand to her head, she could feel the dirt scrape against her face. “Where am I?” She mumbled.
Wincing in pain as she pulled her body upward to sit. Her head was pounding with every movement. Her blonde hair was brown from the grunge and blew slightly with the subtle wind.
She took a deep breath and turned her head to the left. Using her hand to shade her eyes. Pine trees as far as she could see.
Separated by logs and bushes, mostly overgrown with no visible trail. Sunlight trickling in through the canopy. Squinting her eyes she turned right to observe a wide open field.
The hay had not yet been cut. The long strands bending slightly in the gentle breeze. It was so open and yet she felt so hidden.
Confused and dizzy she struggled to her feet. Still hunched over she stepped back and a searing pain shot through her foot like a bolt of lightning.
She leaned down and pulled a stick from her foot. It was a small twig attached to a tree branch. She sat there holding it, watching the blood drip from the wood, still in a daze.
Frozen there for what seemed like hours. Her head was still throbbing and she could barely hold her eyes open.
Out of nowhere, fear gripped her and a coldness crept up her spine. She was suddenly aware that she was in a strange place... In the woods... All alone.
She began to shake and cry, sobbing until she let out an accidental shriek. She cupped her hands over her mouth. What if there was someone out there? Watching... waiting.
She had to be quiet, more importantly, she had to get out of there. Feeling more alert now, goosebumps covered her skin and all the tiny, blonde hairs on her arms began to raise.
Every tree limb, bush and log became a hiding spot for a person. Lurking... spying... Just waiting to pounce. She was afraid to turn her back any direction.
Her eyes scanned the tree line then she turned to face the field. “How did I get here?” She questioned. Then whispered “Which way should I go?” Her breath was shallow and her body was trembling.
The tree line, it would be the easiest way to navigate. It could be her quickest way out.
She started to move forward and quickly remembered the deep, gaping hole in her foot. As she stepped down, the pain sparked in her foot. “Ow!” She squeaked and once again covered her mouth.
Wildly, she looked around and began to hobble onward. The grass along the woods came up to her ankles, she almost couldn’t see her feet.
She walked stepping only on her toes, so the pain was not so intense. The grass was almost slippery and occasionally she would trip over a stick or rock.
Thoughts of big snakes and rats creeped into her head as she staggered her way through, quickly and cautiously.
She limped along for about twenty feet when from the woods to her left came a howl. She more than heard it.
The howl went straight through her body, blew past her flesh, penetrated her muscles and bones to shake her organs. Her legs gave way out of fear and she crashed to the ground.
She scratched and clawed and at the dirt and grass, frantically trying to get her legs underneath her once again.
All at once she noticed the howl had gotten closer. She began to hear branches snapping and leaves crunching. Getting closer the whole while. The howl had turned into a deep, guttural growl.
It was almost to the edge of the trees.
Up then down and again, her legs were too shaky to hold her up. She rolled into the field, attempting to hide. The growling had stopped but she could hear it breathing.
Raspy grunts with every breath. It was out in the open now. There was very little she could make out through the thickness. “Is it a wolf?” She wondered. Whatever it was moved with purpose.
She could see flashes of brown or maybe red? “Or a bear.” She thought. The ground seemed to shake as it came closer. She could hear it inhale as though it smelled something.
“My foot!” She screamed in her head.
What little light that had seeped in and shone upon her was soon eclipsed. She laid there on her stomach, not able to move. She could feel it’s warm breath on her back.
Steadily she held her position, not breathing, with her face in her hands. Trying not to cry out loud. She could feel it lower it’s head, the heat radiating from its mouth and nose.
Her matted hair flapping with every pant. Rising and falling against her skin. Something cool and damp rested on her neck and a low growl sent cool waves through her body.