She ran as fast as her legs could carry. Her lungs burned, deprived of oxygen. But she couldn't let it catch up to her and Aspen, her dog, who was desperately running beside her.
A commanding roar echoed from behind, and a wave of fire washed over the trees all around them.
''Great, a forest fire was all we needed.'' She pushed her legs to run faster, they throbbed and her heaving breaths were loud enough to be heard from far away.
Aspen wasn't doing well either, the hot air seared into their skin, drying their tear ducts, charring the ground. The night sky seemed to look brighter due to the huge fire.
The stars had vanished, leaving her no way to navigate, all she could do was keeping running. Loud thumps shook the earth. It was coming.
Saans looked around wildly looking for a clearing in the forest path, but to find none. Her heart was beating hard, her legs felt like jello. She had come to a dead end.
The trees and rocks lined up the edge, so she couldn't climb over them. Aspen flopped on the floor exhausted. A low growl caused her to turn around and come face to face with it.
Time was ticking.
''Too bad it had to end this way,'' Saans said, inhaling the air mixed with smoke, she stumbled forwards, head-heavy.
She steadied herself. Removing her sword from her back, she chuckled.
''You should have just left us alone.'' Her brown eyes swirled gold like amber.
It pounced at her, and at the same time, her sword clashed against its hide.
∣∣ 𝐒𝐚𝐚𝐧𝐯𝐢 𝐆𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢 ∣∣