Salutations, Audience!

Welcome back to my 365/365 Challenge!!!

Another day, another page! Today: Page 18!

I’m chugging along in this blog dump, as promised. Not that it’s any challenge! I absolutely love the world I’m creating, and I hope you all do too! If you haven’t started yet, but would like to, please head on over to the 365/365 Directory Page found –here– so that you can catch up!

***DISCLAIMER***
Prepare to have the urge to rip your eyes our, fellow OCD readers, for the amount of typos you will encounter in this passage is going to BLOW YOUR MIND! At some point here soon, I may decide to go in and edit it properly, but for now I’m just going to let it ride =3

Please enjoy this passage! I now present to you Page 18 of my 365 page book.

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Leighton cut soundlessly though the forestry without incident, checking periodically for the scent of her Hunt. When nothing but the usual aromas of the wilderness greeted her nose, she took the following steps a little more confidently.

She could see the ending of that section of reserve, the flickering of passing lights indicating the cars that drove by. She paused briefly at the edge of the trees and another vehicle passed, and immediately bounded across the road. they cut through a small patch of trees into a neighborhood that neither of them noticed, and Leighton recoiled abruptly.

The stench of her Hunt was everywhere.

She scrambled back towards the road, only to dip back into the brush as another car zoomed by. Her skittering jostled Ryker unceremoniously, and he nearly fell of her back.

“Lei!” he hissed, “What’s wrong?”

There was no way that she could convey what was happening. She felt trapped and terrified. If they found her like this…

“Lei, are they here?” Ryker asked, as if he could smell her terror. Given his dormant werewolf power, he probably could.

She nodded once, turning back toward the small suburban area. She tilted her nose skyward again, but the scent was unmistakable. The Ryodan had been here recently, and might still be patrolling as she stool like a scared pup with her tail tucked.

“Lei,” Ryker said calmly, like he was subduing a wild animal, “Lei, if they’re here, we have to leave. Right now. You know that, right?”

Lei huffed in response. Ryker was right, if she wasn’t going to move, she’d might as well go seek them out and suffer her fate.

But it wasn’t just her fate, not anymore. She’d pulled Ryker into this against his will, and if she chose to gave up, she’d be pulling him down with her. She didn’t have the right to make that decision for him. If he chose to continue to fight, she would as well.

She coiled her powerful hind legs and tore off through the darkness of the neighborhood streets.

Every corner she turned, Leighton could smell the scent of a Ryodan member. They’d obviously searched the area thoroughly, and every pound of her paw pads against cracked concrete was heavy with anxiety. Was she running toward them? Did they already know she was here? Where they using the feared Diamond formation that was spoken about only in taut whispers throughout the Hunt? She ran faster.

She tore here way through the small town with little of the grace she’d displayed in Ryker’s neighborhood. she narrowly missed patches of light, her paws occasionally upset a fallen branch or patch of gravel, and once she stumbled none to gently on a crushed tin can, sending up a clatter like gunfire.

Ryker could hear her terrified pants coming in in small puffs as she cut through the sleeping neighborhood, and whispered small encouraging things in her ear to let her know that she wasn’t alone. “It’s alright, Lei. I’m here. It’ll be okay. Just one paw in front of another. We’ll be fine.”

When they broke through the next patch of forest, Leighton could have wept with relief. The scent of the Ryodan was still heavy on the air, but she could move faster now, her paws more accustomed to the damp terrain of the forest floor rather than the hard asphalt of the city roads. She sped to wind-whistling velocity, and Ryker could barely make out the tree trunks whizzing by them with his squinted eyes as the moonlight shone into the copse.

The Ryodan’s presence lessened the further into the woods that Leighton went, and she took a brief moment to huff a sigh a relief that she wasn’t in fact running right into the search party.

She made it to a stream deep into the the copse where the Ryodan’s scents was almost nonexistent, and chose to stop for a small drink.

Ryker hopped off Leighton’s back–not bothering to wait until she crouched for him–and landed softly on the damp ground. It was dark this far into the forest, the canopy of trees letting in only the faintest light of the moon, which was high in the sky.

Leighton assessed Ryker in the dim light as he leaned to scoop the stream water into his hands. He looked okay for the most part, no cuts or bruises that his werewolf healing didn’t take care of right away. However, he did look a little frayed around the edges, not exactly his best. His golden hair was pasted to his forehead with sweat, the shirt she’d gotten for him only a short while ago was torn, probably from a stray branch snagging in during the run, and he looked pale, not colored with the usual sun-kissed tan she’d associated with him in the warmer months of the year. It was pretty late, and Leighton didn’t know how much more Ryker could take before he was worn out completely.

Ryker stood from his drink with a soft grimace. “You know, after hearing about drinking stream water in so many books and movies, you’d think it’d taste better.” He stuck out his tongue as if that would rid him of the taste. “It’s very gritty.”

Leighton breathed a weary chuckle and dipped her snout to the cool stream water. It was, indeed, more gritty than she expected, but in time, if they got out of this alive, Ryker would get to know cleaner waters and and more voluminous forests than the state park they are creeping through tonight.

Leighton was getting the last of her fill of water, when a baying howl pierced through the night, making her gag on her drink. It was powerful and guttural, not the haunting melodic song of the actual wolf, not the high falsetto of the coyote. And it was much, much closer than Leighton had expected.

Typed in:  Write or Die!

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