Greetings, Audience!

Welcome back to my 365/365 Challenge!!!

So close to another milestone, Page 19!

I’ll keep it short here because I’d hate to cut into you guys’ reading time (haha). If you’d like to follow along on my journey, but have yet to begin, you can do so by heading 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

Without further adieu, I now present to you Page 19 of my 365 page book.

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The piercing howl shivered down Ryker’s spine, and an instinct he didn’t know he had told him that the Ryodan were drawing very near.

“Lei,” he rasped, voice hoarse with fear.

Leighton snapped out of her petrified state, turning to Ryker with urgency in her eyes and a short whine falling from her lips. Ryker didn’t need to understand werewolf to know what she’d said. Run.

Ryker shook his head firmly. “If you stay,” he hissed urgently, “I stay.”

Leighton gave another, more imploring whine. Was he stupid? He’d get killed!

Ryker stayed his ground. “I’m not leaving until you do, Lei.”

With a snuff of her snout, Leighton bound forward and scooped Ryker onto her back. She set off through the trees before Ryker had fully latched on, and he scrambled to stay mounted as she zigged and zagged through the forest.

Panic began to set in Leighton’s mind, and she tripped and stumbled as if the very branches of the forest were urging her to return to her Hunt. Certain death waited for her if she obliged–for her and Ryker both.

Ryker didn’t bother squinting his eyes, and they watered and blurred as he searched the surrounding area for any signs of movement. I had an urge to scent the air, anything that could help. He figured that he had nothing to lose, so he mimicked Leighton’s earlier action, lifting his nose to the wind and inhaling deeply. The aroma of wet earth and dead greenery greeted him, nothing betraying his new-found otherworldy gifts. He hunkered down against Leighton’s fur, distressed that there was no way he could help.

Leighton searched for water; a river, a mud pit, anything she could use to cover their scent. If she kept on like this, it would be like leaving a train of breadcrumbs behind as she fled. There was no place she could hide, and running wasn’t going to be useful for much longer. There were many Ryodan in the Hunt that ran faster than she could.

Relief came with a small neighborhood that ringed a moderate sized lake. Leighton did bother to keep her stealth. She dashed quickly under streetlights and through yards, kicking up gardens and knocking over outside play toys. She dashed down a resident’s backyard boating dock, stopping short of the edge. The moon reflected brightly on the water’s surface and lit the area well, much to Leighton’s relief. She;d see anyone coming in the Ryodan were close.

She huffed at Ryker, indicating that she was going to jump in. He leaped off of her back, his cleat spikes hitting the warped wood with a loud clack. “It’ll be easier in we swim separately.”

Leighton nodded and lunged into the water without looking back. She made sure to keep her head beneath the water, in case her splash alerted the residing families in their homes. She couldn’t imagine how they’d react to seeing a giant wolf swimming in their lake.

Ryker thought of stashing the clothes in a nearby bush to keep them dry, but canned the idea soon after. If he left the bag here, there was little chance that they’d be back to pick it up again. Plus, the clothes had Leighton’s scent on them. He recalled Leighton’s telling him about covering their scents. If he left the clothes here dry, and they came to pick them up again, he’d be leaving a fresh trail for the Ryodan to follow. He dove into the lake, bag hooked onto his shoulders. He’d dry them off once they got to safety.

Leighton had no idea where she was swimming to. All that mattered was that she ended on the opposite side of the long lake. she lifted her snout slightly above the surface of the water, both to take in breath and scent the air for the Ryodan. A familiar scent greeted her, but only faintly so. The Ryodan were near, but they weren’t exactly at the neighborhood yet. She moved her powerful paws in the water, shoving more than swimming to the edge of the lake.

The lake was cold to Ryker, and coupled with being fully clothed, it made it hard for him to swim viably. Several times he found himself feebly writhing in the water, not making any lead way towards the other side of the lake. A panicky thought in the back of his mind worried that Leighton would leave him behind to her Hunt if he couldn’t make it out of the water before they showed up, but he waved it away. Leighton was willing to sacrifice herself to save him earlier, she wouldn’t leave him to die now. With renewed confidence, Ryker pushed forward to the end of the lake.

When Ryker upended into the dingy sand at the lake’s shore, Leighton was already there. She sat hunkered in a patch of yard bushes, hidden from the view of the water. She lifted her nose and sniffed. The scent of her Hunt was close. Panic sang in her veins as she watched Ryker, soaked and sputtering on his knees. They didn’t have time for him to have another hypothermia lapse, and if that came to be, they would surely be caught.

She breathed a sigh of relief as Ryker stumbled to his feet, hiking the backpack onto one shoulder. He wiped his soppy arm across his eyes, doing little to dry them. “Okay, let’s get going. Quick,” he panted.

He scrambled back onto Leighton, and she dashed into the darkness, but not before looking backward over her shoulder and seeing the unmistakable outlines of human and wolf breaking through the line of houses at the docks where she and Ryker had stood not too long ago.

 

Typed in:  Write or Die!

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