She was being toyed with. She’d been running for hours, well beyond her limits — the farthest she’d gone so far was eleven miles, and by the way her lungs felt sodden that had been blown past miles ago — and she knew she was flagging, stumbling over roots, crashing into trees, but they never got any closer. She risked a look behind her and there they were, just in sight. The one in front threw back its head and howled like a wolf. The others laughed derisively, slapped at it with their arms. She slowed down, trying to catch her breath while they were distracted, but instantly they were after her again, eyes bright and golden in the darkness.

“What do you want?” she screamed. And kept running. The front of her shirt was soaked and bloody.

Eventually of course she couldn’t run any longer and collapsed to the ground, sobbing and clawing at the undergrowth, trying to drag herself forward. They came and stood around her, their faces wizened and toothless, heads bowed, sides barely moving with their breath. She cursed them and they reached for her.