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A chance encounter

You should be able to walk further off the path than this without risking limbs. Our guide fell back in the creek, but we'd run on, hounded by his fading screams and their nearing howls.

Now it was the Acadian and I, backs to boulders. In the clearing, ferns and water played at our feet; eyes and teeth flickered at the edge of moonlight.

To my stitched leathers and long blade she wore a smock, a symbol, and a smile. My life I'll not forget how she placed her hand to my chest, pushed my back to damp stone, and stepped towards the growling, gleaming line shrinking in from the trees.

She clutched the chain around her neck and splashed to her knees. Flat against rock, I could barely hear her whispers over the swelling snarl and trickling damp. I hissed and grabbed her shoulder to pull her back, but she droned on in the shallows.

Slowly, the pack stalked into the cold light. Shaggy forms padded over stones, cackled and yipped. They growled taunts and curses in a bastard tongue, tasting our fallen friend, tasting our necks.

I could halt one's creep by locking mad, red eyes to my blade, but there were so, so many more than one. As they tightened to pounce, I reached again to pull her back, knowing I could not stall any longer and determined that not only my blood would stain this stream.

She threw her head back, ecstatic. The moonlight rippled before her and even from behind her, even just with hand to shoulder, I could feel a tinge of awe.

I saw the pack captured in her rapture. They fell, wept and whimpered, clawed earth and begged to meet God.

I put hand to blade and played at angel.