Friday Snippet

Instead of giving you an excerpt from the current WIP, I'm going to do something a little different by pulling something old and nearly forgotten off my harddrive. Okay, so it's not my harddrive. It's my flashdrive. Same thing.

You know the gig...it's probably neck-deep in typos, errors of all sorts, faulty logic, and whatnot, but here it is in all its glory.

Muck stuck to the bottom and sides of her boots, inching its way up the black leather. The slurpy suction of the black mud caused her to stumble, her balance lost for a precious moment before her equilibrium righted itself. Straining to pull her entrapped feet from the grasping soil again and again was becoming tiresome. Her muscles screamed in protest, demanding a respite. Each raggedly indrawn breath burned her lungs. Her hands, trembling with exhaustion, brushed away wet, dangling strands of her dark hair from her rain-washed face.

She ignored her body’s traitorous symptoms and pressed on.

The river beside her was beginning to swell. Dark waters swirled and rushed past as she struggled along the unstable bank. Flotsam struggled to anchor itself along the edges of the water only to be swept back into the center by the swift current. Brief flashes of lightening illuminated distorted shapes to reveal branches, leaves, and dislodged flora. Thunder covered the sound of the rushing water for brief intervals before falling silent for several heartbeats. Then the wind’s cruel gusts would torment the dying autumn leaves in the nearby trees and their desperate plight would compete with the rushing water for notice.

She feared the water, much as she had feared it when she had been mortal. Not only was the current raging unchecked with debris floating helplessly along, the river was home to creatures she had no wish to disturb. Moving along the bank as she was brought her frighteningly close to their nocturnal habitats. Yet, fighting her way through the underbrush of the forest was a worse alternative. At least she was making progress and, although it wasn’t as silent as she would have liked, it was certainly quieter than crunching the fallen leaves beneath her boot heals.

He was behind her. Moving along the riverbank, sensing her just as she was sensing him. Anger and bloodthirst driving him, heightening his senses.

His thirst, tangible through the unholy link he had long ago created, roused the demon within her. The sharpening of her senses preceded the craving. The wet, rain-soaked earth assailed her nostrils with its pungent combination of decay and rebirth. The thunder exploded in her ears even though it rumbled far to the south of where she walked. The lightening became a blinding brilliance that left her highly sensitive eyes bedazzled.

The sudden onslaught of the thirst drove away all thoughts of escape. Let him come. She was no longer a fledgling. She had survived a century without him, always one step ahead. Perhaps, she thought with a toothy smile, she had no reason to run any more. Perhaps it was time for the hunted to become the hunter.

She stopped. She waited.

Rain obscured her vision, the lightening and thunder an orchestra of noise and light. The weight of the rain pushed her hair into her face even as the wind molded it against her cheek and neck. She carefully pushed the cloying strands away from her face to tuck it behind a small, perfectly shaped ear. She turned the exposed ear toward the direction she felt him, reveling in the acuteness of hearing.

Eagerness powered his movements. His thirst for more than just her blood urging him forward.

Her body hummed in anticipation, battle-ready. This would not be a match of wits. Such civilized means were faint memories of nights spent at his side, learning more than just the art of stalking and disposing of prey. No, this battle would be a bloody, deadly affair. Hatred had spawned from the embers of something more darkly intimate than mere physical gratification. A relationship born of lust had died with her growing maturity into a creature he had so carelessly created.

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