It’d been some time since she departed from Rowan; days, weeks even. The decision she so desperately wanted to make was impossible to admit to herself. Guilt and anxiety plagued her waking thoughts and her dreams, horrible nightmares where she wandered forever, passing up stability and a chance to fall in love or have pups to continue searching. Some nights, she dreamed of staying, having all those things, but then Nettle finds her and hates her for abandoning Thistle to die a gruesome death.
Some nights, she spent on the coast. Others, she wandered to the closest patch of trees in the Shadowed Dell and found a darker place to sleep.
What a terrible mistake shed made.
She should have taken Rowan’s offer and gone to see if Bucky would accept her into the pack.
It’d been…. sunset, yes, sunset, when shed made it to the forest, sniffing around immediately at the smell of blood in hopes for an easy meal of scraps before bed. Shed been gorging herself on crabs and other seafood items that might soon be out of her reach, should she leave. The smell drew her closer to the river where she usually pulled together a pile of leaves to sleep on; how convenient.
It was dawn now. Blood had caked the entirety of her left flank, and somewhere from the three long, deep scratches, crimson still trickled. Witch couldn’t bear to think of the damage done to tendons, muscle, while it drug limply behind her. Useless in its numbing agony.
Shed been stupid, not to check for the scents of a larger predator.
Never even got to see what the scraps were, let alone got to eat before shed been pounced on. Spooked, Witchhazel had only just managed to spin out of the teeth of a large feline; the woman had never seen anything quite like it, even as one powerful paw shed been unable to dodge struck out and slashed across her flank.
The meal obviously hadn’t been worth it. In a lapse of stillness in which the beast hadn’t moved, Witch had turned tail and bolted, thanking all that was good that the monster haven’t given chase. Fear and adrenaline pushed her into the Range, fleeing for her literal life and ignoring the leg that dangled and dragged. Even long after Witch had stopped running, she moved until she collapsed on the ground and darkness enfolded her.
Just before light began to peek above the horizon, Witchhazel opened her eyes.
She wasn’t dead.
For at least an hour, Witch could only lay there, afraid to look at her leg. She wasn’t sure exactly how far shed come in her frenzied state of flight and blinding pain, but there was one thing she did know: She would never be able to survive on her own, let alone travel and find her siblings. Even in a few months, depending on how well—if—she healed, she might not ever be able to walk right again. She had to find the Rangers now, and hope they would at least allow her to stay long enough to heal herself.
There was no way shed come far, but however long shed been able to rest, there was no will left to walk. As carefully as she could, Witch plopped down in a patch of grass, tipped her head up, and loosed a high, pain-filled howl for anybody within hearing distance. The wind blew at her back, keeping her from knowing just how very close she’d gotten herself to the borders, and it was all Witchhazel could do to say awake, even with her head on her front paws.
Apr 11, 2018 02:05 PM
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