As he scrambled through the underbrush the jagged tear in his leg soaked his boot and, worse, left a clear trail for the monster on his trail.
The same question circled his brain over and over: loop back and get behind the creature, or drive like a madman straight away from it?
His inability to decide stemmed from his unfamiliarity with the beast. Was it sentient, reasoning, a strategic foe, or simply a mad animal looking for a meal?
Pushing through the dense jungle since waking before dawn to the stench of the taloned thing behind him, he fought the mental fog brought on by lack of sleep. The animal had dogged his trail for a week, if his count of the days was right.
Precision wasn’t his strong suit.
Continue reading “Perpetual Prey”
Sweat staining his leather jerkin and breeches, the old warrior moved quietly through between the potbellied drum trees. Not silently; silence took longer. It was the eternal balance of the predator: silence is slow and speed is not silent.
He knew the balance he needed for any quest. How much speed. How much silence.
It was, after all, how he had become an old warrior rather then finishing his course on earth as many young warriors did: prey rather than predator.
Any creature which noted his passing would be confused, smelling the rottenness of death, the sweetness of overripe fruit, and the encyclopedic scents revealed in the droppings of the largest of the prey animals.
Continue reading “The Old Warrior (from ‘Rafe Keyn and the Temporal Lisle’)”