.....As she set foot into the forest, Sarah unsheathed her sword.
All around her came low methodical thumping. Then something snarled.
She paused her stride, warily scanning the dim woodland surrounding her, almost embracing her. She saw things move in the dimness, through the corners of her eyes. But if she turned to look, nothing would be there. This was a haunted place, a place where demons and beasts of all sizes lurked and stalked. She better get moving.
The snarling came again, this time much closer. Sarah held her breath, listening. Her hand tightened on the handle of her sword. Her heart was like a mad drum in her chest that would not ease. Something crashed through the brush to her left. Gods they were so close!
She felt like running. Yet, even though she felt the urge to just forget everything, forget her son, consider him a terribly tragic loss, Sarah remained where she was. If she ran she would surely die.
A roar exploded to her right and she turned just in time to dodge a massive claw meant to lop off her head. She dropped to one knee, glanced up, saw the beast, saw its grotesque body of loose gray flesh and giant fanged maw, and then she drove her sword into its exposed belly. She sank it as deep as she could get it, which was all the wat to the hilt. The monster gasped, yelped and then she yanked the sword out of its stomach. The thing staggered back, long claws held over its gushing wound.
Sarah jumped to her feet as the the beast started to teeter. It fell backwards, crushing many small trees under its girth and making the earth itself tremble.
She took off at a dead run through the forest, hurdling rocks and thorn bushes and dead falls. She ran, cutting various creatures in half or simply slicing off their heads as she went. Pain flashed through her right arm, the one holding the sword. She distantly felt warm liquid trickling. Something had reached outof the gloom and cut her. She knew it like she knew how to bake bread. Something like instinct.
Screaming, arm throbbing, Sarah emerged into a large clearing.
And then that's when they came for her...dozens of them.
(To be Continued)