Selliel kept low as she moved through the forest. She watched for signs of the buck she sought as prey. Did minutes pass, or hours? She did not know. Soon, there was only the chase.
It was only when Selliel stumbled across the stream that she realized how weary she was. Her earlier skirmish with the lone wolf had taken more from her than she thought. She dipped her hands into the cool water and began to drink. She closed her eyes for a moment.
After a few long sips she opened her eyes once more. The buck she had stalked for hours stood five paces away, drinking from the very same stream. Selliel froze.
The buck seemed to stare at Selliel for a moment. Then it reared into the air and slammed its hooves into the ground.
Selliel leapt back. bow drawn, arrow nocked. The buck reared again. Selliel stilled her breath. It towered over her, its eyes locked on hers. Selliel counted one, two, three—
The buck lowered its hooves and turned its body. Selliel saw the three tiny does behind him. She froze. Then the buck walked calmly toward her and nudged the bow away.
Selliel hesitantly put her hand out. The buck licked her palm gently. Then it snorted and walked back to the forest. The does followed the buck. Selliel did not.
She returned to the cliff top. The wolf was where she had left it, untouched by scavengers. She skinned it, harvested its meat, and stuffed it into her pack. Then she began the long walk home.
|The Truth of the Hunter|
|The Truth of the Hunter, Pt. 2||The Truth of the Hunter, Pt. 3|