Woo! We’ve reached double digits! Not exactly hard to do considering the short length of each installment. And then the total word count is only 8,043 words. Pretty easy word length. You can see in my word counts on the right side of the blog that I usually start having difficulties around 15 or 20k.
This endeavor has been pretty casual and enjoyable so far. I’m getting a short vibe from it. Novella, perhaps shorter. I’ll have to look into different book lengths to get the correct term for it. I’m guessing it’ll prove to be less than 40k. We’ll see.
You’ll find that, though I sometimes enjoy reading epic-length novels, I don’t write them. Ever. My mind just isn’t convoluted enough for those kind of drawn out story lines. My brain just doesn’t work that way and I’m happy with that because it’s exhausting reading those kinds of books. I love GoT but, man, I’m totally drained before I’ve even finished a book.
Okay! On to the 10th installment of PM!
======== The Path of Moonlight ========
Adrenaline coursed through my system, quieting my complaining legs and giving my body the strength to sprint behind him. But I wasn’t used to the terrain or the prolonged exercise and I soon lagged behind. The farther behind I got, the stronger the hold my panic had over me. It stole my breath so it felt like I was suffocating. I couldn’t call out to him and I couldn’t keep running. When I tripped and fell, I gasped out a strangled cry and then lay sprawled in the moss, panting for breath.
I rolled over on my back and stared around me. Fear was contagious. Despite common sense telling me that it had probably just been a squirrel or a large bird, maybe a raccoon, I kept expecting to see a dangerous animal ready to pounce on me and tear me to shreds in some starved frenzy. A mountain lion perhaps? Or a wolf? Did they have wolves in cities? Maybe something had escaped from the zoo. That was possible, wasn’t it?
As I stared around me, I heard a low growl. My breath caught in my throat again and I turned my head to look. I didn’t see anything at first, but two yellow eyes soon stood out amongst the dense foliage of a bush. I wasn’t sure what it was about them that stood out to me. They could have been large bugs or some kind of plant color pattern. But I knew they weren’t. A head emerged from the bush.
The muzzle was pointed and the long fangs were bared in a snarl. To my shock it looked like a wolf but not at the same time. It resembled a wolf but on a larger, more exaggerated scale. The head was perhaps twice the size of a normal wolf’s and the upper fangs dipped down past its jaw in the semblance of a saber-toothed cat. Its paws as it stepped out were the size of my hands and the claws were, again, shaped like a cat’s – wickedly sharp and retractable. As I watched, they grew longer and dug into the log the creature was climbing over. Its body slunk forward, slow and wary and I saw its dark fur was matted with mud.
Its upper lip curled away from its teeth in a growl. I felt my eyes widen and my lungs contracted to scream but fear kept my throat closed and silent. I was going to die in silence.
A large body hurled itself forward, the creature’s attention turning toward it too late. It snarled and opened its jaws to protect itself but it never had a chance to attack. Metal flashed as the figure collided with the creature. The sudden movement freed me from my paralysis. I pressed into the log behind me, my legs curled against my chest, my hands over my ears as I tried to block out the sounds of the life-and-death struggle. The creature growled and struggled but the man, I saw now it was the lunatic who had been helping me, had his blades lodged to the hilt in the creature’s body and was holding it close against him in a way that he’d be safe from the muzzle and claws. As I watched, he pulled out one of the blades and thrust it through the thing’s neck. A bloody gurgle replaced the snarls and the creature’s body went limp.
From the time I fell till the creature’s death-moan, the whole thing took less than three minutes.
======== End of 10th Installment ========
For those of you wondering if this is going to turn into a horror story, rest assured it’s not. I do love horror and it was tempting to make it horror, but it’s not. It’s fantasy. Not dark fantasy. Just fantasy. How I do know without plotting it out?