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Mina cocked her head and tried to figure out what he was hearing but all she could make out was a light breeze through the trees. Then it occurred to her. That was all she could hear. Earlier the forest was alive with sounds of birds and small animals. Now it was silent except for the wind. A shiver raced down her spine and her hand went for the small dagger that she’d taken to carrying in her belt.
The horses began to grow restless. Mina moved to calm her mare but the animal snorted and rolled her eyes nervously, side stepping as if from an invisible enemy. Mina tried to soothe her but both mounts were seriously spooked.
“Arion?” she asked uncertainly.
“Sshhh.” He put his finger to his lip and was moving toward her when the first black shadow whirled into the clearing.
Mina’s mare screamed and reared, ripping her tether from the ground as she ran into the forest.
Mina stood paralyzed in front of the creature. She watched in horror as it lifted its hands toward her, preparing to attack her just as had happened the previous year. Mina was powerless to do anything. She vaguely realized the dagger had fallen from her fingertips as she encountered the red gaze of the creature in front of her.
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