She felt him behind her, closing in, and her adrenaline
spiked, sending another burst of speed through her muscles.
Heart pounding, blood singing in her veins, the dark shapes
of thick trunks blurred as she ran. She didn't dare risk
a glance over her shoulder, but she knew where he was,
could smell him in the air.
He wasn't the one she wanted to catch her.
She dodged over obstacles littering the forest floor
until she reached the river. The water was deep and cold
this early in the summer, but she was a good swimmer.
Without pausing, she leapt into the dark swirling liquid
and let the current carry her.
Only when the river turned, and the current slowed to
a lazy roll, did she return to the shore. She paused,
crouching on the bank, and sniffed the air. No scent.
She'd lost the young one. For now.
But her ruse wouldn't fool him for long. Nor would it
distract the others. They'd played this game before.
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