[Careful; I might Bite.] Chapter Ten.Mature

                         The wind blowing through my hair as I ran felt like the singular, most enjoyable thing I had ever experienced. I was so ... free. Nothing could hold me back now. It was night-time, meaning that many were at home, in the warmth. However, I wasn't ready to make a complete mess out of life just yet. I decided to stick to the woodland, away from the town.

                            Autumn leaves scattered sideways as I ploughed through them, the crunching sound barely noticable. Hunters needed to be silent, always, if they wished to bring home the hunt. Scenery flew past me in a blur, little animals hid in their crevices, away from the danger.

                           The way my limbs, strong and powerful, moved in response automatically to my brain's whims was fantastic. The heat within urged to burst; to break out of it's prison of flesh. I laughed joyfully as I sped up, dodging sinewey roots snaking through the soft earth, not daring to slow my pace.

                          I had planned to continue like this, an unstoppable force - until a clearing came into view. One large, even gigantic, tree stood tall and proud in the middle. The massive trunk looked easy enough to climb. The branches were a mass of tangled pathways leading high into the sky. I suddenly felt like ... a kid again. If you were the first to reach the top of the monkeybars, you were classified as legend.

                           Not really concentrating, I glanced quickly behind me; just in case. Leaning back onto my heels, I launched my body forward, clawing my way up the tree trunk. Footholds were not neccessary. All one needed was determination - and the strength of a wolf. That, you know, totally helps.

                           Gripping the bark firmly of the closest branch, I swung my legs upwards and after anchoring my feet, brought the rest of me along. With each obstacle I encountered, it took seconds to wind in or out and to meet the next. I was nearly halfway.

                              That's when I heard it.

                               To normal, human ears, the sound would have seemed to be only a trick of the forest. To mine, it was the unmistakable tip-toe of footsteps. In panic, I abandoned my childish quest and dropped. Hiding in a tree would be logical; undercover, thanks to the foliage. But, if the intruder was a serious threat, being trapped was the last thing I wanted.

                               Standing fully erect, I sniffed then backed up into the bushes. Definately male. But, where? Where?

                               Taking a sharp left, I sneaked through the wild vegetation, wincing as thorns scratched my skin. Up ahead, was the path that I orginially followed to get here. Adrenaline surged me forward to exit the worst of the forest - I leapt past the gap and landed thankfully on my feet.

                               "Ruby?"

 

 

The End

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