Chapter Elven- Wounded Animal

“So you’re not coming, Leaf?” Spring asked looking at the snow storm, was it her or was it getting worse by the second.

“No, I can’t go any further than this,” Leaf explained he tried, and failed.

“Why not?” Winter asked why wouldn’t he be able to leave, unless he really did pass away, like the rest of them.

“Don’t know,”

“You’ve tried?” Winter said glaring at the old man, just how many times as he tried. They must be a reason behind it, but she couldn’t think of it.

“Of course, and each time I get to a point, it’s like someone hit me in the head with a rock,” Leaf said pointing his finger to his forehead.

“Any advice?” Luna asked she didn’t see the point of asking questions, they needed to get this done. She really just wanted to go back home, and hope that Winter’s father, doesn’t want her dead.

“Stay true of heart,”

“True of heart?” Autumn asked what did that mean, did they have to stay true of heart, or was it just a riddle?

“You’ll find the answer,” Leaf said handing them a bag, even though they had their own.

“I hate saying this, but what about our staff,” Summer said his eyebrow twitching, his face going a dark red.

“I’ll look after it, you’re also almost out of supplies, or the ones you have won’t help you,” Leaf said pointing ahead of them.

“Won’t help?” Spring asked she thought they packed well to survive the snow, but she guessed her grandmother didn’t think they’ll be this much.

“Trust me,”

“We don’t know you,” Winter said, she was getting sick of this conversation and they needed to go and afterwards she could disappear and live her life.

“I see, well at least we’re in good hands,” Leaf joked he just wanted to see them off, and make sure that they don’t get cold feet. Also the supplies he gave them should help them in the freezing cold temperature.

“That makes no sense,” Winter muttered picking up the, surprisingly, light bag. Winter couldn’t believe how light it was, so she looked into the bag, it was fully loaded with food and whatnot, but she didn’t know, why was it so light? It seems that he added bows and arrows. Perfect, Winter thought, it was one of the only weapons she could use.

“Stop talking in riddles,” Summer growled he hated normal riddles, but this time their very lives could be the line.

“Good luck,” Leaf said the five travellers looked at each other, than to Leaf, but he wasn’t there anymore, it seemed he either ran or he just disappeared.

“I wish I could do that,” Spring said she saw that everyone was looking at her “What?”

“Why?” Autumn asked he really didn’t get her, he was sure Luna didn’t get her, and they were somewhat related.

“Winter would find it more useful,” Spring muttered pulling on her own bag, it was as light as her old on. If Winter could disappear like that, than Hunter wouldn’t be able to kill her, because he wouldn’t be able to catch her.

“Spring, are you okay?” Luna asked she was sure that Spring didn’t know, that was saying that out loud and that the other three, were thinking that she crazier than they first thought.    

“Yes,” Spring said looking at her half-sister “Why?”

“You said something out loud,” Winter pointed out, no point in lying to her, she’d find out sooner, or later.

“My bad,”

“Can we get going?” Summer asked he was already annoyed; he didn’t need them making it worse.

--

“I think the sun’s making fun of us,” Spring said looking at the giant white ball in the sky; it was already half-way down the hill.

“It’ll stay there for a while, Spring,” Luna told her looking at Winter who was in front of the group and Autumn was in the back, both were better at seeing through the snow.

“Spring, stop whining,” Summer snapped they could barely walk, the ice was slippery. Summer was glad that they didn’t decide to walk on the seasonal river, it would have taken much longer, and it would be dark, by the time they met Leaf.

“I’m not whining,” Spring said, her voice however was a bit whiny, the others weren’t convinced. Sometimes they couldn’t believe that Spring was older than Winter, but at the same time, they couldn’t believe that Winter was the youngest.

“Did you hear that?” Luna asked, she could have sworn that she heard a growl.

“Hear what?” Autumn asked, he didn’t go hunting a lot, Summer and Winter, had the most hunting experience.

“A growl,” Summer said it sounded like a wolf or a tiger, “But why would something like that, be here?”

“I have to agree with Summer, there isn’t any food,” Winter said, as she stopped walking, it wasn’t like they could outrun a wolf or any creature with four legs.

“Did it hurt?” Summer asked he and Winter never got along, much. They could work together, but that was about it.

“A little,”

“Stop fighting you two,” Autumn sighed “And what is it?”

“Something on four legs,” Summer told them, though he didn’t know what it was, too heavy to like a squirrel, but to light to be an elephant, he should be glad, their fur was too thick and they’d break the ice.

“I th-” Winter couldn’t say anymore, because a huge white wolf jumped out of the cave, one of the three that were to the left of them. Summer knew that they shouldn’t get close to them, and luckily Winter was thinking the same thing.

Anyone could tell that the wolf was starving, but most the time a wounded animal was harder to fight than a healthy one, they had less to lose. Meaning they took more risks, just for any change to service, even the smallest of ones.

“Be careful,” Winter whispered hoping that she didn’t tip the wolf of, after all if the scar going down one eye, was to say anything, it would be that it was half-blind, from injury and not like Leaf’s who were just born blind.

“Why are we being careful?” Spring whispered she never went hunting; she just never had a reason to.

Winter didn’t answer, instead she watched her prey, just like to the wolf they were prey. It seems like it was in a fight before them, a while go, with the limp in its back left leg was anything to go by. Winter needed to make space, she and Summer needed to get its attention from the others, so they could get away.

“Guys, we need you to go,” Summer said looking at Autumn, Spring and Luna “Winter do you have any bow and arrows?”

“Of course,” Winter said as she prepared her weapon, holing the bow in front of her and drawing back the arrow.

“Come on Spring, Autumn,” Luna said as she grabbed their arms, pulling them away from the hungry wolf. It seemed that the animal knew that they were going, turning its head, letting Summer see its missing ear.  

“Winter it’s ear is missing,” Summer whispered drawing out on of his daggers, made out of metal that was hard to find, it was passed through his family, so it was very old, but well looked after. His other dagger was made out of sharp rock.

“Its left eye has a scar, so it’s more than likely blind,” Winter said as she let go of her arrow, the wolf tried to run after the others, she was able to get it, in the front right leg.

“Great,” Summer whispered, he couldn’t take the wolf into a close fight, it would just bit him, so Winter had to shot it until it was tired.

“I know right,” Winter shot another arrow, just missing, but causing the wolf to go backwards, getting further away from the others, and closer to the caves.

Summer was looking around; he needed a weapon, a long distance one like Winter’s arrows, but all there were some rocks. That’s it, slowly backing away, Summer was able to pick up a handful of small rocks, knocking the wolf in the head, drawing its attention away from Winter, who was able to hit it in the leg again.

“Summer, Winter!” Luna shouted drawing their focus away from the wolf and on to the older girl, it seemed she also had the attention of the wolf.

“Luna ran! Get away,” Summer shouted as Winter tried to hit the wolf, who was running in Luna’s direction, but she missed the arrow hitting the ground. Summer tried hitting the wolf, but he also missed.

Luna couldn’t scream the wolf was on her, digging its claws into her leg. She was going to die, the wolf pulled its head closer to her, where she could see the scars that almost completely covered its face, most of the wolf’s teeth were broken. Luna was looking into it’s yellow eye, when something made it stop.

Winter couldn’t believe she was able to shot the wolf, she had only one change to save Luna and she took it. She was able to get the wolf’s head, her arrow going through the top if its head and blood going down its head and onto the snow.

Luna quickly got out from under the dead wolf, staring at its body. She couldn’t believe what happened, but it might have been her fault, Autumn told her not to do it, but she wanted to make sure Winter was okay.

“Winter are you alright?” Luna asked getting onto her knees, it seemed the wolf was able to give her some injuries, she was right. She was going to die, but she knew that Winter and Summer wouldn’t know about the injuries, her clothes hid them.

“I’m fine,” Winter said, putting her weapon away, before running to the older female.

“I’m glad, and you Summer?”

“Worry, about yourself,” Winter coldly said, she was worried, but Luna shouldn’t have done that. She could have been killed and nothing she did would have changed that.

“Why don’t we go back to the others,” Luna suggested

“We’re going to have to tell you things about hunting, so this doesn’t happen again, are we?” Summer asked glaring at Luna, she could have died, anything would have done it.

“You are, aren’t you,” Luna said, her leg was staring to go numb, but she couldn’t show the others, she wasn’t going to save the world, she as just going to get in the way.        

The End

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