Fawne opened her eyes and looked at confusion at the sky above her. It was night, and the stars were winking brightly from between branches and falling leaves. Hadn’t it been daytime when she came here?
Fawne blinked and tried to sit up, dry leaves crunching beneath her. She shook her head to try and clear away a sudden fog of confusion. When she’d come here, it had been spring, and all the plants were coming back to life after a long winter. And now, the leaves were dying again and in a blazing spectrum of colors from bright yellow to dark brown, the same color as Fawne’s long hair.
She slowly got to her feet and walked through the woods, her feet retracing the path that she’d taken to come out here. But before she reached the edge of the forest, the ground beneath her bare feet changed into something rough and unfamiliar. Even more confused, she looked down at the ground. Instead of the soft ground of the forest coated in a blanket of dying leaves, the ground was now hard and black, with a faded white line on the edge, and faded yellow lines in the center.
What is this strange ground? Fawne wondered to herself as she knelt down to brush her slender fingers across it. Small pieces of the strange ground rolled beneath her fingertips, leaving small indentations. She frowned. How long had she been in the forest?
She stepped out onto the new ground and began walking across it cautiously, listening for any sounds that didn’t belong in the night. From far off came an unfamiliar sound. With another frown, Fawne turned toward the sound. A giant beast with a sleek, gleaming body and glowing yellow and white eyes came charging at her, roaring loudly. Her hunting instincts coming into play, she stood her ground and reached behind her back to quickly grab her bow from the quiver strapped to her back, but she grasped nothing but air. A sudden fear growing in her body, Fawne leapt from the strange ground, but not quick enough. The beast with the gleaming body hit her hip hard, knocking her to the ground, and one of its strange feet crushing her leg.
The beast stopped moving and puffed up its sides. Fawne tried to drag herself away, thinking it would charge her again. But instead, two people stepped out of it and quickly walked to her. Fear fueled by years of hiding before she’d been in the forest, she tried to stand and run, but couldn’t make it to her feet. As the pain caused her to black out, Fawne remembered seeing two silhouettes in the glow from the beast’s eyes leaning over her.