I suppose my ability to navigate stemmed from my ancestors. After all, aren't dark, complicated labyrinths what my kind are associated with? And wasn't hunting down humans that stumbled into the labyrinth what we were built for in the olden days?
A shiver rolled down my spine, and I shook myself, facing yet again into the gloomy, starlit forest. Of course this was where the satyr would have taken the girl. Although - what had Victoria said? The kid was a unicorn? The thought of some sort of spiritually magical creature repulsed me. What good were gifts of kindness and healing if you didn't have the ability to firstly defend yourself? Creatures like that were weak. Weaker than humans, in my opinion.
As I picked my way through the trees, pausing every so often to untangle my gigantic horns from some stray branches of brambles, Claudia's chalky voice echoed in my head: "Remember, Bruce. If it comes down to it, and you come back without that girl, your head is going to be the first on the chopping block."
I couldn't lose my job. Not now, right after I had rediscovered what had made me love teaching so much in the first place. I couldn't let my school and my students down, now that they needed me.
I had been trekking for about an hour when I picked up the sound of muffled chatter. I squinted through the trees, and could just make out two figures - the unicorn kid, and the girl. She had just turned away and was strolling forward, while the unicorn seemed to shake himself, and if I wasn't mistaken, mumbled something under his breath.
While the kid was distracted, I took my opportunity and leaped out of the trees towards the girl, letting loose the most humungous roar I could muster. She whirled around, and the fear that flashed through her wide brown eyes seemed to freeze her to the spot. I whisked her off the ground - she seemed to weigh less than a box of cereal. Muffling her terrified screams against my chest, I tore my way through the trees, back towards the university.
There, they would take the human off my hands. They would sort the Redding scandal, and it wouldn't be my problem anymore.