They hastened through the forest with the insect-like man leading the way, crawling over the forest floor. The match had long since burnt out, but the boy stayed close to his guide, following the noises of twigs snapping and ragged breathing that penetrated the otherwise dark silence.
Thoughts burst over him in a panic every so often, asking over and over why he was doing this; what would happen when he walked in unannounced and faced his father. He shuddered, but knew it was too late to go back. He'd had the nerve to go this far, so for his own piece of mind he should see it through.
The blackness lightened to a silvery moonlight grey, and Gray realised they had entered a clearing. The man bristled and stopped, deathly still. Gray looked past him, squinting as his eyes adjusted to the new half-light. Without thinking he gasped- there, right before them, was a huge, angry-looking boar. At the sound of his exclamation of surprise it growled; a low, authoritative rumbling that shook Gray to the core. Then, wihout warning, it charged straight at them.
With a cry Gray and his companion threw themselves out of its path- it was all they could do within that split second to prevent instant death.
Suddenly Gray was running, running, no longer caring about his mission, his father; not even caring where he was going. The hoarse voice echoed behind him: "Master Saudley!" but he kept on going, heart thudding loudly. Or was it his heart? All at once he was aware of quick, loud thuds grinding the earth behind him... weighty, resonating, beast-made thuds.
A terrified look over his shoulder showed him nothing but the darkness that was once more all around, but Gray could feel the boar's presence, hear the low rumble growing nearer and nearer...
He whipped out his knife from his trousers' sheaf, wondering how he was going to use it against the seemingly unstoppable boulder that was hurtling tirelessly towards him.
Swinging himself behind the nearest tree, the boar swung with him, following his scent. Huge tusks rammed into his side, lifting his body clear off the ground and throwing him through the air until he collapsed against a tree. Gray could feel warm blood flowing freely out of the gash made by the beast. As his consciousness faded, he could hear the rumble coming for him again, and a clear, sharp voice murmering something foreign to his right...