Luna stood atop the hillside, gazing over the valley below as she searched for her pursuers. Bathed in the dusky glow of the setting sun, she tried to catch her breath. Her pants echoed down through the fields before her. She could tell by the trampled crops that the men had followed her trail. She struggled to retain composure. They were coming for her; and they were close.
Panic began to set in. She could no longer see her brothers. In splitting up they had ensured the survival of at least one of their own; the two men would never catch them all. But Luna had never been alone before. Not like this. She didn’t even see which way they’d run. They had all fled in different directions once the hunters had appeared. She’d been quick but she had been the last to flee from the scene. She knew the dangers of stealing to eat, but didn’t revel in it like her brothers. Artemis and Taini liked the chase. She needed them now.
The men drew closer; Luna heard them shout and knew she’d been spotted. Terror set in as the tattered clothes and brutish form of one of her hunters clambered across the open grassy stretch towards her. Even against the dimming evening light, she could see how tiresome it was to carry his monstrous frame up the steep hills of the valley, but upon locating Luna in her vulnerable position he drew strength from somewhere beneath his course, fleshy husk and dashed towards her. The jagged edges of his padded coat flapped in the wind, beating noisily off of the back of his legs as he laboured towards her. His eyes looked hungry as he gave a loud hoot, calling for his partner to keep up. Luna’s breathing quickened once more as she realised that she had to move. Her mind drew up its remaining strength and one word was pushed to the forefront of her thinking.