(Writer dare I whipped up on Friday. The dare was “begin with the phrase ‘there were three of them’.”)
There were three of them. Feather Belle squinted in the dim light, trying to keep her gaze on all of them at once. She crouched by a large oak tree, protecting her back, but she didn’t dare try to move. The cut in her leg still throbbed dully.
The wolves moved closer, fanning out in a half circle and cutting off any path of escape. Though they smelled her blood, they didn’t know she was nearly incapable of movement.
Mentally she counted her available weapons. They were grievously few. The spear she held in her left hand and the miniature crossbow clipped to her belt were all she had left. Her knives had been lost several hours ago.
The crossbow wouldn’t be much use against these beasts anyway. It was designed for small game or as an assassin’s weapon– small, and easy to hide and use in cramped quarters.
A sigh escaped her lips. She would have to fight all three of them with just her spear. She eased her wounded leg under her, wincing at the pain, and held the spear at ready. Unfortunately it was her left leg that was injured, and being left handed, she was accustomed to fighting with that hand. It would be a challenge to keep her leg out of the way and defend herself at the same time.
The first wolf lunged, but it was a fake attack. Feather tensed, but the animal stopped its advance after just a few steps. The other two closed in, but she didn’t take her eyes off the middle wolf. It was obviously the leader and her main target.
Easing her right hand to her belt, using small, nonthreatening movements, she unhooked her crossbow and clicked a bolt into place. It wouldn’t do much except make the wolf mad, but she might be able to take it down if she aimed a good shot right at it’s heart.
Quick as lightning, her right arm jerked out to the side and she spared a glance at the wolf to her right, just long enough to aim, then pulled the trigger as her gaze shifted back to the wolf leader.
The other two wolves attacked at the same time, urged on by the muffled howl of their companion as it slumped to the ground, a small hole in it’s chest.
Feather allowed herself a satisfied grin as she met the first wolf’s chest with the head of her spear, jerking the other end out at the same time so it cracked into the left-hand wolf’s skull.
Both stumbled and retreated. Her spearhead had missed the center of the leader’s chest, only scraping along his ribcage and leaving a bloody gash that traced across his shoulder.
Feather eyed her handiwork a moment too long. With a growl, the other wolf leaped, landed on her side, and shoved her over. She screamed as the animal’s claws found her injury and shoved the lower end of the spear into it’s gut.
“LET. ME. GO.” She yelled. If she hadn’t been wounded she might have been able to maneuver out from under the wolf, but now her movements were hindered by her leg.
In a moment the other wolf was on top of her and there was no way she could fight them. They were on her back, ripping at her hair, their nails piercing the skin on her back. She screamed again, but her voice was lost in their savage snarling and victory howls.
She gave in the fact that she was about to be eaten alive and tried to focus on anything but the pain.
A bellow sounded above her and it made the wolves pause in their feast of tearing apart her back. Wind whipped around them, shaking the tree boughs. Fire swirled down from above, blackening everything except Feather in a momentary gust.
Then it was gone and she was covered in ash–the only remains of the wolves’ bodies. A shadow covered her and she opened her eyes.
“Thorn…” She grinned. “Thank you.”