Wulf wrapped his fingers around the rock. It was jagged, and dirty. He felt its rough edges cutting against his palm, but he didn’t care. He cared only about the weight of it, and the truth of his aim. He lifted his weapon slightly off the ground so that the blades of grass barely brushed against the bottom and his fingers. They were like little bug bites, and he lifted his fingers a hair higher, the heaviness of the rock pulling at his muscles at the awkward height. Wulf forced himself to ignore the discomfort – the beast was more important.
The beast was a creature unlike any he had seen before. It’s dark, hollow eyes crackled with lightning. Its teeth were bared, yellow and red-tinged as though they had recently torn flesh. It’s thick body was covered in fur-like spike, and each of the three toes on its four legs were equipped with curved claws.
It stalked him. He knew it as he saw its eyes locked keenly upon him from his hiding place behind the boulder. Had it been following for days, or had it only now picked up his scent? Wulf was unsure. If there was anywhere to run to, he was neither a fool nor a coward and he would choose the easiest route to safety. There wasn’t. There was only the tall, waving grass of the prairie and scattered boulders. No, he would have to stand and fight and die if necessary, and all because he had been reckless and failed to look for darkness lurking in the high grass.
The beast’s nostril’s flared as it ducked its head and prepared for a pounce.
Wulf, too braced himself – ready, waiting. The rock in his hand itched and he was ready to bludgeon the creature’s brains in. The head and legs seemed the only vulnerable parts of the beast, and even those were protected by tooth and claw. His chest tightened, but he forced himself to take long, deep breaths. There was no point in panicking – here he was and he had to make the best of the situation.
If he panicked, even for a moment, he would surely die.
Dry grass crackled as the beast dug its rear legs into the ground, and launched.
In the same moment, Wulf rolled out from his hiding spot, watching as the creature flew over him in the air. He flattened himself to the ground as the disgruntled beast noticed its error and landed ferociously. Every moment was crucial. He brought himself up to a practiced battle stance.
They stood off, facing each other, spending barely a moment in silent strategy, before the beast pounced again.
Wulf lifted his rock high, bearing the only weapon he carried with dangerous pride, and charged the creature.