Scarlett

Just a WIP piece of writing. It’s a bit weird without context, so just bear with me. It’s supposed to be a sort of twisted fairytale.

——-

Scarlett brushed a lock of chestnut hair away from her deep brown eyes. With a tired sigh of relief, she sunk down onto the soft grass beneath her and slumped weakly against an old oak tree, the rough bark grating against her back.
The fire crackled gently against the dark backdrop of the moon and stars, its friendly orange glow flickering in the small clearing in the woods. An owl hooted in the far distance, and the air smelt of a fresh spring night.
It was a rare moment in Scarlett’s life when she could rest. She hung her red cape and hood on a crooked twig, slung her quiver onto the ground and stretched her wings, her joints cracking away the stiffness. Kicking off her worn leather boots, she dug her feet into the soft grass and held her hands out, feeling the warmth of the fire envelope her and spread through her weary body. It was a small moment of peace in her otherwise troubled life.

Suddenly, a twig snapped in the thickets. Scarlett looked up warily and felt instinctively for the slim dagger that rested in her belt as a dark shape separated itself from the shadows of the trees.
Lycus, is that you?” she called out warily.
A colossal wolf slunk out from the foliage, and Scarlett ran to greet him. She tousled his fur playfully, the same chestnut shade as her own. He growled deep within his throat, a sound which to most would be intimidating, but Scarlett knew it as a sign of affection.
Lycus nuzzled her face gently, then turned and nestled in a pile of dry leaves. Scarlett smiled gently at her brother, then turned and stirred the stew which was bubbling softly on the fire. Lycus lay, his head on his paws, watching his protectively with his deep amber eyes. He had already eaten.

***

The night was surprisingly deep, but disturbed by frequent dreams of wolves, endless forests and witches, blurred elements of past and present mingling into terrifying nightmares which made her toss and turn every night.

Suddenly, she jolted awake. Her wet, matted hair was stuck to her forehead with sweat and her breath came out in ragged gasps. She heard a low rumble and turned to see Lycus, awake next to her, growling. The hairs on his back were raised and his teeth bared for a fight. Scarlett leapt up and pulled on her cloak, the scarlet fabric swirling around her like a mysterious force. She pulled the quiver onto her back and strung an arrow onto her bow.
Who goes there?” she called, her voice piercing the crisp morning air.
The leaves rustled. She took a step forward, bow still ready.

Lycus suddenly bounded forward, knocking a figure away from its hiding place. Scarlett readied herself for a fight, but instead the boy turned and ran back into the trees.
Hey! Come back!” she shouted.
Scarlett raced after him, the forest whirring past her in a blur of greens and browns. That was weird. People chased after her, or attacked her. They never ran away. The boy was fast, always just too far away to see properly. He twisted and turned, trying to lose her, but she knew her way about the woods. The wind tore past her face and her feet thumped rhythmically on the forest floor.

Abruptly, he stopped. Scarlett slammed into him, and crashed to the ground. She glanced up groggily to see a hazy, dark figure crouched over her.
Then everything went black.

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