GENRE: YA Fantasy
There was an unfamiliar growl and a howl that was not her own. Her ears twitched at the sound of frantic paws. It was time to run but Panza hesitated, unwilling to leave her kill but hardly daring to face her enemies. The deer, lying bloody and broken at her paws, had been hard won and her stomach ached to be filled.
The scant seconds of thought had been enough to wrest the decision from her paws; snarling wolves filtered through the fungus stalks, surrounding her. None of them were more than half her size – she was small for a barghest, though much larger than any natural dog – but still she felt her muscles begin to seize up in fear. She growled back at them, turning her fear into aggression as only a canid can. Her ears lay back against her head and her shaggy black fur stood on end. She lowered her head to throw the bristled ridge on her back into sharp focus and peeled her lips back in what must have been a most unwelcoming smile.
“Mine,” she snapped, voice distorted by her growl. “Mine!”
But wolves were only dumb animals, unable to understand Mythic and with no language of their own beyond the bark and the bite. As they closed in on her Panza took an involuntary step back, only to yelp and skitter forwards as a wolf snapped at her from behind.
As their circle drew tighter she clamped down harder than ever on her fear. What was she, prey?