Shining on wet leaves are equally wet cheeks. The edges are ripped, torn just like her hoarse voice, ragged nails and shredded hemline. Relentlessly she has been calling his name, her voice has been swallowed by the forest as has the sun by the murky river water.
Her hair clings to her face, sticky with sweat. It makes a dense veil, shielding her from what she knows she will see. While she runs desperately, she peels it away, nails scratching her face. The trees mock her, their crooked backs shaking with laughter; the swaying of their thick branches reminiscent of a death march, but her determination is louder. As long as her heart pounds in her temples and pulses in her hands, she will not relent.
Breathing hard, she looks upwards.
There, suspended ominously is the moon. She reminds herself that she is aware of what is happening, but her heart flutters like a bird against her ribcage. Despite holding her breath to remain strong, she shudders with rage. If only she were a bird to careen into the moon, smothering its light and pecking it to crumbs. Perhaps then it would form a trail he could follow rather than her finding him in this unwelcoming morning air.
There, fur bristling, is him. His head is raised, nose touching the moon. The swirling grey eyes she was so familiar with have been clouded by amber. Tired of waiting out the nights clutching a blanket, she steps closer, hands outstretched to appeal to his humanity. Ears twitch with her movement and he curls his black lips. The rejection does not surprise her, but the hard glint of his teeth does.
Startled, she falls backwards, and her ankle twists.
He lets out a howl that reverberates through the night. It is the call to hunt. She lets out her own howl, but it is of the anguish of her heart fracturing her ribcage. Right then and there she knows there is no way to the moon, but perhaps there is no need: his amber eyes are fixated on her heart.