I had never seen the woods at night, or let alone any time during the day, at least from the inside. The very trees seemed to whisper, towering far over my head and stretching up to the half moon in the glittering black sky, the stars shedding their cold black light upon us. The mist tickled my wriggling black nose as the wind sang its lonely song in a duet with the thundering crickets. Wind ruffled my fur, and nearby Skylar covered her snout with her tail, growling in annoyance. Newt grunted his amusement, as his fur was warm but short, and he was unbothered by the wind.
We had found we could communicate with each other if we were all in animal form. It wasn't so much of a sound, but more of a mind thing, which we were surprised to know we all spoke fluently. Newt skittered up a nearby tree, his claws ripping at the moss. He clambered onto a small lower lifting his head in arrogance.
How you doin' down there, Wolfy? He gloated, flexing his claws. I snorted and rammed my shoulder into the tree. It quivered, and the branch Newt was on broke. He tumbled down onto the forest floor, ending in a spectacular flop, the branch landing on top of him. Skylar and I broke out in histeric laughs, like little grunts to the human ear.
Pretty good. Nice of you to join me Kitty-Cat. I said, while Sky rolled around of the ground howling with amusement.
Fine. But I'm still faster than the both of you combined! He gloated.
You're on!! Me and Sky said in unison.
One two three GO! I shouted, streaking off into the forest, Newt and Sky right at my tail. I howled with joy, jetting over rocks and around trees, occasionally sloshing through a creek or marsh. We must have been running for 20 minutes, my joy growing with every step. Finally, I felt free.
Until, that is, I turned around.
Newt and Sky were gone.
My blood ran cold. I had heard them running behind me not 3 minutes ago, howling with joy just like me. I began to panic, back tracking, sniffing for their scent. I finally caught it, but it seemed to have ended without a trace, like they had randomly vanished. I wheeled around, looking for where they could have gone, when I heard the sound. A loud thump, then a whirring. My eyes shot up above me and I stared.
There where ropes in the trees.
A net erupted from the bracken, shooting into the air and taking me with it. I struggled, my feet flailing and my teeth snapping at the ropes, but they did not yield.
"FREEZE!" said a deep voice. "DONT TRY ANYTHING OR WE WILL SEE EXACTLY HOW FILTHY YOUR FRIENDS DIRTY HUMAN BLOOD IS!" and a large torso of a man leaned out of the shadows, a bow trained on my head. "Morph back now, filthy human, or face the consequences. How dare you trespass in our woods." The man stepped completely out of the shadow, and I realized this as no man.
The centaurs had found us.