GENRE: YA Fantasy/Retelling
This is stupid, Alice decided. If someone Googled stupid they’d find a picture of her sitting in the dirt, waiting to be attacked. Hatta and his dumb ideas. Try live bait, he said. Won’t take long, he said. Ass.
The cold of the ground seeped into her jeans, numbing her skin. A shiver shook her and she wrapped her arms around herself to ward off the nighttime chill.
As time stretched, shadows filled the forest. Tangled branches, leaves and vines choked the canopy, keeping the moonlight at bay. The smell of damp earth mingled with the sharp scent of moss and fresh water. Creatures chittered, calling to one another, no doubt mocking her. She felt incredibly mockable.
This wasn’t just stupid, it was crazy, but after trudging through the woods for hours, exhausted and starving, who wouldn’t be somewhat unhinged?
Something croaked a low moooooooron.
“Oh, come on!” Alice’s shout swept outward in echoing waves, silencing the forest save the whispering wind. “Fine. Fine! S’fine.” She pushed to her feet and dusted off her butt. “Guess we’ll do this the hard way.”
She’d backtrack to the Gateway. Hopefully the trail hadn’t gone cold. As she walked, an odd sort of pressure slid along her limbs. Goose bumps prickled her flesh. She paused. Everything remained still, quiet enough for her to hear what she believed to be the wind more clearly as it became a low, heavy pulsing rush. Whuush. Whuush.
Not wind. Breathing.
This plan was stupid, but it worked.