Bain’s Feet hit the ground at a pace that was abnormally fast for a human. His heart was thumping against his chest as he fled the town, fear flooding his chocolate-brown eyes. He knew he only had minutes, maybe ten if he was lucky, but he needed to catch her, Skylar, his love… And also his own curse. It was early night, the people already bunkering down against both the cold, and the newest monster ravaging the town. If only they knew it was her, they would shake with laughter, would they believe him? No. The answer was clear in his mind as he continued to run. No, they’d first kill her, then him, in the most brutal ways possible. He could almost feel Skylar’s pain as he neared where she usually was, his brown hair clinging to his head with sweat. He looked to the horizon, where the sun was now out of sight, ‘but not out of mind’.
Bain shivered lightly as he grazed his arm against the thorns of a nearby bush. He knew he had no time left, but he continued to push himself forward, ‘I need to see her’ he urged, ‘I need to
save her’. He was desperate; the glass vial containing the antidote to the sickness of his Skylar was burning in his hand. The liquid was now silver, a drastic improvement from
the sickly green it had been when the Shaman handed it grudgingly to him, waving off his coins and refusing to become a part of the disaster. An ear-shattering scream pierced the cold air that
had been soothing Bain’s overheated body, and he could feel his eyesight go blurry for a moment, his legs weakening as he saw her. Skylar was weeping, knelt over on the ground, and Bain ran to
her, her long black hair cascading down her shoulders as she turned and screamed,
“NO!” she had her piercing blue eyes shut to the world, and Bain paused for a moment before running the short distance to her, laying a hand on her frail porcelain-coloured arm. Time seemed to stop, and he felt her pulse sky-rocket. Her breathing became ragged, almost a growl. Bain tried to lift her, and she back-handed him, slashing five red lines down his torso, tearing his shirt open.
That’s when it happened.
She fell to the ground, her entire body shaking, and Bain remembered the heated vial in his hand. Running towards her, he called out desperately, “Skylar!” he could barely hear his own voice from the ragged growls coming from her figure on the ground, “Skylar, take this-” His body was thrown backwards into a tree, and he saw her now, a twisted creature, half-wolf, half-human. She- it’s eyes glowed in its black fur, blue as day, just as Skylar’s… He felt a sharp pain in his left hand and realised the vial had been broken as he hit the tree, the burning glass in his palm didn’t worry him as he ran mindlessly. The thing followed, chasing his scent and he found himself facing a cliff, the animal right behind him, and as Bain turned, the vial in his hand seemed to quiver, and he made up his mind.
He ran at the animal, raising the broken end of the vial as it paused and plunging it into it’s flesh, he felt the creature lash out at him, and he ignored the pain spreading from his ribboned torso, keeping the shattered glass firmly in it’s skin until he was sure the liquid had been absorbed. The animal went wild, thrashing around and running into trees as Bain held on for his and her life. Eventually, after what Bain was sure lasted a lifetime it collapsed, bleeding from the hole on its shoulder, where the glass had been pierced into the flesh, and slowly, he felt it change back. The deformed face became Skylar’s face, and slowly, her body replaced the monster. He carefully picked her up, wincing as she fell to his chest. Bain was a hero, slaying the monster of the province, but as they celebrated its end, Bain felt cold eyes watching his every movement from the shadows as the villagers congratulated him for bringing the end of their terror, he couldn’t help but wonder, was it really?
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