The End…

This was actually the beginning of my NaNo for this year and I wrote it well before I saw the phrase prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth.  However, it seems to me that it fits rather well, so I’ll use it for this.

**

Aisling frowned slightly as she heard a dog barking somewhere in the distance.  “Lassie?” she called, glancing over at the sheep.  Sure enough, the dog was not minding the sheep as she should be doing.  “What’s she got treed now?” Aisling grumbled.  She lifted her skirts and ran towards the sound of her dog’s now-frantic barking.

She froze when the barking suddenly cut off.  “Lassie,” she said, fear gripping her for the first time.  She remembered now that her papa had warned her that there had been disappearances of late.  People said there were dark things afoot.  No one could say if it was the work of fae or something far more sinister, but he’d told her to keep close to the house.

Shivering, Aisling glanced back the way she’d come and then towards where she’d last heard her family dog.  Should she turn back or see what had become of Lassie?  Aisling chewed her lip and then spun on her heel.  She could come out searching for the dog with her father, but she couldn’t work up the courage to go out alone.  Not now that she’d remembered her father’s warning.  Certainly not with the ommonous silence that had descended.

She nearly screamed when a large shadow fell on the path in front of her.  Then, she saw the uniform that the stranger wore and a surge of relief swept through her.  “You’re one of Lord Aren’s Hunters,” she said, her eyes widening.  She shook her head.  “My dog’s gone missing.  Could you help me look for her?”

“I’m afraid not,” the Hunter said, frowning.  He smiled faintly and took a step closer to her.  “A young girl like you… didn’t your father warn you how dangerous it was to be out on the moors alone?”

“He did,” Aisling murmured, frowning.  The Hunter was acting rather strange.  It was beginning to frighten her.  “I just now remembered it and I was heading back to the house to fetch him, so we could go and look for Lassie.”

“You won’t be finding Lassie, I fear,” the Hunter said.  “Neither will your father be finding you, I fear.”  He smiled, then, and Aisling’s eyes widened briefly.  Then, her scream of terror echoed across the moor before, like Lassie’s barking, it abruptly and completely cut off.

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