A long howl filled the air, and the couple froze. Were they discovered? They'd been careful, covered their tracks, hidden their scent, done everything to keep their escape viable.
Other howls answered. The wulfen were on the hunt. Hearts pounding, hands clasped, they ran through the night. With luck, they'd make it to the river.
Neither thought about the unlucky outcome.
The gibbous moon lit their path, though nothing could be bright enough in the thick forest. Old growth trees soared overhead, reclaiming the land as if humans had never been there. Only this narrow lane of asphalt was left, and even that was cracked and fallen apart.
Wulfen howled again, calling to each other. The woman was familiar with their cries, and knew the monsters weren't on their scent yet. Luck was still on their side.
"Hurry," the man urged, tugging on her hand. The air smelled damp, and the first tinkle of water came to their ears. They were getting closer to the boundary.
The first excited howl went up, and the woman cringed. The pack had found them. More calls, drawing nearer. Adrenaline filled the couple's veins, and they ran faster.
Freedom wasn't far now. A half mile at the most. The wulfen wouldn't cross the river. The man was from the human lands, knew they'd be safe. No more thralldom for either of them. Only safety in which to relish their love.
The pack did nothing to hide their presence, howls telling the humans exactly where they were. None of them were close.
A flash of silver, the river in moonlight. Escape!
The woman screamed when the silhouette of a wulfen blocked the view. No one ever got out once in wulfen lands. She sobbed, awaiting punishment.
Now on Helium