The soft meow from her side made her jump. She let out a shaky breath and attempted to ease her nerves – nothing had happened and she was just being paranoid because it was late and she was in unfamiliar territory. She moved the bag around by the strap to look at the little white head peeking from under the loose flap, smiling at the secret passenger she had stowed away and holding her finger to her lips. The kitten meowed one last time and tugged it’s head back inside the shadows of the bag to lay on the clothes tightly packed inside.
The mist seemed to move in waves around her, never touching her yet surrounding her all at once, the cold set in against her skin again and she chewed her lip. There was just no reason for her to be getting so scared in a graveyard, yet there she was clutching her bag and trying not to shake. Her heart rate increased and her breathing became labored, sending small clouds of steam into the air, which only served to alarm her further. Something was wrong and she was in the center of a cemetery with no hope of escaping.
Out of the darkness formed a tall shadow, swaying back and forth, never quite still, with a mane of gray-black hair that drifted in an unknown wind, making the thick shadow even more ominous as it slipped from place to place. The face was a muzzle, much like that of the Eastern dragons, filled with fangs that would make any tiger proud, eyes bright emerald green that were cold as ice against the dark markings just barely visible around its face. It moved in a glide that was half walking on two legs yet almost a walk on four as it darted and rolled through the mists without disturbing them in the slightest. The long claws digging into the ground while it snarled and snapped it’s teeth in complete silence, it darted, rolled, and halted suddenly before starting again with the deadly power and strength of a tiger and the odd flexible agility of a monkey, rolling and tumbling with an easy, deadly grace that would make a professional acrobat cry with jealous despair at their inability to duplicate it.
She nearly fell backward, gripping one of her blades her first instinct was to run but she had no idea where to and there was no doubt in her mind that it could follow right behind her. She would have to try and defend herself, which was not going to be very easy considering how it moved and shifted. It’s nostrils flared and the creature snarled, the large teeth snapping silently in her direction. She shuddered when it rolled toward her, gripping her blade tight in her hand, she slipped the bag off her shoulder and set it down away from where she jumped next. Her stowaway would be safe from what damage they might do and hopefully she would survive to feed the poor darling later.
The creature landed in front of her swinging the long, vicious claws of one hand toward her throat, but she had felt the air shift before the creature became solid to hit her and dodged back, avoiding the rake to her throat. The air that was produced from the narrowly avoided swipe stung her skin leaving thin pink trails where the claws would have landed. In that moment, it became blatantly obvious that those claws would be more than a little nasty if they managed to actually catch her delicate skin. However, as she avoided the first swipe she had just enough time to look up and see the second coming, dodging back again while the massive creature crowded her.
It forced her back trying to corner her amongst the tombstones and mausoleums where she would never get free and it could rend her to small pieces – she could tell by the deadly look in the icy green eyes. She noticed the corner, the tactic the creature was using as though she were a frightened animal rather than a real opponent, the predator cornering it’s prey before the kill. The second swipe was followed with a snap of the beast’s massive jaws trying to take a bite out of her which she avoided and elbowed the creature in the side of the head while it was solid and close to her. The hit landed, however, it only served to further enrage the beast that had tried to end the fight before it ever truly began.
From the First Draft’s Prologue