She swept through the moonlit fields on swift and silent feet. The cold, wet air flowed in and out of her lungs, with no time to take heat from the knotted fire in her belly. Suddenly, Wetrock-salamander bounded into a dead tree’s branches.
She stopped. Her large, owlish eyes locked intently on a lonely cabin in the woods. No lights shone within, and it had been closed tight against the chill of early spring. Her mind, however, was hours in the future, dancing wildly with Swampfire-greymoth.
Slowly she crawled to the end of the lowest branch. The claws of her hands and feet sent showers of soft bark floating down to the earth. With a practiced toss, she sent a wet sheet to unfurl over the smoking louver. There was nothing then but to wait.
Wetrock-salamander’s stomach burned. She couldn’t stop fitfully stripping the bark from her perch. All around her, the worm-riddled wood lay exposed.
At long last, the smoke pouring through the tightly closed shutters began to slacken. Her body tensed. She ran her tongue across rows of pointed teeth. She closed her eyes and counted.
Only then did she drop to the dewy grass, draw a deep breath, and slip inside the smoke choked abode. Moments later she emerged with a fistful of silver forks and a half cooked leg of lamb. The food did nothing to assuage the burning nervousness in the pit of her gut. At least the silver would shine finely in her matted, moss-green hair. Perhaps, after all, Swampfire-greymoth would pick her.