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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kutztown chapter.

He trekked along a snowy path up the mountain. It would be dusk soon, too cold to continue to the Hunter’s Base. He would have to find somewhere to camp for the night, and fast. 

Towards the peak of the mountain, which was lined with trees, he found a cave overlooking the valley below and miles of snow-capped trees, towns dotting the land, and a river weaving and dodging it all. The sunset reflected against the falling snow as it hugged the horizon. He ducked into the shallow cave and made a campsite from himself. 

He pulled out a blanket from his bag and made a small fire from tree limbs by the forest 20 yards away at the top of the incline. He surrounded it in rocks from the interior of the cave and warmed his ungloved hands, regaining feeling in his extremities. 

His stomach growled as the light outside grew dimmer and dimmer, only the light by the fire providing his eyes assistance to see in the dark. His abilities weren’t honed in yet, so he couldn’t use the night vision ability, not like he wanted to. 

He heated some rabbit he had from earlier. While eating, he began to think about the others. I hope Mother is okay. I hope Erin doesn’t hate me.

Then, in the midst of thought, he heard a growl coming from the darkest corner in the cave. He recalled there being a tiny hole in the wall, but figured nothing that small could harm him. He stood up, his 6’5″ self, prepared to take on anything. “Hello? Who’s there?” He spoke, with all the assertiveness he could musterin his 16-year-old voice. The growling became more irritated as the thing crawled into the light of the fire, and Zach’s eyes grew wide. 

It was a winged creature with spikes along his spine and fangs protruding from his jaws. Its tail looked like a scythe with how the spikes were laid out, and there was damage on the black, leathery wings. “Aw, poor little guy…” Zach knelt down on his knee pads as the creature hissed. “Don’t worry little fella, I won’t hurt you.” Zach cooed to the internally frightened creature. He had never seen anything of this species before. I know I’ve traveled a far way from the slave camps, Zach thought, but I’m surprised to never see something like him before. 

The creature snarled and lunged forward in an attempt to bite, but Zach reeled his hand away before the creature could get a taste of his fingers. “Whoa there, I’m not a snack.” He looked to the side of the firepit and saw a piece of rabbit leftover. While keeping steady eyes on the foe, he reached his long arm for the meat. “Are you hungry, bud? Here, have some of this.” He tossed a shredded portion of the rabbit meat over to the small animal. The creature bent down, sniffing with his nose, and licked the meat with its purple and blue-hued tongue. Zach studied the animal’s behavior. Cautious, but fiesty. He had to be putting up a brave front. 

The creature gobbled the shred in one gulp and gazed over at Zach, its black pupils dilated. It took careful steps towards Zach and sat against the cave wall with its legs crossed. He remained still as the creature sniffed his hand, then proceeded to lick it. Zach felt a slight burning sensation. Acid saliva, perhaps?  

The creature then jumped into Zach’s lap, purring like a house cat. It folded its damaged wings inward to take up less space and nuzzled its head into the crevice of Zach’s knee. Zach laid a gentle hand on its head, trying to make the creature feel at ease. 

“There there, little guy. I won’t hurt you.” He spoke softly. He took a closer look at the wings. Holes littered them, making it unable to fly. “We’re both broken. We can be broken together.”

Peyton Williams

Kutztown '20

Music education major who loves film score and writing stories of any kind! Ask me about my favorite piano piece and why I love green tea lemonade!
Jena Fowler

Kutztown '21

Music lover, writer, avid Taylor Swift connoisseur