“I’ve been waiting for you.”
A man stepped out from the trees, blocking her path. Creature crouched and bared her teeth.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” he repeated.
The man lit a candle and leaned towards the flame, his face lit by the orange glow.
“I am Enucel. Do not be afraid, sweet Creature.”
Creature let out a small meow at the sound of her name and moved back along the path before crouching, ready to run into the forest.
“I know who you are, Creature,” he said. “I mean you no harm.”
Creature ears pricked up.
“You can trust me,” he said, holding his hand out to her. “I will help you find Sitome.”
Creature let out a plaintive wail. The man took a step towards her and she arched her back and hissed. He raised his hand in supplication.
“Your Sitome is a prisoner of the King.”
“I can tell you how you can reach him.”
Creature cocked her head, inspecting him. Enucel’s short greying hair framed his pale face. His eyes were pitch black, his lips adorned with golden rings. Silver rivulets were painted on his cheeks, flowing from his eyes to his chin. Enucel’s red robe looked like fire licking at his body.
“I live in the ruins in the forest,” he said, pointing the way with his candle. “I will be waiting for you, Creature.”
Enucel left the path, the candle flame flickering as he moved through the trees. Creature didn’t move. She watched the flame grow smaller and disappear.