Run. As the black shadow of her enemy looms closer the word echoes around her head. She tries her hardest to run she knows she isn't fast enough. She is never fast enough. With every centimetre she gains the shadow grows above her but she dares not look up. The sun beats relentlessly down turning the stone beneath her to fire, scorching the flesh it touches. She knows what advice her mother would give: to hide. To duck as far back into shelter as possible, make herself as small as she can and pray the shadow passes, but it’s too late for that, she’s been seen and the Shadow will not give up. She knows this because she has seen family and friends destroyed by Shadows. Ripped from their homes and consumed by greedy mouths.
Her breath is loud in her ears. The shelter of the trees and scrub is so close. If she can only make it there she’ll stand a chance. But the path ahead is black with the Shadow now. She hears the harsh voice in the sky above, deafening and triumphant, she sees the claws, dirty and cruelly sharp closing around her. She is thrown to against the stone once- twice- a third time- another, and then there is a splintering crack, and the world is full of pain.
From his seat in the garden, the boy watched as a crow swooped down on a snail. Fascinated, he observed how it beat the shell on the stone path until it cracked, allowing the bird access to the flesh beneath. It took five large pecks to finish, and when it done it spread its wings and took to the sky leaving only the shards of shell behind.