I didn't expect a sort of relentless badger

by Beth

Kira crept down the stairs and out into the fading light. Tall bushes and willowy trees lined the edges of the lane that ran like a dark corridor, up the hill to the big house. Kira could just make out the shadowy edges in the distance. Kira took and deep breath and a few light steps forward. She knew she shouldn’t be out on her own, but she was dying to see Tommy. She looked from side to side taking in every leaf flicker and every tiny scrub of the soles of her shoes as she skimmed over the dirt beneath. With every step away from the workshop her heart beat a little faster.

Kira looked back over her shoulder as the last sliver of yolk-orange sun disappeared. She picked up the pace. A loud crashing in the bushes to her right suddenly stopped her in her tracks. She froze, statue-like. The crashing got louder, closer and a low snarling rose up around her. Kira started to run, as fast as she could, her legs burning, the breath ripping from her throat. The crashing and snarling got louder and louder. She glanced back as the beast broke from the bushes and set its black eyes on her. With a loud growl, it charged. Kira ran and ran, tears were streaming down her face. Her heart was pounding; the hill was getting steeper. She tried to focus on the big house up ahead, becoming clearer and clearer, but then she tripped. She slammed into the dirt, wrists jarring, her head bounced off the ground. Before she knew it the weight of the huge slathering badger was upon her. She screamed and struggled as it snapped a scarred jaw at her, trying to sink huge yellow teeth into her neck. The weight and hot stink was almost overwhelming. Kira got one arm free and stabbed at the badger’s eyes as hard as she could with her skinny fingers. She felt the warm wet rush as an eyeball gave way. The badger threw his head back in a howl and Kira used the momentum to roll out from underneath it. She scrabbled to her feet, the badger came at her again, but she managed to dance out of its reach. She ran and ran, she could hear the badger snarling behind as it chased her up the hill. She ran through the gate to the big house and slammed it behind her. It caught the badger on the shoulder, it stumbled, but still it came at her. She ran up the steps and reached the big door. She fumbled to get the fob out of her pocket, buzzed the door and jumped through. The door closed automatically behind her just as the badger reached it. She sunk to the cold floor, her whole body felt like it was on fire. Just as she breathed out a long sigh, glass shattered to her left as the badger crashed through the window.