The Moreva of Astoreth
Author: Roxanne Bland
Genre: Science Fiction
It bellowed, stood on its hind legs and then charged.
The world seemed to slow to a crawl. I screamed, a long, drawn-out sound, hurled my bag into the underbrush and ran. Even though I had the speed of the Devi, I sensed it gaining on me. I imagined its hot breath on my neck. Unless I did something and fast, I wasn’t going to make it out of the forest alive.
Up ahead, I spied a tree that looked sturdy enough to hold me and put on a burst of speed. When I reached it, I leapt into its branches and started climbing. Higher and higher I climbed. When I dared look down the beast was snarling and clawing at the tree trunk as if to tear it apart. I said a prayer to Astoreth. Then it started shaking the tree so hard I nearly lost my grip. Squeezing my eyes shut I screamed again and again and hung on for dear life.
A roar of pain. The shaking stopped. I heard the beast crashing away through the forest. I opened my eyes to see Teger standing about twenty šīzu from my tree, his usual scowl on his face. “Moreva, come down from there!”
I shook my head.
I watched him move closer. He must have seen the look of terror on my face because his hard expression melted into concern. “Moreva,” he said, his deep, gravelly voice gentle. “Come down, Moreva.”
I looked in the direction where the beast had gone. I couldn’t see it, but I knew it was still out there. I shook my head a second time.
“It’s not coming back, Moreva. It’s all right to come down now. Besides, I’ve got my rifle so if it does come back, I’ll just shoot it again.”
Well, that made sense.