Avril crouched, waiting, listening in the silence of the mist. He turned his head slightly and held his breath. About ten yards ahead he heard the scratching of feet as the squirrel scampered higher up the tree. It was careless, too noisy. It was frightened. That must mean… yes. Inching nearer to the squirrel were the soft, slow steps of boots against the pine needles on the ground. Avril waited for about three steps before beginning to move forward himself. Each step was in time with the step footsteps of the one ahead of him. While the hunter closed in on its prey, Avril kept pace with the hunter.
The squirrel scampered higher until it was far enough from the ground that the mist was slightly clearer. Then, when it saw what it wanted, the small beast took off. The squirrel raced toward the end of the branch running with an agility born as much from memory as it was from sight. With its last steady step, it jumped into the air. For a moment, it seemed to be gliding weightlessly forward then its front feet caught the end of another branch. That branch bowed under the weight of the sudden impact. The fleeing squirrel found its balance and scampered onward into the network of branches in this misty copse of trees.
Kayeen had not been ready. He had lifted his hand as he turned toward the sound above, but it was too late. The mist had already shrouded his prey and he could hear it scolding him as it retreated further into the distance. Kayeen muttered a curse and began to run after the little beast.
Continue here for the remainder of chapter 1