A 1000 Words Short Story
by Stephanie Flint
Copyright 2012 Stephanie Flint. Originally written and published under the maiden name, Stephanie Bibb.
All rights reserved. No part of this short story may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
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Ali crashed through the underbrush and scrambled to a stop at the edge of the ravine. If the thick vines above her didn’t hold, she’d meet her end in the surging river hundreds of feet below. Better than dying by spear-point. “Please, dear Maker, don’t let this break!”
She wrapped her legs around the vine, knotted her foot in the strands, and fumbled with the satchel on her belt. She buried the poison-covered dart in her fist, trying not to prick her skin. It might not kill her, but it’d still make her sick.
A flash of fur, and Ali shrieked, swinging off the cliff’s edge. The vine dropped, hurtling over the raging water and rocks beneath, but it held.
The cougar skidded to a halt. He stood taller on his hind legs than any human male, and the spear in his clawed hands was covered in rabbit fur and human hair. His snout had stripes of red and blue paint marking him as Quino, and tawny fur covered his muscled body. He flicked his tail and licked his lips, his golden eyes waiting for Ali to swing back into his spear.