She ran, stumbling over rocks and tree roots. Her breath came in ragged gasps when she remembered to force herself to breathe. Her skin felt clammy. Fog was creeping in to blanket the cold, white light of the full moon. It misted her thin sweater with droplets of water. She didn’t notice.
She shivered, not from cold, but from fear, from abject error. Terror with a sharp taste. She didn’t know what chased her, but she knew it wouldn’t stop until her battered body lay dead on the ground. What chased her was relentless and evil.
She burst through the trees and saw it. A spare, white building lit by an unearthly glow. Its dark, peaked supported a cross. Tall arched windows looked like eyes keeping watch through the night. Could she reach it in time?
Footsteps padded behind her, getting closer, ever closer. She sprinted towards the doors of that small church on the glen. Her feet left wet tracks on the meadow grass. Her heart pounded in her chest.
She pushed frantically on the thick wooden doors. They wouldn’t budge. “Who locks the doors to a church?” she thought. “And, why?” Crying now, she pounded on those doors with what was left of her strength. “Please,” she sobbed, “Please someone come. Open the doors. Let me in!”
She heard a low growl behind her and turned. Bracing her back against the church doors, she faced her pursuer. Long, sharp canine teeth, saliva dripping in anticipation of the bite, dark matted fur, gleaming yellow eyes. Its fetid breath steamed as it panted.
She was trapped. No hope. She braced for the attack…
And fell into the foyer in a heap when the door creaked open. A young man with long hair, wearing a robe with a rope tied around his waist, held up a heavy cross. “Stop. I command you!” he ordered. “This one’s mine.”