A Well-Used Path
The path was well-traveled, with clear marks from the hooves of horses, and other livestock. There was no clear preferred direction to the tracks, so Hanna decided to turn left onto the path which was more or less in the direction she was already walking.
Hanna skirted around a particularly muddy patch, slipping and nearly falling, on for being able to grasp a small tree for balance. As she scrambled past, she noticed a human footprint in the mud. The foot was bare, and pretty small, smaller than her own feet.
Hanna traced the tracks from the mud onto a drier part of the path. It couldn’t have been too long before that the print maker had walked through. Some of the tracked mud was still slightly wet. The tracks were heading the same direction that Hanna was already going.
“I hope they’re friendly,” she muttered continuing along.
She hadn’t gotten ten feet further when a distant shriek cut the quiet of the woods. Hanna froze. Hesitantly, she continued, straining her ears for more sounds. Maybe she’d imagined the cry.
Mid-step she stopped again. She was certain she heard another cry, but it was muffled. Then it came again. A loud deliberate cry. A woman’s voice, cut short by a rumbling male voice.
There was trouble. Hanna patted her hip, grabbing for her phone. But the phone was scorched and broken.
Another scream pulled at her. Hanna was running before she even thought about it. Running toward the shouts. Someone needed help, and Hanna might be the only one who could do something.