This takes place after the events of End of the World. Derek, I hope get it right, and I hope you enjoy this.
The girl and the tall man crept through the growth. Though the girl was now closer to a young woman and the man was a skeleton, it was close enough. It was late at night, with the moon high in the sky, almost full. The skeleton had an old gun about and the girl was crouching down low, both of them at the ready. They were in Scotland, the highlands to be more precise. They were deep in a forest, with the moon hanging over them and no idea where exactly they were.
“Skulduggery,” the girl whispered. “Where are we going?”
“Onwards, my dear Valkyrie,” the skeleton said with a wave of his arm. He was whispering as well. “And with any luck, out.”
“So, in other words, you don’t know?”
Skulduggery tilted his head. “You learn quickly,” he said appraisingly.
“I’m spending way too much time with you, in other words.”
“Do you have anyone else to spend it with?”
“Let me rephrase. Do you have anyone else to spend it with who’s nearly as good as I am?”
Skulduggery looked down at her. “Then why are you here?” he asked as if he wasn’t the one who had convinced her to come. He didn’t even tell her why they were here, or why they got out of the car and took a walk through the forest. Valkyrie was about to reply scathingly, but Skulduggery froze.
He was looking to his right, completely still. After a few seconds, he slowly brought his gun up and aimed it at the space he was looking at.
Valkyrie stared at the spot, but it was very dark, and she could barely see a metre ahead of herself. Skulduggery had told her not to make any fire, so instead she focused on the air currents. There was a slight breeze and the forest was very crowded, so for an elemental of her level it was almost impossible to tell if anything was there. But then she found something. Something big. The only movement it made was a slight breathing, in and out.
Skulduggery tilted his head, the gun still aimed at the spot where the thing was. He thumbed back the hammer. This was the wrong move. The thing started growling, and by the sound of it, Valkyrie could tell it was very big, bigger than she thought it would be.
There was a rustling as the thing stepped forward over leaves and branches. Skulduggery glanced quickly at Valkyrie, and then fired the gun.
There was a flash from the muzzle of the gun, and a pained howling that reverberated around the forest. Valkyrie’s heart leaped as she hears other howls from a distance.
The howl from the beast in front of them turned into a roar, and the thing leapt into sight, knocking Skulduggery over. When Valkyrie saw it, she gasped.
It was a wolf. Not just any wolf, this was bigger than a lion. Its eyes glowed red and its teeth were monstrous. Valkyrie’s head could have fitted in its muzzle without her touching a tooth. Its paws where as big as one of the Bentley’s tires. Its fur was grey, and Valkyrie could see a small bullet hole nears its shoulder. At least it was small on the wolf. Its glowing red eyes ran over Valkyrie when she gasped, and it took a step towards her.
There was another flash and the wolf roared again. It spun around to Skulduggery. Valkyrie would have tried to help, if it wasn’t for another wolf jumping out from the right into the small clearing they were in. It quickly looked at the first wolf, then at Valkyrie. It was the same as the other wolf expect its fur was a darker grey, almost black and there were no bullet holes in it. It looked at Valkyrie with those red eyes and she realised that it looked very hungry.
She tightened her fist and shadows formed on it, barely visible in the light. She whipped her hand across the air and shadows ripped across the monsters face. It jerked back. Valkyrie couldn’t see what kind of damage she did, but it looked more angry than frightened. It lowered itself to the ground, and looked like it was going to pounce. Valkyrie reacted without thinking, and clicked her fingers. A fireball formed and she threw it at the wolf. This time it leapt back, just managing to avoid the fireball. It hit the ground and began to burn ferociously. She realised that the leaves were making it burn faster, and there were a lot of them on the ground. The wolf paced around, so now Skulduggery and the other wolf were directly behind her instead of at her left. It was wary now, but she could tell it wasn’t going to give up. She could hear Skulduggery and the other wolf fight behind her, but she couldn’t tell what was happening. Then a third wolf appeared, coming from in between two trees.
This was too much. “Skulduggery,” Valkyrie called out, spinning around to him. She saw him on the ground with the wolf standing over him, but a second later he pushed the air and the wolf stumbled back. He rolled over and jumped up to meet Valkyrie. He grabbed her quickly and a second later they were shooting upwards. She quickly looked down the see one of the huge wolfs step on the fire, putting it out and the other two watching them fly away.