We had been staring at each other for who knows how long. It’s dark brown eyes were unwavering, but I could sense there was a hint of fear behind them. I wonder if it got the same feeling I got when I first spotted it.

My family is new to the area. We left our home after my father was killed. My mother didn’t talk much about the incident, but she was never the same. She became overprotective, especially with my twin baby brothers. They never leave her side.

What little she did say was to warn us about the creature that attacked my father and it’s empty dark eyes. Could this be the same animal? Sure it’s eyes were dark, but I wouldn’t call them empty. Still, I knew I had to be on guard.

When I ventured out this morning, the plan was to do some exploring. There are still so many areas of the woods we haven’t seen. My mother of course doesn’t know about my early morning expeditions.

Before heading out, I quietly checked on my mother. As expected, she was still asleep and my brothers were curled up next to her. They looked so calm, so sheltered.

The woods seemed to go on forever! The sun wouldn’t rise for another hour or so. Luckily, I was gifted with great eyes, so I had no problem finding my way. I’d become familiar with about a 5 mile radius around our home. Today, I wanted to see how far I could get before I had to go back. I was making great progress when I heard an unfamiliar crack, followed by a crash and a yelp. My instincts told me to turn back, but I had to know what it was.

So that brings me to now. Having a stare down with this creature my mother warned me about. If you hear its growl, you’re already dead, I could here my mother saying in my head. The creature must be young like me. It was a lot less hairy then I expected and barely had any meat on it’s bones.

There was an unfamiliar noise in the distance. We both turned instinctively, finally breaking eye contact. I was confused, but it seemed relieved. Right at that moment, I could hear my mother crying in the distance, “Ylva! Where are you?”. She knows I’m gone!

We both started to inch away from each other cautiously. I only turned my back and started to run once I knew I was at a safe distance. I could hear my heart racing as adrenaline pumped through my legs pushing me to run faster.

I couldn’t believe I encountered my first human and lived to tell about it.