I took one step off the path, more in involuntary agreement than in decision to go, but in that one step there was a rushing of air accompanied by a feeling of sharp motion that threw me to the ground violently, lurching me into another world. The cool forest air around me darkened and grew silent as if the forest were watching, intent. The very air was heavier here.
“Horned hedgepigs!” I said, in a scratchy voice.
I climbed clumsily to my feet with the horrible knowledge that I needed to be back on the path now, and that it had disappeared. There was a queer little pulsing behind my eyes that I knew was my heartbeat, and I wondered coldly why it was so hard to draw in a breath all of a sudden.
“Now,” said the wolf silkily, and at that moment it really did seem likely that he would tear my heart out; “Now . . .”
I turned and ran.
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