Wondering where you've been all my life, I just started living
She’s done as she always has.
Fear strikes - at least, that’s what she calls it - and it causes her to vanish. It doesn’t matter the form that it takes, whether it be a curse that quite literally plagued her home or the idea that she had finally found the family that she secretly had always hoped for. Every time it creeps in - that shadowing flicker of doubt - and because she is prideful yet irrevocably spineless, she gives into it. Everything became too suffocating, too complacent.
She left behind a child in her wake, and a father to care for it. It won’t have been her first time and perhaps she shrugs off the feeling of guilt and sorrow with a deep hum of triviality; she was never meant to have children or be a caretaker, it wasn’t in her blood. This is what she would tell herself so that she could sleep at night, away from the disease and away from those who may carry it, even if it is her own flesh and blood. The fox is a solitary creature anyway, she reminds herself as each night her crimson eyes take in the silver of the phasing moons.
Whispers spoke of a lull; the plague was gone, eradicated from Beqanna and it was slowly healing. Much like the slippery and vile thing that she is, Merida crawls her way back home.
His scent is on the wind - irreplaceable, warm and heart-pounding - and instead of following it she busies herself with uprooting the damp earth from beneath ancient overgrown roots, snuffling her snout against the black dirt and picking out grubs and mealy worms with her tiny, sharp teeth. Soot-colored paws work expertly and mindlessly, every now and then snorting or sneezing the loose earth from her nostrils. She tries not to let her mind wander to him, but it always did.
He would devour her, she knows. He’d swallow her whole - skin, bones, heart and all. He’d be her demise, as he always would be. Maybe that’s what she wanted.
It would be the only fate she’d ever willingly succumb to, the only --
The fox freezes. Eyes are on her.
The hackles of her neck rustle around her, every nerve tingling throughout her body. Obsidian-lined lips upturn into a silent snarl, revealing the black of the damp earth she had been rooting through stuck between her yellowed teeth. Careless, he would have said, at her being sloppy enough to have been tracked.
For a moment she wonders if it’ll be his voice she would hear, or if she would only feel the swift sting of canines sinking into the soft flesh of her throat. But she’s met with nothing but silence and the foreboding, heavy feeling of someone watching her. Wide, triangular ears prick forward and then flatten immediately against the rising of her crimson nape, nostrils wrinkling.
“Come out,” she demands with a voice that is low and even, scarlet eyes scanning the deep and dark forest.