From my revised Nano 2013 piece, “A Tangled Web”. . . .
Night’s eerie darkness clung to the forest, refusing to relinquish its tight grasp no matter what the hour on the clock. The trail was easy enough to make out, especially for one who ran it most every morning for over a dozen years. Keeping a steady pace, the sleek bodies gently ruffled the cold, crisp air, left over from the severe dip in temperature the previous night, while winding their way around and through the thick patch of trees.
“Darn it, Gaby, slow…down. What’s the rush? Not as if a huge crowd is going to beat us there and take over the spot,” a soft feminine voice whined, cracking the stillness for a few seconds before being swallowed up as if never uttered at all.
Two years younger, bigger from nose to tip of tail than her cousin, Edita Ripley, Edie for short, found the rapid pace more than a little taxing. Odd, since it never bothered before, but in her own defense, she had found more pleasant ways to spend a morning than traipsing about the woods in the raw cold of a late autumn day.
Maybe the few extra pounds did matter, she muttered under her breath, which was panting in short, quick bursts. Each inhale of cold air burned the gentle lining of her throat and made her chest ache. They’d better reach the spot soon, or she would not be held responsible for what might happen, feeling the exertion taking a toll on her limbs.
“Gab-y?” she called out to the figure ahead of her.