She lunged forward through her exhaustion. Her captors’ voices faded. Bess followed the path only she recognized–downed tree, along a creek, through boulders–forest scents filled her nose. Light was fading. Bess knew the choices darkness offered: succeed or surrender. She raced on.
A high cliff beckoned. Nowhere to turn. Confused, she turned back. The hunters close behind. Desperate, she looked over the edge.
She saw him. Filthy, bleeding, leg horribly twisted. Alive? Bess moaned, stretching forward, reaching, but it was futile. The hunters had her now.
“Help me,” the found boy said.
Bess leaped free and barked.