Con Verse Lea; Chapter 81, Hastings 253

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 81:  Hastings 253
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Beam 155

The leaves were turning; autumn was definitely approaching if not established.  Lauren was probably a mile or so from camp, looking for something she could shoot and cart back to camp for dinner.  Her bow was in her hand, an arrow loosely nocked on the string.

Something moved, to her left, a little ahead.  She turned to focus her attention on it.  It was a bear cub, and although Lauren only knew as much about bears as she had learned centuries ago watching nature specials on television, she guessed it not yet a year old.  Even so, it would be a rather heavy load to attempt to cart back to camp.

A noise, behind her, and she instinctively realized what it was.  She whirled around and raised the bow.  She had gotten between a mother bear and a cub, and the mother wasn’t going to ask for an explanation.  She loosed an arrow at the charging brute, embedding it in her shoulder, but the living freight train did not slow.

Raise shields, she thought, but before she could actually do it she had been hit, hard, claws digging into her flesh and her body tossed like a rag doll.  Her bow fell from her fingers, arrows scattering as she spun through the air.  She pulled herself together enough to hit the ground in a roll, but she was not on her feet when the bear closed on her again.

She landed a solid kick on the creature’s flank, and it flinched, which was enough for her to roll out of the way and get to her knees.  She wasn’t wearing her armor or carrying her weapons.  Wolves didn’t usually bother adult humans, although she wasn’t sure that wouldn’t change as game became more scarce.  Bears, being omnivorous, generally weren’t aggressive unless provoked.  Boars could be nasty, but they weren’t predatory generally, and thus far they had not encountered any large cats.  Her bow had usually been sufficient.  At this point she didn’t even have that; if she was going to survive this, she was going to have to defeat the bear with punches and kicks.  Unfortunately, she was already slowing down--that strike must have done more damage than she realized.

A jab to the bear’s ribs managed to injure it again, but it was too little to matter.  She needed to finish this quickly, because it wasn’t going to give her the luxury of a long battle.  Another kick, as she tried to figure out where its kidneys might be, but it proved a bad choice, as it struck her leg and she felt the crack of bone.  This fight was effectively over; she wasn’t going to be able to accomplish much on a broken leg.  She tried to land another punch, but it sank its teeth into her arm, and pulled and thrashed, and she blacked out.  It was over.

Next chapter:  Chapter 82:  Beam 156
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #472:  Versers Vanish.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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