They decided to run, despite not knowing where they were going; all they could see were shadows of endless trees and bushes flying past them. They soon burst into a small, forty-foot-wide clearing; and here the silver moonlight beat back the blackness of the woods, giving them their first hope of seeing their pursuers.
But what they actually saw was not moonlight. Instead, they saw something that terrified them. A black silhouette, taking up half of the sky, blocked most of their view of the moon and stars. The outline portrayed a small head with a tusk jutting out on the back side of the head. It also looked like-
Too late. Before the boys could make out the image, the creature had taken three strides-THUMP, THUMP, THUMP-and disappeared back into the gloomy woods, leaving them with the empty, clear sky. But what they saw next seemed even more frightening.
Two large yellow eyes appeared among the trees, about three feet in the air, intently gazing at the three squires. After lingering for a moment, they vanished. Apparently, the reflection from the moon had to be exactly right to reveal the creature's eyes; either way, it made the situation no less terrifying.
The boys stared in anticipation as the eyes disappeared, and after a short moment they saw one last thing moving in the distance: a huge foot. The foot was shaped like a heart-only with three bumps instead of two, and the heel was rounded instead of pointed. They watched as that huge foot arched through the air and cleared almost twelve feet in one stride!
Thomas, hoping simply to get lucky, aimed his bow and shot his arrow straight toward where the creature was moving. He could not hear the slightest sound of the arrow making impact. He fired again at the barely perceivable black image, knowing full well that he had a good, clear shot, judging by the sounds of movement and the largeness of the creature. Once again, he could not hear any arrow impact, and the creature gave no indication that it felt anything at all.
Once again, they heard a wailing from somewhere out in the woods, different from the sounds of the creatures. The boys each tried to call back, but all of their calls were drowned out by the constant noise of the creature. They heard loud roars and cries proceeding between them constantly now, as if all the creatures were communicating back and forth; and they were all getting closer now.
The boys were overtaken by sheer panic, and they fled every which way. The boys each tried to call to each other to keep their positions close, but most of the time the creatures were making too much noise. They each had been running for several minutes, but the creature kept up easily, never falling far behind them. When it seemed the creature was finally heading in a different direction, Peter stopped to catch his breath.
"Are you two there?" Peter hissed when the noise of the creature finally began to fade. His throat burned with pain as he hunched over and grasped his stomach for breath.
"I'm here," Thomas huffed.
"William?" Peter hissed, obviously relieved at hearing his one friend.
But no answer came from William.