The first snow had finally arrived, and Odin knew what that meant. He walked as silently as the snow falling on the ground listening to every breath, any noise out of place, and his eyes keen as the few rays of light shinned through the trees were ready to spot his prey. It had been a while since he got a chance to hunt, now that he was once again in the forest he felt his muscles relax and his breath even. That was where he wanted to be.
Tightening his grip on his bow he followed the sound, winter was upon him and he knew the animals would be out looking for food before it became too scarce
And then he spotted it, a brown rabbit just hopped into his field of vision. It didn't take notice of Odin's presence, but he didn't kill it at first since it was followed by a stag. By experience Odin knew it wasn't an adult yet, but it wasn't very young either, but the behavior of the animal puzzled him, it followed the rabbit around as if they were old friends, skipping around like they had not a care in the world.
He then proceed to lock an arrow in the bow as silently as he could, watching the little feather at the end of it to make sure the wind would not carry his scent to the animals and he would be able to get a clear shot, but as the arrow flew the stag moved a few steps away and the arrow found its way to its rear, suddenly scaring it and making it run away, quickly followed by the rabbit deeper into the woods.
"D-Damn." Odin cursed as he started to run after the wounded animal.
Worse than missing his shot, now he had prolonged the suffering of the poor stag. It was true he had to hunt to survive and provide for his family, but he hated the fact that the animal would have run miles before it finally died or he caught up to it.
The forest was now completely silent, the birds have stopped singing and the only sounds Odin could hear was his own breathing, the animals were probably just hiding from him right? What else could it be? But the sudden silence did worry him, what if there was a pack of wolves close, he quicken his pace.
Even the sun started to hide itself behind a curtain of heavy clouds, there was a storm coming.
He kept following the trail of blood and paw prints on the ground.
Odin got a little startled when he heard the cry. It had been approximately half an hour chasing traces of blood and tracks in deadly silence from all of the animals in the forest. Something was wrong, after years of hunting in that place Odin had learned to take cues and leave if something dangerous was around, but he needed game and he had already wasted one arrow he would not let the day be a waste.
When the silence was finally broken by small sobs and cries he suddenly stopped in his tracks. By what it seemed the deer was just up ahead and he would finally get his prize, but before he realized the air started to get warmer, even if the ground was now collecting the few droplets of snow and the wind would cut through his skin without pity, he found himself removing the first layer of animal fur that helped him keep warm. Once again he locked an arrow in his bow and if there truly was someone further, victim or attacker, he would be ready.
Jumping from the bushes he took a better look at the source of the cries and let out a small gasp of surprise. The deer was now dead, laying on the ground with its eyes closed what shocked him was what, better, who was beside it. A small girl had her body lying across the animal sobbing and trembling, but even if she was barefooted and wore a simple white dress she didn't seem to be trembling with cold, heat even seem to radiate from the little stranger. The only thing that seemed to be able to keep her warm was a brown fur cape.
Her reddish brown hair was as big as her torso and was spread across the ground getting mixed with blood and dirt, Odin was puzzled, in all his years hunting he never saw anyone like the girl in front of him in the forest or even in the village and she seemed to be so hurt by the dead animal in front of her that Odin would have left her alone, but no, he would not leave without that deer.
He started to approach her slowly as to not startle her and worsen her condition, when the sobbing was broken with his first footstep, Odin didn't realize how dry the grass was around the girl and how loud the noise would be in comparison with her cry. The girl suddenly turned around facing him with eyes of pure wrath even if tears were still streaming down her face.
"What do YOU want? Haven't you done enough?" The girl snarled the words as if they were pure poison, closing her hands into a fist and tensing her shoulders she seemed ready to leap onto the hunter and attack him.
"P-pardon, but tha-that is m-my deer." Odin said carefully, as to try and not anger the girl more, she was small but Odin felt a little threated by her. "I shot it f-first."
"As if killing him was NOT ENOUGH" She said the last words and the air seemed to get even hotter "Now you are claiming him as YOURS?" Her skin was now turning into a strange tone of yellow and red, as if her blood was turning into magma.
Odin didn't understand why the girl was so upset, it was only an animal. Surely she knew people killed and ate them, but he still preferred to proceed with caution.
"M'lady, I do n-not wish t-t-to anger yo-you, but I need the de-deer." Odin said sincerely in a firm voice lowering the bow, still locked.
The girl still seemed to be completely livid, her skin even started to glow a faint color of red in her cheeks and her hair appeared to change to a more violent tone of red. But at the tone of Odin's voice she gradually started to calm down, as if she truly understood he didn't kill the animal in vain. Her skin slowly turned back into her copper color, and she let out a long and sad sigh, looking down again at the dead animal.
"Take what you must, but do not show up in front of me again," She shot an angry glare at the hunter, "or I'll make sure you'll regret it."
And after saying that the girl turned for a last look at the dead deer and walked away, and as if time had started to move again the day got brighter and the birds started to tweet. Odin had some stories from his hunts, but never had he encountered such a strange creature. She was beautiful he had to admit though he wasn't sure why she was so upset or how she found herself in summer clothing in the middle of a cold forest.
He worked on the deer and took his guts and other useless parts out so it would be easier to carry, the wind was getting chilly again but he improvised his coat as some sort of sack to carry the meat back home to his family. He never told about the girl he met and the effect she had on the forest, if he did his siblings would only say he was delusional and laugh. One thing was for sure, he wanted to see her again.
Got this idea after Michelle posted this sketch: /avasdemon/status/746143158455656448
Hope you enjoy :3