Before she opened her eyes, she took stock of her body, moving from head to toe in a thorough assessment of each muscle and bone. She was hurt, sore, but not broken – at least not on the exterior – and desperately in need of water to wash away the dry bitterness that clung to her lips and tongue.
Still with eyes closed, she felt the earth give a bit beneath her weight, cool and damp enough for her to know it had rained recently, while a slight breeze moved through the trees around her and delivered the moldy odor of autumn from the leaves that crunched beneath her, their musky perfume finding its way into her nostrils.
Finally allowing herself sight, she looked up through an opening in the thick brush underneath which she now realized she was hidden from view. The sun was nearly overhead, indicating midday, but the light and air around her carried a sinister, filmy darkness uncharacteristic of noon.
The croak of a raven split the silence, announcing that evil lurked nearby and was certainly up to no good.
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