Sitting alone in the forest, Max listened to the sounds of the wind in the trees. Spinning violet eyes closed, and she lifted her chin and a smile graced her childish features. Feet were buried in the snow, and she wiggled her toes, just enjoying the natural setting. An immunity to the cold was gifted by her mother; and was something that allowed her to casually read in the freezing cold. A few coffee curls hung in front of her face as she cracked open the book and took in the silence as the words scrolled within her brain. The clearing was absolutely bare, and her back rested against a froze, sleeping tree trunk.
Twigs snapping around her was enough to force those eyes up?a soft noise of protest left her, but she had ultimately risen to her feet to investigate. There was a shallow rasp of breath plaguing the air around her, and she turned to see the figure. It was a monstrosity, an abomination of cracking bones barely held together by protruding joints. Max looked on with pity, a hand moving to her necklace as she tilted her head. ?You?re a shifter,? said the ever observant Max. ?One who has lost control of its form,? it was barely a whisper.
Every movement from the creature was purposeful and rapid as it was gruesome. Even the slightest motion of hand led to a nauseating snapping of bone and tendon alike. A deformed neck, stuck sideways, left the creature forever tilting its head and it stared with beady, black eyes. A shivering, wet breath was taken in, and let out in the form of a cackling, joyous laugh as it pointed with a crooked finger. A step was taken closer to Max, thinned out grayish hair shook violently in the wind. ?Soul..! SOUL!? The creature spat in a cry. ?Give it! GIVE IT!? Now it was sprinting for Max.
Eyes squeezed shut and she sunk to her knees when the monstrosity approached, and at first, it might have seemed like the child was submitting. That was until those little hands sunk into the snow, and her eyes fell shut. When they resurfaced, they were staring dead into the beady black holes of her attacker. There was something fierce in her gaze as the snow began to twist and turn, seeming to come to life in the form of a serpent that slithered at the shifter. Soon, it was wrapping around that sickeningly?seemingly?frail body and changing form all together. It was hard, and seemingly unbreakable. ?N-no! Soul! GIVE IT! SOUL! GIVE IT! I NEEDS IT! GIVE!? The creature pleaded.
?I?m sorry,? Max told it, turning away. ?It?s mine, and I can?t share it with you.? Her book was grabbed up, and she wiped off the snow.
?Needs?give?soul?? The creature said in a struggle, the little one had underestimated it. Now, the substance that bound it was breaking apart into a bunch of pieces and flying every which way. A few chunks of artificial bindings smacked against Max?s little body and sent her face first into the snow. The creature cracked its bones and started its shuffle, grabbing the unconscious kid by the back of the shirt and dragging her along. ?Soul?? It repeated pathetically.