After an hour of mindless stumbling around in the woods, I was lost. I shouldn't have been out there alone anyway. Especially in my condition. Drunk and lost do not coincide well. I couldn't hear the music from the campground, and I kept tripping over tree roots. Normally I wasn't like this. A drink of brandy every now and then, if my father let me, but never so incredibly intoxicated. I should have seen it coming. It had been a long day of hunting, and when Blaine turned on the music and began swigging down those bottles...

But how did I end up here? Somewhere along I must have gone for a walk... yes, that was it. I had said I needed quiet for a minute. But it was close to an hour now. I doubt Blaine and Winston would worry; they probably wouldn't notice if the forest lit up in flames.

And then I saw it. It was big, much too big. My 52 caliber rifle would not harm it. And I was not hunting anyway- just taking a walk. It was a bear. A wolf, even. Judging by its size though, I would say a bear. I was too drunk to comprehend the danger in the situation, so I collapsed onto a tree stump and rested my chin in my hands. I was an experienced hunter, but I didn't trust my shaky hands to press the trigger. And maybe the bear would turn around and walk away, simply ignoring me... I must have been really drunk if I had considered that a possibility.

The bear came much too close for comfort. I was tempted to run away, but I wasn't fast. I was brawny, but the strongest man on Earth couldn't fight off a grizzly. My heart picked up a beat. For a second, I considered shouting for help, but that would just lure the others into danger. I was going to die. My poor sister. My poor parents.

"Steady now," I muttered, giving myself over to instincts. With barely noticeable movements, I reached for my gun. If anything, the bullet would just make the animal mad, but I wasn't the kind of person to go down without a fight. I steadied the gun, preparing to shoot. The bear's dark eyes bore into my green ones. They were menacing.

First, a devastating blow struck my chest. My head jerked back into the stiff bark of the tree. There was no pain. I was too thunderstruck to feel anything, let alone a feeling as strong as pain. I could not breathe. I could only watch as the animal- the monster- let out a deafening roar of its own. It shook the forest ground that I was laying on.

And then the pain began. I let out an impulsive shout that seemed to echo the bear's. The blood was seeping through my hunting jacket, but the bear was no where in sight. The pain doubled in the absence of my attacker. It was spreading quickly throughout my body, and the tendons in my muscles seemed to have exploded. I could not feel the refreshing humidity of the forest. I could not see the stars that occasionally glimmered through the openings in the forest canopy. I could not hear the joyous music from the campground.

If this was death, then it was anything but peaceful. It was painful. If I could move, talk or think, it would be in screams. Long, drawn-out bawls or short, abrupt shouts, I did not know which. I did know that it was the only action that I could even register in my mind right now.

I was beginning to feel the first symptoms of unconsciousness. I welcomed the thought greatly. What a relief it would be- falling away from the pain.

And then I was flying. The ground was disappearing beneath me, and the pain had subsided slightly. Maybe it was the air in the wounds, because it was definitely still there. And then I realized that I wasn't flying. I was being carried.

She was blonde. She was pale. She was the most beautiful thing that I had ever seen. My angel...