Ayla's Family

"Shh!" whispered Ayla to Wolf. The ram instantly looked up, its ears turning around in search for danger. Jondalar slowly closed in on it, holding the spearthrower at the ready. Suddenly a black creature sprang forward, chasing the ram in Ayla's direction. Jondalar threw his spear at the black animal. He didn't see the girl who followed it before it was too late.

"Nala!" she shouted, and threw herself between the animal and the spear. The spear took her in the arm, knocking her backwards off her feet. Red blood sprayed over her dark skin and night-black hair. The black animal instantly turned and ran up to her. "Nala," she whispered, and then some more words that neither Ayla nor Jondalar understood. The animal meowed and rubbed its head against the woman's arm. "Nala," she said again, and pushed it gently away.

By then Wolf had recovered from the surprise, and slowly he neared the girl and the creature, which obviously was named Nala. He growled softly, instantly getting the black thing's attention. It hissed, baring brilliantly white fangs of an impressive size and length.

"Wolf! Get back here!" Ayla shouted, worried at the sight of Nala's teeth. Wolf trotted back to Ayla, and stayed there at her command while Jondalar slowly walked towards the injured girl.