The girl did not know how long the thing had been chasing her.

She had been searching for something to eat in the undergrowth when she first heard the screams.

She was taller than most other people in her district, with long legs and a narrow, streamlined body. She prided herself on her ability to outstrip almost anyone in a race but this was the first time she had ever had to run for her life.

It was also the first time she knew for a fact that she was going to lose.