The little girl with dark hair and dark, watery eyes stared at the tree in front of her. The same tree she'd just pulled the javelin from. The same javelin, perfectly sized and balanced for her small build, that was in her hand now. Her hand was shaking, the forest scared her, especially with all this fog around. She could barely see the sun through the thick canopy, making it effectively dark here.
She brought the javelin up against her chest, gripping it tight against her, both hands squeezing it so her knuckles turned white. She had to hunt something so that she could come home. Her face still stung from the bruise where her mother had backhanded her earlier. Qit had caught insects before, but she'd never hunted anything. Not really. She didn't even like killing bugs. They were gross.
Tears streamed down her face as the little girl wandered the dark, foggy forest, little sobs escaping her lips, as her bare feet carried her over mossy stones and slick tree roots. Unknown to the little girl, her mother leapt silently in the trees above her, watching over her, seeing the decisions her cub made. Qit was aimless. She didn't know how to navigate the forest, or even find her way home. She kept going forward, for she didn't know anywhere else to go.
Her eyes searched the ground, unable to see further than her own mudstained toes. As Qit came around a tree, a loud screech filled the air, causing the little girl to cry out in panic, wetting herself in the process. Qit pushed against the tree, crouching down into a little ball, her heart racing, her eyes squeezed shut, her eyes stinging from the tears trying to escape them. It was too much. Too scary. Too hard. She just wanted to be home with her dad, she didn't want to he out here in this darkness.
Her mother looked on smugly at her daughter, having finished mimicking the panther's cry. She smelled the girl's urine even from here. The girl was afraid, but that was good. That would keep her alive.
Eventually Qit managed to calm down just enough to open her eyes. She looked into the gloomy fog, wishing to beg someone, anyone for help. The more she stayed there curled in a ball, the darker the forest seemed to get. She yearned for the family's fire in the center of their hut. She liked watching it while her dad was busy snoring, while holding her baby sister. It made her feel safe. Just like when Yeye would hug her.
Movement, in the corner of her eye. Qit's head swiveled to the left, seeing light glowing orbs in the fog. They began to bob toward her, and she continued trying to make herself as small as possible, holding the javelin in front of her, so that the monster might be afraid and not eat her. Her breath was held in her chest the entire time, and her lungs were threatening to burst.