“Damn.” The guard wolves. Stupid, stupid to come outside with no weapon. The revolver was out of ammunition, though she still gripped it in her hand. This must be the most poorly organized escape in the history of Sentinel. She pried her lids open to a narrow squint against the sun, so harsh on her eyes after years underground.
Two of the older wolves stalked toward her, hackles up, growling, teeth bared. She thought how she must smell to them, like gaol. Like a prisoner. And soaked in blood, too, stiffening as it froze in the fabric of her linen shift. She didn’t care for the animals, didn’t feed them… all but one considered her fair prey…
So much for sneaking out quietly. There was nothing for it, though. The wolves were angling in for an attack.
She scrambled back down the steps, shouted louder, back pressed against the door, scanning the snowscaped ground around the prison with growing desperation. On one level she knew she should go back inside the gaol. On another, she couldn’t force her hand to reach for the doorknob. “Fenrisúlfr!”
The half-grown cub bounded toward them through the snow, paused and then leaped on the nearest growling wolf. They tumbled, snarling and snapping. The other grown wolf hurled itself into the fray. She knew this was her chance, her moment to escape. To run. But Fenrisúlfr--
She thrust into the growling tangle of teeth and fur and claws, landing bodily on one of the wolves. She wedged her arm tight around its neck, her other hand slammed the butt of the gun in to its head. It writhed, snarling, in her grip, but she wrenched her arm as hard as she could. Felt more than heard the snap. The body went limp under her.