A gust of wind spun leaves into a cyclone as it steered its way through the forest toward the travelers. Soon the gust was throwing frigid air and sharp debris into their faces, and pushing hard against their chests making forward movement impossible. Dorsey, the youngest, yet most seasoned woodsman of the bunch, sensed something moving in the twirling leaves.
"Ethan!" Dorsey shouted, shoving Ethan out of the path of the oncoming cyclone. Time slowed down.
Ethan spun around midair and watched as raggedy figure flew out of the leaves. There was a sudden shimmer of light—SHING! Ethan felt the tiny hairs shaved off his right ear. Ethan fell on his back. The raggedy figured landed thirty feet away in a kneeling position. Its tattered cloths were the color of autumn and in its right hand it brandished a long curved sword.
Dorsey stood paralyzed. He leaned back, mouth agape, eyes glossed over and his limbs twitched slightly. Blood rose along an invisible seem splitting Dorsey diagonally from his shoulder to his waste. He fell to his knees.