“Raina, look at me. No, look at me. We’re going to be okay. I know we will.”
“How?” she asked him. “Just tell me how and I’ll believe it. I’ll throw myself on the fire to put it out myself if you can just tell me how it will be okay.”
“I can’t answer that yet, but I just know it. Can’t we hunt around here? Is there anything we can find to eat? C’mon, you’re the Find, remember?” She did smile a little at his remembering her job back in Refuge.
“I’m the Find,” she sighed. “We’ll hunt. Come on, I’ll need help bringing back whatever we kill.” She stood to go, grabbing up her slingshot rifle and pocketed some shards of glass out of a pouch on her pack. Xander made to go with her.
They walked a good ways from their makeshift camp to a thicker part of the woods, hoping animals might be more plentiful away from the path and where the trees would hide them. Raina crouched low suddenly, holding a hand back towards Xander to make him stop his walking. She squatted close to the ground and held both hands to her mouth, using their twisted shape to whistle a bird call. Xander whispered a scoff.
“The two of us are going to eat sparrows? Are you going to call the little woodland birdies to your hand like the princess in the story?” He managed to hold back his laugh, but only because they were hunting. Raina sighted something through the trees and immediately shouldered her slingshot and fired in one fluid motion, then darted off into the thick patch of brush and trees. Xander simply stared after her, afraid to follow her and risk making a noise that would scary off any potential dinner.
She returned only minutes later with a largish dog thrown over her shoulders, its neck dangling at a nauseating angle, blood seeping from where her glass shard had hit it directly through the eye. She tossed the dog over her head and off her shoulders, letting it land directly in front of Xander.
“No, we’re going to eat the coyote that thinks we’re birds. Now carry that back to the fire.” She turned her back on him and slung her slingshot up on one shoulder, walking with a cocky saunter. Xander couldn’t see her face with her back turned to him, but he knew she was smiling that annoyingly smug grin of hers. Again.