Hunter lead the way through the winter path. Clair held to the handle of the harness, trying to kick the snow off her boots as she walked through the street. Hunter shook his fur free of snow, not diverting from the path. Clair jolted Hunter to a stop as she fell a chill run down her spine. Something had changed. It was a change in the aura, a change so strong even a common person would feel faint uneasiness.

“Clair Grace Anderson.” A voice called from behind her. It was a voice she could not place, one she had never heard before. Clair couldn’t see the owner of the voice but she could tell it a young man, late twenties maybe. Clair didn’t turn around. She stood in the snow without replying. She couldn’t tell if it was the cold of the snow or the voice of the man that made her shiver.

“Do I know you?” Clair managed to utter.

“No, but I know you.” The man stated, “I met you, and I wouldn’t say this to anyone but you, but I met you once upon a dream.” Clair stared into space as she tried to make sense of the man’s word. Only one reason seemed to justify his answer. “Yes, Clair.” The man said. Clair gripped the handle trying to control her shivering. She wondered for a second if he could read her mind. “I’m like you. Well, not completely like you. I can control my… let’s call it a gift. I can use it to my will. I used it to find you.”

“Why me?” Clair asked. She heard his steps in the snow, inching closer and closer. Hunter whimpered for a second before releasing a soft bark. Clair shushed Hunter but she knew Hunter was right. She wanted to get out of there badly.

“Something is coming.” The man stated, “Something big and dark. We gifted have to stick together in times like this. You’ve been having visions, dark vision, haven’t you? We’ve all had. We can fight it off together, Clair. I can help you.”

Clair took a step back. She could not stop shaking. Hunter barked each time louder. Clair didn’t shush him. “That sounds like an interesting offer.” She stuttered, “but I think I’m going to- to pass, but thanks for- for asking, I guess.”

She turned Hunter around and told him to go. Hunter started to walk through the snowy path, Clair following him. “Well,” the man sighted, “Then I’m very sorry about this, Ms. Anderson.”

Clair heard running footsteps through the snow. Hunter pulled faster and faster, but Clair pulled him back. She couldn’t keep up in the snow. Hunter barked wildly. Clair felt a hand push her head to the side. A stinging pain shot through the side of her neck, as if a needle had been inserted. The barks stared to blend into the quiet. She couldn’t feel her legs anymore. Before she knew it, she had fallen into a pillow of snow. Every feeling disappeared.

The man shot a dart at the dog. Hunter barked and growled for a few seconds, but soon he felt silent. He collapsed in the snow. The man tied its leash to bench on the side. He slid his arms under Clair’s unconscious body and carried her walking through the road. Hunter could only watch immobile as the strange man disappear into the distance with Clair.

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