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Beating Fear-Aniwood Short Story*This isn't an excerpt*Dark branches from leafless bushes snagged at Ben’s light grey fur as he ran through them. Tufts of his fur were yanked from his sides, but he didn’t care. Ben had much bigger problems on his paws.Ben swerved to the right, leaping over another clump of leafless bushes. He crouched behind them, gulping down a lungful of air. His throat burned and his muscles ached from the efforts of running. He froze when he heard paw steps coming towards him. He wrapped his tail around himself, trying to stay quiet. He looked around for an escape route, but everything seemed to blocking any way out. He began to panic more as his pursuer came closer. What am I going to do?Ben’s heart stopped when he heard a low growl behind him. He slowly looked over his shoulder, only to be met with his nightmare. A huge black shadow was staring at him. Its eyes were red slits and the very atmosphere around it made Ben cringe in fear. The Shadow loomed over him, casting darkness over Ben. He yelped and jumped to his paws. With his tail between his legs, Ben darted away. The Shadow swiftly pursued. Ben ran towards a gap between two dark trees, hoping he could lose The Shadow if he jumped through. As he got closer, though, the branches on the trees grew thicker, blocking his exit. Ben skidded to a halt in front of them, his heart threatening to burst through his chest. He turned around to see the Shadow standing over him again. Ben backed up against one of the trees, fear flooding his thoughts and drowning any thought to run.Ben stared up in horror at his nightmare. He held his breath and dreaded what ever the Shadow would do to him. I-it’s just a dream, he thought to himself. My dream. He stood up straight, trying to gather any courage he had left. He stared right into the Shadow’s glowing red eyes.“T-this is my dream,” he stammered. “Only I control it.”The Shadow growled. Ben tried to concentrate, picturing a peaceful forest. Slowly the surroundings began to change. The dark trees were replaced with birch and the leaves returned to the bushes. The gloomy light brightened and the undergrowth under Ben’s paws grew soft and bouncy. The Shadow looked around with wide eyes. It turned back to Ben, narrowing its eyes and snarling, before slowly fading away. Its eyes were last to fade away. Ben stood still for a moment before breathing out a sigh of relief. His heart stopped jumping out of his chest and his mind began to clear. He looked around and noticed everything was beginning to fade. I must be waking up. Ben closed his eyes and when he opened them again, he was back in his den. He looked around and managed to spot Luna sitting in the back of the den. Her dark fur blended well in the Shadows, but the white patch over her eye gave her away. “Howler and Ashu went hunting early this morning and the Delta made Shadow help the Omegas babysit” she said, answering Ben’s question before he could ask. Ben smirked. Of course Shadow was in trouble again Luna padded over and lay beside him. “Are you ok? You were jumping around in your sleep,” she asked, the concern in her voice was very noticeable.“I’m fine,” he answered. He thought back to how he had banished his nightmare from his dreams. “I’m sure it won’t happen again.”...
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