Minty stood as straight as she could and pushed her back against the thick bark of the tree. She knew fully well that if she made a sound, they'd catch her.
It had been a long chase. Not just the running, which by now seemed to have been going on an eternity, but the stalking and circling, the whole process of her becoming prey.
Minty's ears twitched slightly, waiting to hear some sound, some indication of where her pursuers were and how long it would take for them to reach her. She was tired, so tired, and somewhere in the back of her mind she started to think that if they caught her, at least she wouldn't have to run anymore. But she wasn't ready to give up – and every horror-filled, trying moment she'd suffered up to that point made her that much more determined to get away.
It was Frisco who finally caught her – and, somehow, Minty had always known it would be. She didn't hear him approach; he melted out of the shadows beside her and had grabbed onto her arm before she'd even felt his breath on her cheek. He did not let go. Darren, the possum, came from the other side, breathless, and together, the two of them dragged her away.
Minty's instincts told her to run, but she couldn't. Everything about her leaned toward flight, so when struggling free proved impossible, her brain seemed to shut down – and despite her desperation to escape, she allowed herself to be led, wordlessly, back through the forest to the factory.