A warm breeze tickled the back of her neck.
Not a breeze. A breath. Noxious, sulfuric, rotted, and bloody.
It loomed ten feet tall, too many legs, too many mouths gaping amid a storm of thrashing, knife-like tendrils. The flailing edges whipped and writhed, leaving deep scores in the armored plates covering its body.
The breath had come from one central mouth set in a long, tapered head, tattered ears laid flat against its skull. The head, at least, had once belonged to a horse. The mouth opened wider, splitting the skull in two, the hellish opening lined with hundreds of blunt, equine teeth, perfect for grinding and crushing. Stuck between the rows were shards of bone.