In a word, yes, would totally read on!! 🙂
Elle has suggested leading with Laura’s PoV, and I do think it might work well that way, partly because we get to know her much better in that short piece of text than we get to know unnamed him. Also because her section is full of suggestions and hooks that I think set up the reader better in terms of making you want to know more. She’s a really complex character, which is fascinating – she’s been hurt, she’s acting a role but also genuinely upset, she’s protective of her nan, and has this disapproving, fairly dated, Miss Henshaw on the scene. Loads of stuff which is dealt with really well, imo. Deft and intriguing.
The first PoV. It’s super pacey and atmospheric, and I love the battle between logic and irrational fear, the question of just how much is in his imagination and how much is actually real. We’re too close in to find out his name, which suits the scene well, but conversely makes it harder to feel like you actually *know* him, compared to how well I feel we get to ‘know’ Laura. If there’s a reason why you need to lead with his section, I wonder if there’s a way to make him more tangible as a character – some internal dialogue or something? I love the line ‘The only danger to one such as him, is from one such as him’ – it’s got me thinking all sorts of things!!
I would suggest that it might be worth watching out for bits in this first PoV where the gorgeous imagery slows up the pace. I’m thinking particularly towards the end where he is panicking and running, so the pace needs to be more action-y and less atmospheric-y. If that makes sense? For e.g. ‘He runs until he bursts from the claw and snatch of the forest into the clearing’ Do you need the claw and snatch? I love the image, but I think here the sentence would be more potent kept simple. But that’s subjective though, of course.
I love this. The contrast between the two voices and settings, the mix of imagery and pace, i think it works really well. I LOVE ‘the branch cracked eye of the moon,’ and am always a sucker for mythical black dogs of any kind! Bring on more, please!!