Hi everyone! I dreamt last night of a wolf who ran past me without aggression. While that might be normal to others, it isn’t for me. Ever since I can remember, I have had reoccurring nightmares about wolves. In some of them, the wolves would circle around my house, and I had to try to keep the door closed, which, for some reason, wouldn’t shut, or they would walk inside the house with their hind legs, and I was pinned down in my bedroom with nothing to defend myself, to name a few. But one thing was sure they were always aggressive, and occasionally I would wake up terrified and my bed and clothes soaked with sweat. When I was growing up, those wolf dreams were a regular thing. Older I grew rarer they got (like once a year.) Today after waking up to that dream, the wolf eating a carcass and running past me in a forest crossroads, I felt stronger and at peace. And therefore I’m writing a short story about wolves.
She had been running for days now. Her muscles were sore, and she had cut herself from several places while trying to escape. But she couldn’t stop. The hunters’ shouts, the striking steps of their steeds, and the spite followed after her. She leaped over the ditch where cold water pushed forward, unable to stop to drink. She could smell the men and their hate and fear. They said she had taken a child. A girl.
She had taken no human child with her. Why would she? The summer had been plentiful, and the autumn showed promises of a mild winter. She lifted her head to listen to the hooves stopping at the brook, searching where she had gone. If it had been only the humans after her, they would have lost the direction with their lousy smell and sight, but there were those who made her snarl. The ones humans called dogs. She could hear them bark. That was all they could do. Bark. Pitiful things. Wagging their tails, whimpering to get their master’s approval. No wolf would yield to an inferior creature.
She howled when she heard the chase continue. If they thought they could tire her to death, they knew nothing of her kind and the will they possessed. She picked up her pace, going deeper into the difficult forest terrain. The sound of the hooves beating against the soft ground full of stones, roots, and fallen trees quieted. The barking continued on, but the men slowed the dogs down.
Soon they would let them loose. The humans were predictable that way.
There they were, after her. She could hear five dogs panting ever so loudly. She wondered if she could take them; the men had driven hard the dogs chasing after her. And if they had tired her, the dogs were on their last strength. She wanted to howl. To make them understand how much they mattered to their masters. A girl was worthier than a five of their kind. But what then? Have them follow her?
No. She howled, but not for them but for her kind. There was another howl and another. She stopped running and turned around. In no time, the dogs were there with her. The leader of the pack launched at her.
She snarled and let out a low growl.
The dog didn’t stop. But instead of it landing at her, it was taken down by another wolf, and they tumbled away from the pack. The second dog was about to try its luck, but it whimpered when seven other wolves came forward. One thing she had to give to the poor creatures, they weren’t stupid. The dogs backed away, their ears and tails pressed against their bodies, groveling away, waiting to be killed. If she let them, her wolves, they would shred the dogs apart. She didn’t. The wolves let the dogs flee to their masters, even the one that had launched at her. Killing them wasn’t the purpose.
She and her pack left the men and their horses and gods behind. She made her way back to the den where the child would wait for her. The girl had to be taken. She was no human kind. She was one of them. A wolf. And as soon as the humans would have noticed, they would have killed her. Beaten her. Burned her. She was better off with them, halfling or not.
Thank you for reading, have a wonderful day!
© K.A. Ashcomb
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