WOLF THAT FELL INTO A WAR
want of a better title)
Written by Cyberwolfman AKA Grok Wolf
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This is another story based on the dreams I have. I tried to do it as well as I could, using the words I could find to convey what I experienced and the emotions I felt in the dream. If it was a dream. Sometimes I wonder. They seem just a little too real to me sometimes. If you're the emotional type, you may not wanna read this. I'm emotional too, and it took a lot for me to get through this. There was a lot of other stuff that happened in the dream that was more violent, but I've decided not to include it in here.
It was almost dawn, the sky having that deep blue color I love so well that precedes the sun rising. I came over the hill outside of the city and watched it, my fur becoming wetter as time passed, with the light rain falling about me. I watched as the large noisy metal birds flew over the city and dropped their screaming metal rocks onto it. The rocks upon contact with the city would boom like thunder and come apart in an explosion and break apart the building that they hit like a large lightning bolt striking a tree in the forest.
Inside the city, people awoke into a nightmare of noise, short-lived bright flashes of light, smoke, flame, screams, and death. The family of three that had lived for just over ten years in the small one-story house near the edge of the city had great love for each other, but no warning of what came that morning. The little girl that laid in the middle of the large bed screamed as the bomb exploded on the street outside their simple three room house. She had some nightmares during the night, and her concerned parents allowed her to sleep on their bed with them when she begged them hoping it would comfort her. The man was struck hard by the explosion as it ripped through the side of the house and hot metal fragments and pieces of the wall tore into his body. The woman awoke swiftly and instantly realized what was happening. She reached over her little girl, brushing her cheek lightly in passing before grabbing her husband's night-shirt. She shook it and screamed at him in an attempt to get him to move, but he only bled, his mouth open in a scream he never had time to begin.
The woman felt grief fill her soul, her throat constricted so hard that she couldn't breathe for a moment and tears started to fall from her eyes, but as she looked down at her trembling child, she found a small core of strength within her and she grabbed her little girl and pulled her off the bed and they laid on the floor, waiting. She held her close as more of the bombs fell and she tried to cover as much of her child's body as she could with her own and whispered "I love you" as they hit.
The metal birds had flown away, leaving the city burning behind them. I knew that man must have somehow been responsible for what happened, because death in this measure had his stink upon it. I began to turn away and walk back into the forest again, when I heard the crying of the little girl. I thought for a moment that I had imagined it, but there it was again over the crackling of the fires burning within the city. I didn't want to go within that city that reeked of man, smoke and death, but the crying I heard pulled at my heart and I was helpless to do anything but follow its call, so I started towards the city. I looked it over as I moved closer and some of the things within it seemed almost familiar to me like some barely-remembered bits of a dream I had the night before. Suddenly, it seemed as though a veil parted within my mind, and I remembered being a man, and his knowledge of man's things laid lightly over my wolf's mind and I fell onto the wet ground as the shock of it hit me. What am I, a wolf dreaming he's a man, or a man dreaming that he's a wolf? I've felt this way before, but I didn't feel that now was the time to think about it. I began running, feeling a little disoriented at having the memory of only two legs for a moment, then slammed back into a body that has four. The knowledge of the man I may or may not be coursed through my head and I found a word that described what I'd witnessed. The word was war, and while I couldn't speak the word, the flavor of it as it came to my mind along with the pictures that were associated with it was vile and sickened me physically like tasting rotting flesh.
I entered the city, becoming nauseous at the smell of burnt bodies and still burning gasoline sometimes found at the same place, like in one spot where I saw a man's corpse soaked in gasoline that was burnt to a deep black color like some steak left too long on a grill, dead and lifeless. I was having problems finding the source of the crying and the sights, sounds, and smells around me weren't helping my concentration at all. I'd catch it for a minute and run in the direction I thought it had come from, only to find myself at a dead end. I only found more corpses. The hearing in my left ear wasn't working and the man's memories told me why and my mind turned away from that memory quickly. I tried not to think on that memory and the pain I experienced and concentrated on finding where the crying was loudest with only one ear working.
Then I suddenly heard her more clearly. She was only a few blocks away from me! I ran towards her house and heard new sounds coming in the distance. Tanks and gunshots far away, but moving slowly closer. I had to hurry.
I found her there in the house that almost wasn't there anymore. The house looked like it had been kept pretty clean, but most of the walls and ceiling had been blown away in the explosions and parts of it were on fire. I looked around briefly and was shocked to see that these people were even poorer than I was in my life/dream as a man! They had only a few bowls, a couple of pans and very little of anything else including food. What I saw of their food supply wouldn't have kept a mouse fed for long, and the clothing that they wore wasn't much better than rags.
I walked in closer and saw that the little girl was being held loosely in her mother's arms and that there was blood along most of her mother's body. The little girl kept crying and after she saw me, she said a little brokenly, "Mommy won't wake up." I came over to where they laid together and pushed very gently with my paw on her mother's side and she rolled over onto her back. Part of the top of her head was missing and there was blood all over the floor. The kid kept asking me if I could wake up her mommy, and even if I could form the words to tell her that her mom was dead, I couldn't bring myself to do it.
The deep rumbling noise of the tanks' engines and the clanking sound I heard as their metal tracks rolled down the streets was getting nearer now, and I knew we had to leave quickly, and though in reality I find it hard to bring myself to touch people, I gently grabbed hold of the sleeve of her dress between my teeth and pulled her onto her feet and tried to get her to leave with me, but she didn't want to go without her bear. I looked around and spotted a small stuffed brown bear on what was left of the bed. It was pretty ragged looking and it had been sewn up in places and was missing an eye, but I knew that what it looked like didn't matter to the little girl, she still loved it anyway. I took it extremely gently in my teeth, scared silly it was gonna fall apart on me and fill my mouth with stuffing and break the little girl's heart because it seemed to be the only toy she owned, but it survived long enough for me to bring it to her.
She had kneeled down by her mom's side and was telling her that she had to go with 'wolfie' but she'll be back before she wakes up. I didn't know if she knew what death was or not yet, and I couldn't shake the feeling that it was like a little kid talking to one of her dolls. I stood near one of the big holes in the wall that for all I know may or may not've had a door in it before the bombs fell and whimpered, hoping she'd figure out that we should hurry. I heard the tanks and they sounded like they were only a few blocks away now.
She stood up and clutched the little bear to her side with one arm, and tried to use her other arm to feel her way out of the dark and smoke-filled house to the street after me. I led her through the streets of the city and away from the sound of the approaching army as well as I could, while also trying to avoid areas I remembered from my search for her where the dead lay. A few times I couldn't avoid it, since the army seemed to be taking over the city fairly quickly, finding little resistance because they had already bombed it from a safe distance above, not even having to look at their victims as they killed them by the thousands. The first time she encountered the dead, she stood and stared for a few minutes, and I figured out that she knew what death was and that she now realized that her parents were also dead. She started crying hard, tears flowing down her face like little rivers and she sat down hard on the street with an almost audible thump. I went to her, and wanted to comfort her, but I didn't know how. I just wanted to do whatever I could to stop her pain because it was tearing my heart apart. I nuzzled her face gently with my nose, and she jumped as though scared. I eased slowly back, not having meant to upset her, but she grabbed me quickly in a hug and pulled me to her, holding me tightly like I was some kind of life preserver in the middle of a large, dark, and terrifying ocean. She cried into my fur for a while then and kept me close. Her tears slowly stopped, and she leaned back and looked at me. Wiping her wet cheeks and dabbing at her eyes with the sleeve of her dress, she tried to keep her voice steady as she told me her name was Wendy and that she was glad she had me for a friend. I smiled a little, trying not to part my lips and scare her by showing my sharp teeth, and felt some tears of my own start up. I had to turn away quickly then. She wouldn't have understood, and I wouldn't be able to explain how much her words warmed my heart, being alone and too scared to trust people in the life I live as a man.
Continuing on our maze-like exit from the city, we went into a bombed store and I grabbed a cloth bag with my mouth and gave it to Wendy. At first she seemed reluctant to take anything, no doubt having been told that it was wrong to take things that belonged to others, but maybe somewhere in her mind the facts became clear that the owners no longer had a use for the food here and that what she takes now won't be used by the people who had killed her family, friends, teachers and the rest of the people in the city. I was pretty certain that the owner of the store was dead, smelling the strong odor of blood coming from the back where part of the building was missing. It was a smell I was beginning to recognize, with an almost tangy metal scent to it. I watched as she started to fill up the bag with candy and it became a race of sorts as I tried to grab some more nourishing food items and stick them in the bag, since I had no way of telling her she couldn't live off of what she was taking.
We had finally reached the outskirts of the city, and I led us away from it as fast as I could, up to the top of the hill I had just climbed down off of a little while ago, even though it felt like days. She paused for a minute, looking back down onto the city and cried, probably thinking of the life she had there before it was brutally destroyed. The real reasons it was bombed, probably only the politicians and the military knew and kept to themselves, thinking that the lives they helped destroy would be a small price to pay for such things like a better military position in the area or something like that. I was growing sick of the games those in power played with other people's lives, spending them like pawns in a game of chess they played with each other, usually just letting them be killed outright because they didn't see any use for them. I wondered, and not for the first time, if they had any idea of the hurt they caused or if they even cared.
For the next week or so we walked, stopping occasionally to eat and sleep, or to drink water from a few small streams we had the luck to find, that smelled clean to me, using my wolf's sense of smell. I realize that Wendy couldn't smell as well as I could, and some of the streams we passed smelled bad to me in ways I couldn't easily describe. I wanted to lead Wendy somewhere where she would be safe, but I wasn't sure where to go. I just picked the direction away from where the army was coming from, and went.
We found another city, and it seemed deserted at first and I didn't hear any guns going off, so I thought it was safe. I was wrong. As we came near the middle of the city and I looked around the corner before going into the square, I saw a large group of frightened people composed of women, men, boys and girls of all ages surrounded by gun-toting soldiers. I gently nudged Wendy back so she wouldn't see what was going on. The people had been beaten and clubbed, some laying quite still on the ground with others crying as they knelt beside them. I watched helplessly as a few soldiers grabbed babies out of their mother's arms and smashed them against the wall. As their little bodies crunched and their splattered blood ran down the crumbling wall, something inside of me screamed and screamed and I couldn't shut it out. With all of my heart and soul I wanted to rush in there and help those babies, but I knew in my head that I wouldn't be able to do any good and my sacrifice would leave Wendy alone and possibly found by these sick humans that seemed to enjoy the misery they inflicted upon others. The battered people tried to stop the soldiers from killing the babies and the women gave voice to the screams that echoed in my soul, but they just got clubbed some more with the soldiers' rifles, and then they stopped clubbing and started shooting instead. One soldier was talking to a group of reporters with video cameras who were busy trying to get it all on video. The soldier seemed to almost swell with pride as he stated that they were killing these people, including the babies, because they were different and it was god's will, but just like the people on TV when they mention 'god', he didn't say which one. I couldn't watch anymore, and I turned away, feeling sick and wanting to throw up and cry at the same time until I couldn't do either anymore. I glanced back as I was walking away and saw Wendy trying to go around the corner into the square. I very quickly took hold of her dress sleeve in my teeth and dragged her back away from that place and didn't stop for several feet until I knew for sure she wouldn't go back and look.
We left that city and continued on. When I saw that the bag of food we got from the store was only about half-full, I stopped eating, wanting Wendy to survive even if I didn't. Don't think she noticed. When she ate something before we started walking in the mornings or in the evenings before settling down to sleep, I went to look for a good lookout point to survey our surroundings. My stomach grumbled constantly and I felt weaker and more tired every day, but I knew if I ate some of the food, it would mean less for her.
After almost another week of traveling, the food in the bag became nothing more than a few pieces of candy and a small chunk of bread that had grown hard. I knew things were desperate and I could barely keep going. The only thing that kept me going in fact, was finding a safe place for Wendy. I slept fitfully that night, the pain in my stomach having become very intense.
On the next morning, Wendy ate the last of the bread, and we started out again. After only an hour she stopped, sat down and started to cry. I moved towards her, then stopped cold. I thought I had heard something. I climbed the last few feet of the medium-sized hill we had been walking up, dreading the thought of seeing more soldiers, and sneaked a peek over the top of the hill, barely putting my eyes and nose over it, not wanting my silhouette to stand out against the lighter colored sky behind me and be seen by others. I saw a small town with people in and around it. They weren't soldiers! In fact, the group closest to me looked kinda like Wendy's family, but not quite. Some of them had guns, so I guess they had heard about what was going on behind us and were getting prepared as well as they could, though I didn't think they could defend themselves very well against an army of trained killers. I came back to Wendy, got her attention with a little yip, and led her up to the top of the hill so she could see what I saw. She looked, but she seemed to doubt what her eyes showed her, and I watched as she wiped her wet eyes and cheeks with her sleeve again. What she saw when she took a second look seemed to be good, because she hurried down towards the small group of armed people at the bottom of the hill.
She called out to them as she ran, crying again, but I think this time for joy. I followed along a little behind, very weak, and feeling more paranoid of people than usual, especially lately. When one of the men saw her, he seemed to recognize her and called her by her name, taking her up in his arms. She called him Uncle and cried into his neck for a few minutes. I sat and watched, feeling relieved, thinking that Wendy had finally found some nice people. Her Uncle glanced past her shoulder and in my direction and quickly grabbed his rifle off of the ground. I looked around, half expecting soldiers to erupt over the hill and was about to start running as fast as I could out of there, but I saw nothing but the hill and the sky over it, with a few clouds in it that were floating lazily by. I turned back around, a bit confused, when I saw the guy looking down the barrel of his rifle at me. I couldn't believe it and for a second stood there trying to figure out what the deal was. That was all the time he needed to pull the trigger and shoot me. I felt the bullet go into my leg, and I fell down on the ground. I guess I should feel lucky he was a bad shot. I got back up on my three legs, feeling the blood start from the wounded fourth that had just been shot, and started to move as quickly as I could away from this guy, trying to ignore that sick feeling I get when I realize that at least one of my bones are broken. I was able to set three bones in my broken foot when I was a kid, but I didn't think it would help me in this situation, and I doubt if I would even have time to try. Wendy watched me get shot, but didn't say anything or try to stop the guy. She then listened to her uncle telling her that I was a wolf and she was lucky I didn't eat her and he was there to protect her. I left, moving toward a nearby section of forest that had thick fog in it, feeling pretty foolish for thinking humans could be any different from what I've already experienced and witnessed so far, and felt betrayed by one I put my trust in, who I thought loved me.
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