WOLF'S TALE: The Pain of Memory
Written by Cyberwolfman AKA Grok Wolf
Legal note: This story is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. If you want to share this with others, giving them the location of the page would be easier than copying it into an e-mail, anyway, and I'm sure your e-mail service would appreicate it, too. ;-)
This is a recurring nightmare I have sometimes. I know it's just a dream. But I wonder as I wake from it screaming in rage and pain with the grief, smells and the pain still fresh in my mind if it's not something more. The dream begins so sweet, so peaceful . .
Running through the woods, wet snow under my paws. I am in a form so familiar, so loved, so . . . missed. What was man, fades forgotten. The sharp scent of trees is everywhere. The world is bright in the rising sun. Strong muscles move me forward, moving so fast that the forest is a blur of motion.
My love runs beside me, the smell of our last mating still clinging to her fur, the scent of it and her own scent mixing in together, filling my nose and my mind with renewed hunger for her. There is only her, she is all that matters. She notices my emotion, as easy to detect as the smell of flowers blooming in the spring from my own scent, and brushes herself against me playfully then runs off into the forest.
The sunlight shining through the leaves of the trees, in ever-changing patterns of light and shadow flickers across my eyes. Twigs hidden in the snow, snapping beneath my paws, as I chase my love's scent. The snow stinging my eyes a little as it's blown against them from the occasional gust of wind. Some rabbits run frantically away, scurrying into the bushes and their little holes in the ground, the smell of their fear is an enticing scent in my nostrils. Scared little rabbits. I'd love to chase them, but I seek other prey today. My beloved runs ahead, beckoning.
Within the space of a single heartbeat, the magic is brutally taken away by a great sense of wrongness that makes the hair rise on my neck. The birds, usually singing their never-changing songs, now take wing and fly out of the trees and off the ground, disturbed. My heart skips a beat, feeling suddenly the unease all around. Then a sharp, loud noise almost like the thunder clap after a close lightning strike, quieter, but painful as its sound slaps harshly against the ears nonetheless. My love jerks and twists in mid-stride! She falls to the ground loosely as though her body had gone full and deeply asleep in an instant. Her blood sprays on that morning's fresh fallen snow.
I approach my love's side cautiously, frightened by the noise and confused by her reaction to it, seeing if perhaps I can help her. For some reason, she seems to be holding her breath, for I no longer hear it. Has the noise partially deafened me? I, too, should be taking flight like the birds to leave this small area of the forest lest more strangeness and hurting sounds occur but I won't leave her bleeding in the snow alone!
Again, the noise! The same as before, but this time, I'm the one that jerks and twists. It hurts! My back is afire with pain! My lungs hurt, and as I draw each breath slowly, raggedly, and with great pain inside of me and then release it, it makes a gurgling sound like water running over rocks in a stream and blood seeps out of my mouth. I try to stand, but my rear legs won't work. I can't even feel them. Did they fall asleep like my love?
I crawl towards her with my front paws leaving a trail of my life's blood as I go, each movement sending such sharp pain through my body as I've never felt before. I crawl towards her, seeing her face appearing past her shoulder, lying in the snow in a crimson pool of her own blood, and I feel fear. Her eyes are open and unblinking. They are staring out into nothing, unseeing, and empty of life. She passed into death that quickly.
Grief for my love washes over me and consumes me instantly like a black, ice-cold pool and I sink into its depths, drowning in sorrow and I feel a loneliness that tightens around my heart and won't let me go. I was cheated of spending years with her! Hunting with her, watching her birth our pups, me bringing her food while she nurses them. Then bringing them and her food until the day when they are grown enough that I may show them how to hunt for food on their own and the glow of pride I'd feel as they succeed. Then maybe someday finding life-mates and raising their own family or even forming a pack. What did this? Is it the same as what hurt me?
I start to hear another sound. It's the sound of snow crunching beneath a human's feet, walking towards me from downwind. Was the human the cause of this? I turn my face towards the approaching human. The wind takes this moment to shift this way and I smell his scent along with the smells of oil, smoke, and warm metal. He carries a wooden and metal stick from which these smells seem to emanate from.
He sees me looking at him, he slows and stops, looking back at me. He bares his teeth at me, his lips curling upwards at the ends, and makes a loud, repetitious noise that hurts my ears, then he spits on my mate some foul-smelling liquid like saliva mixed with some small, dark, strange smelling sour leaves. I realize now that he has done this to my love and I. I start to growl from deep within me, but my voice sounds brittle and slight when it leaves me.
I realize that I am dying then and finish crawling to my love's side, not caring if this human stays or leaves. I put my nose into the fur on the outside of her leg. I inhale her scent deeply into my lungs preferring it to his as my last memory. He raises his wooden and metal stick and points its end at me, then he looks down its length with one eye at me while keeping the other closed.
I look back into his eyes, with my body ravaged and dying, laying alongside my love's. Wishing with all the grief and rage I feel in my heart to have a chance to avenge what he had done. He fires his weapon, the noise deafening in its closeness. I feel the force of its impact in my head, a sudden darkness like night, void of stars or moon, then nothing.
Nothing, until I awaken to a voice screaming, and realize it's my own. The grief, the horror, still there, real as can be. I mourn the loss of a love I knew, bitter tears of sorrow that feel like sharp thorns on my face. I keep telling myself that it was only a dream. It was only a dream . . . wasn't it? The answer is as real as the pain.
I'd like to thank Shadow Feast and the very nice people that were responsible for putting the above story (with my extremely joyful permission!) into their Imbolc / February 1998 issue. :-) :-) :-) They've taken it down now, but it still felt good to be published somewhere. :-)
That is the only instance that I am aware of that I gave permission for this story or portions of it to be used. If anybody else is using it, they are in violation of U.S. and international copyright laws.
Return to the stories page.
Keep this site alive! Donate a dollar if you can spare one to keep this site alive. Click here to find the mailing address, or to donate with PayPal. Your help is desperately needed! If you appreciate a site that doesn't bombard you with pop-up ads, adult ads, or Flash ads, and in fact, tells you how to get rid of them (see the Internet Help page), show your support now, before this site is no more, and you are left with only those kind of sites. Also has links where you can help feed starving people just by clicking. :-)
Check out This Is It, my 3D world, where you can fly, chat, play trivia, see live vidfeeds (click here to see a still picture of about half the VidFeed Pavilion) from all over the world, listen to streaming music (no waiting for big downloads), and lots of other things. Best of all, you can do it all for free! :-)
Click on the picture below to see it full-sized, or go to the information page for This Is It, where there are more full-sized pictures, as well as information on the world itself.
Other pages on this site:
Main page, Blog, Internet Help, WinMX Help, 3D Chat Programs, Stories, Cool Quotes, Repressed Technology, VidScans (honest movie reviews and honest TV show reviews), Trivia, Laugh Machine, E-mail Privacy / PGP.
Cyberwolfman's Pix #4. Back to the real world. Includes Halloween pictures, party pictures, more pictures of Bloomington-Normal Illinois including events, people, theaters, et cetera.
Copyright © Cyberwolfman™ aka CyberWoLfman™ aka Grok Wolf. All Rights Reserved.