The wolf

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

A legend on the origins of wolves. This is a short story I came up with as a teenager and I have stuck mostly to the original version, however with some editing.

Submitted: December 10, 2017

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Submitted: December 10, 2017



I do not hear the sound of its footfall; it is too soft a caress for the human ear to hear amidst the noises in the forest on a restless night. But I can sense its powerful presence in the darkness above me.

I can see it now. Its light grey fur appears soft and deceptively beautiful, hiding the terribly powerful muscles underneath. The harsh yellow eyes, like pale flames of fire, penetrates the gloom, seemingly scanning through wood and rock. For an instant I feel its eyes bore into mine through the curtain of darkness. Then its eyes move away and the tense muscles relax as the wolf sits down on the edge of the mountain peak to complete its obligation. The ritual handed down through the generations.

My mind goes back in time, to the story I heard as a child so long ago. 

They say that in the far off days when earth was young, the mortals started to revolt against the gods. Burning temples and killing the priests, they challenged the meddlesome gods to battle to gain their full liberty.

The gods send a young warrior, an offspring of a goddess and a mortal, to lead the divine army to battle against the humans. The divine army defeats the mortals in an epic battle but the young warrior has a change of heart, seeing the sufferings of the humans. He leaves the divine army and leads the blood thirsty mortals against the gods in a bitter battle for revenge.

The divine army is defeated this time in battle and flees to the safety of the heavens.

The young warrior, hated as a traitor by the gods, shunned out of fear as a demi-god by the humans, lonely and restless flees into the woods in the hope of finding peace of mind.

One night, on a full moon, he reaches the top of a great mountain and looks down at the world below and witnesses the destruction caused by him; entire villages burnt down during battles. Heart full of sorrow, dread, self-loathing and hatred for both god and man for abandoning him, he raises his eyes to the moon, the face of heaven far above him. He howls in despair, cursing the gods, the mortals and himself.

The legends say that he was transformed into a wolf howling sadly, in despair for the rest of his life.

I hear that howl now rising from the throat of the wolf, with its snout pointed at the moon. The howl starts softly but rises gradually, slicing through the air in a crescendo of despair. It echoes for a moment, then recedes and slowly disappears, swallowed by the darkness.

For a moment the wolf stands still, silhouetted against the full moon far above, on the jutting edge of stone. For a moment time stands still and he is a silent statue that neither belongs with the sky above nor the earth below. 

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