Wolf A snowflake fluttered down, it's small beautiful shape twirling as it drifted to the blanket of snow that already covered my shivering body. My whole form seemed frozen to the core, even my clothes felt brittle with cold. The canopy of lush evergreens, and bare decidous trees that surrounded me had suddenly gone eerily quiet, causing me to slowly redirect my wavering attention. I managed to move my tired eyes about the small line of my vision, but saw only the stark and barren snow between the trunks of trees. My lungs hauled in another ragged, icy breath that seared my throat and nostrils. My heart pounded in my ears, a frantic beat that threatened to stop all together. As I slowly began to close my tired eyes, a flash of movement at the periphery of my vision gave me such a jolt, that my body shuddered. It was a darting shadow, and it was not alone. They began to circle me, drawing my meeger attention, and making my weak body struggle to look at the shadows that made my blood run cold. Wolves. A pack of wolves circling their injured and nearly dead prey. My heart now pounded with such ferocity that I knew they could hear it. My mind, as exhausted as it was, urged my weak body to move in any way possible. Yet I could not obey my initial instinct to survive, for two blood-red eyes stared at me from the black face of a giant menacing wolf. In the dimming light of twilight, he slowly approached me, each gliding step silent on the snow. His long, shiny black fur did not hide the bunched muscles of his great body. Nor did it hide the malignance with which he gracefully came closer. He stopped when I could smell his oddly hot sweet breath as it clouded from his nostrils. His large muzzle, nearly as thick as my own neck, was less than a foot away from the tender and bloody flesh of my face. And still those piercing red eyes held mine with an intensity that made my entire body tense in fear. In such close proximity I could see every fine detail of the huge male wolf that was before me. I could even see the small drop of blood at the corner of his closed maw. He did not bare his razor-sharp fangs as he leaned towards me. As his face grew ever closer, and I realized the point he was going to strike, I closed my eyes, and felt a tear roll from the corner of my eye. Strong, warm eyeteeth clamped around my neck, and as pressure was slowly applied, my eyes rolled in the back of my head, and I fainted, lost in inky darkness where cold numbed all pain and thought. A warm heat was all around my body, at the very edge of my dampened awarenss. I wondered briefly if I was dead. But was hell to feel so comfily warm? And if I was dead, why then, did my body twitch as cold ebbed out of my marrow? Perhaps, I was not dead. But indeed, I must be. My last memory had been of the wolf's fangs closing around my neck. And that could not be a dream. Slowly, voices began to fill my numb ears. They were unfamiliar, and slurred, as if I was hearing them through a phone. I could not concentrate long enough to make out the words spoken, and so turned my little energy upon my very insensate body. I felt small tingles ripple through first my fingers and toes, then the ripples began to move deeper through my body. And with the ripples came feeling. My nerve endings started to tingle, and with that came the pain. My wounds had been numbed by cold and hunger before. But now the cold was gone, and a searing pain began to set in on my surely broken arm, and possibly a few ribs. As the pain started to sear with a burning that pressed upon me like a crushing weight, my eyes flew open and I gasped. I had gasped in pain, but now that my eyes were open, I gasped again. I lay in a small cot in a small closet like space with walls to my right and a curtain to my left. The voices abruptly stopped, as if they had sensed my awakening. Quickly I closed my eyes, and not a moment too late, for I saw a flicker of shadow as the curtain was moved and someone entered my tiny area. A warm, large hand tenderly fell over my forehead and lingered for a moment before it's soft pressure disappeared. \"Are you warm enough?\" A deep male voice asked softly. I kept my mouth shut, determined to pretend to sleep. He sighed, a sound like wind through trees. \"I know your'e awake. There's no use pretending otherwise.\" He sounded patient, but like he wouldn't put up with too much bull shit. I allowed my eyelids to flutter open. It took a minute for ylme to adjust to the dim lighting once but when I had, I could clearly see the tall man, no, boy, standing beside me. I say boy, because he could be no older than my age of seventeen. And if he was, he did not show it. His face was tanned and beautifully handsome in a way very few men's are. His lips were the thick kind and his nose was not too big, nor were his dark almost black eyes too small. He was quite simply handsome, and that excluded his long, straight, and thick black hair which hung around his face. I instantly was reminded of a Native American. He nodded at my scrutiny and smiled brightly, showing very white teeth. \"Are you going to keep oggling, or will you answer my question?\" He seemed quite amused by the fact that I had started blushing. I wet my lips with my tongue, before managing to whisper a reply, \"Yes I am.\" My voice was very soft and rough, it had hurt my throat, forcing words out. He frowned as he obviously realized such. The frown did nothing to mar his natural beauty, in fact in a way, it heightened it. I felt myself blush again as his dark eyes locked with mine. Suddenly the memory of the wolf's blood-red eyes flickered back, and for an instant his eyes were the wolf's and my heart hammered in terror. Then they were back to their midnight color, and a shuddering breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding escaped my lips. He frowned even deeper. \"Is everything okay?\" He asked, seeming genuinely worried. I forced myself to nod. He arched a dark brow but withheld any comment he might have had. Instead he looked at the arm I knew was surely broken. \"How does that feel?\" He nodded at it. I frowned very deeply to show him that it did not feel very good at all. He gave me an understanding look. \"My name is Markus. I live here with a few friends. We found you in the woods, you were near death, and all alone. We knew we couldn't just leave you there to die, so we brought you back to the lodge.\" He was watching my reactions carefully and saw when confusion flickered across my face. He was silent as I tried to gather up enough energy to tell him about the wolf. Finally I managed to get it out, \"There was a wolf... A pack of them. He... I thought he...was going to kill me.\" It hurt like hell, but it was out. Markus rocked back on his heels. Obviously he hadn't expected this. He looked at me more carefully, before quietly excusing himself, ad disappearing through the curtain. On the other side I could now hear multiple voices as from at least eight people whispering among themselves. Markus was the only voice I picked out, but they whispered so softly, I couldn't hear a word of their conversation. With a weary sigh, I gave up, and my body, still weak and sore, gave in to the deep trance of sleep. In my unconcious state, dreams like horrifying reality filtered through my mind. I was once again at the site of the plane crash, the plane I had been on. My body injured but still strong enough to move. I pulled myself up from the wreckage and death, and looked around for the only two bodies that would be among the heap of what was left of the small plane. I found them, torn open and glassy-eyed, their bodies ravaged. The snow that crunched under my feet was red with blood, and their entrails had been scattered across an area of about ten feet. I hadn't known them for more than a day. But still I grieved their deaths. Turning away from the gruesome corpses, I began to wander aimlessly through the thickly forested and snow-covered terrain. Not long after, without food, water, heat or shelter, my body grew too weak, and I collapsed in the snow. I had lain there, close to death, until the wolves had come. The wolf, his blood-red eyes locked on my own. His terrifying jaws closing around my neck to end my life... I woke with a start, jerking upright. Pain permeated my senses, but it had been dulled since before. I drew in quick, ragged breaths, but panic still had an iron grip on my heart. My pulse pounded loudly in my ears, a fast cadence. Suddenly, strong but gentle hands were pushing me back down into a laying position. Markus's face appeared infront of me. His expression was twisted in worry. \"Hush, it's alright. I promise. Shh.\" He soothed me, and the pounding of my heart began to return to normal. I evened out my breathing a bit forcefully. He didn't take his eyes off me. \"Better now?\" He asked tenderly. I nodded, and took a deep breath. My body relaxed slowly, and I became more aware of my surroundings. There was a thick, very soft blanket wrapped around me, and in the dim light, I could see it's whitish grey color. The walls were wood paneled, and the dark color of them made theroom seem somehow darker. The curtain was thin, I could see the outline of people behind it infront of the main light source, which appeared to be a fieplace. It was also the type of curtain that had somewhat confusing geometrical designs all over it in four main colors, white, red, orange, and yellow. There wasn't a window in the small space of my enclosure, and Markus didn't seem to mind the dimness the windowlessness caused. He was still watching me, calmly now. \"Could you speak if I got you something to drink and eat? I know that talking seems to hurt, but I'm sure some water would help.\" He saw my feeble nod, and left silently. A few moments later, he came back brandishing a tray of what appeared and smelled to be oatmeal, along with a clear glass cup of water. \"Do you think you can eat on your own, or would you like some help?\" He asked setting the tray down beside me. I struggled to try and move my broken right arm, but the pain was so immense that I gasped loudly. Markus winced, \"I'm gonna go ahead and say no.\" He gave me a closer look, \"It won't be that bad, I know it's a little degrading, but atleast it's something in your stomach.\" He gave me a cheerful smile. I smiled weakly back at him. That made a happiness creep into his dark eyes. He lifted the spoon from the bowl of slightly steaming oatmeal, and pressed it gently against my closed lips. Very reluctantly, I opened my mouth and allowed him to feed me. He seemed to enjoy watching me savor the food. \"Certainly you haven't gone too long without food?\" He inquired once the bowl and glass were empty. With a new strength, I was able to reply much more easily. \"I haven't eaten in about two days. That's quite a while for me.\" My voice was stronger, but still a little whispery. He nodded understandingly. \"Would you mind telling me who you are, and how you came to be way up here?\" He waited patiently while I gathered my bearings. \"I was on a trip. Something I've been looking forward to for a while. The small plane I was on bad some kind of problem...and it went down. When I woke up among tbe debris, I managed to find the only other two who had been on board. They, \" I closed my eyes sadly as the horrid memory resurfaced, \"they were dead. Their bodies ravaged, and their entrails ripped from their body. It was horrifying. Blood was all over the snow. It looked like something had taken apart their remains.\" I shivered involuntarily. Markus kept a stony expression and nodded for me to continue. \"I wandered into the woods without thought, and eventually, my body collapsed from exhaustion. Time passed, I can't be sure how much, and I saw flickers of movement. Then, \" the wolf flickered back once more, and it's eyes were Markus' s again, causing me to gasp. He blinked, \" Are you okay? Is this where you remember that wolf you told me about?\" He seemed worried, but also somewhat surprized. I nodded. My throat had constricted in fear, but Markus' eyes were back to their dark color. 'Why do they keep doing that?' I wondered. He rocked back on his heels again, and a thoughtful look came over him. \"I know that you're still a little traumatized by this, but could you describe the specific wolf you remember? Please, I know it's a lot to ask, but I'm part of the team here that studies the wolves in the area.\" He looked at me pleadingly. I swallowed the lump that had formed n my throat. \"He was black, and had very silky fur, I could see his muscles rippling beneath it, and he moved with a malign grace. His eyes were the deepest blood-red. The scariest thing is how big he was. He was huge. I can't tell you how shocking that is, but I bet you he could have taken down an elephant if he wanted. And his fangs...his fangs had closed around my neck. I thought I was dead. But apparently I'm not.\" I licked my lips. Markus was stiff, and looking off into space, I could tell he was thinking very deeply about something. Without a word, he gathered up the tray and it's contents and left. Fear set in instantly, and I began to wonder if I had done something wrong. I sighed heavily, and let everything fade from my mind. In only a few minutes the world faded into black. \"Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey...\" A deep, familiar voice stirred me from the depths of my slumber. My eyes opened slowly, to find a fork with scrambled eggs on it being waved in my face. I groaned, and rubbed my eyes with my good hand. \"I knew that food would work.\" Markus popped the bit of eggs in his mouth. He was sitting cross-legged on the end of the bed with a bowl filled with scrambled eggs, and if my nose didn't decieve me, bacon. I blinked a few times, and yawned. He looked so childish like that. The goofy grin on his face, and his obviously messy hair which was now unbound and hung to his middle. He gave me a bigger, goofier grin that made me wanna giggle. \"Goodmorning. How are you feeling? Your'e arm has healed, remarkably, not to mention your ribs.\" He sounded quite cheery. I blinked in surprize. \"Healed?!\" My arm couldn't have healed that fast, nor could my ribs. He nodded, \"They were just bruised.\" I was a little dizzy, and the world began to spin. \"How long was I out?\" I whisperd, bewildered. He had stuffed more eggs into his mouth, and took a second to chew and swallow. \"Well, we administered some medicine to help you heal, but they make you sleep for long periods of time. You were in and out, but I suspect that you don't remember a thing, do you?\" He pointed the fork at me, waiting for an answer. \"No, I don't, but that doesn't answer my question.\" He stabbed more eggs, \"You've been out for about a month, \" he popped the eggs in his mouth. My eyes went wide, and I stared at him in disbelief. \"You can't be serious.\" \"Very serious.\" He said after swallowing. I groaned in distress. \"What could have knocked me out for almost a month?\" He just took another bite of his eggs, and offered me a piece of bacon. I grudgingly sat up, the muscles in my body aching as I did. Once I was fully upright, Markus handed me the piece of bacon. I nibbled on it, savoring the taste. He watched me with an amused smile. \"I take it you like bacon?\" He asked with a soft chuckle. I nodded as I finished it off. He shook his head with a smile, and tilted the bowl towards me. \"Want anymore? It's only been about two hours since I fed you. So I wasn't sure if you'd want any.\" His words must be true, because my stomach was full. I shook my head, wondering how he could've fed me if I was passed out. But then again, he had said that he suspected I wouldn't remember a thing. And I didn't. Having a chunk of your memory missing is quite disturbing, especially if you're in a strange place that you haven't been in before. It was also very frightening. To have no recollection whatsoever of the past month in this place. I snapped out of my momentary thoughtfulness, and found that Markus was watching me very carefully. His dark eyes dwelled on my own, and I became suddenly self concious. I was still wrapped in the fluffy white blanket, and under that, I could feel my bloodied and slightly tattered clothes. I briefly wondered how I had gone to the bathroom, but decided it was probably better not to think about that. That's when I realized I had to pee. \"Aw, crap.\" I muttered under my breath. Markus arched a black brow. \"What?\" I didn't reply, but I felt the blood rise to my cheeks. A smirk appeared on his face, and he nearly laughed. \"I knew you'd have to pee eventually. Well, c'mon.\" He stood up, and offered me his free hand. I slowly placed my feet on the ground and stood up, a series of pops coming from my joints. I took his hand to steady myslef, as my equilibrium tried to rebalance. The world spun for a moment, and Markus tightened his grip so that I didn't fall. Once I gathered myself, he smiled down at me, and I realized just how tall he was. He stood over a foot taller than my five foot, two inches. He pulled aside the curtain, and led me out of the small room.
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