The Wolf

07 May

Once upon a time, I found myself in a deep, dark wood. It was cold and dark and there were many things hidden under the twisted branches waiting to tear me into pieces. I was terrified because I was being hunted, and I had nowhere safe to go. Deep in the woods I met a wolf. He was a man by day, and a beast by night. He told me he could keep me safe and hide me from the hideous thing that hunted me. The wolf took me back to his lair and let me rest upon a bed of duckling down. He lit a fire and covered me in a blanket made of rabbit fur- and for the first time in a million years I felt safe. And for the first time in a million years I could sleep. And I slept and slept, slowly regaining my strength. The wolf would feed me fish he’d caught in a nearby stream- he’d clean and cook the freshwater fish and feed me until my belly was content. He picked me blackberries and made me daisy crowns for my head. The wolf kept me safe day in and day out. And the hideous thing that hunted me never let up- at times it came so close, but the wolf tucked me carefully into his chest and watched over me until it was safe again. With each new day I came to depend on the wolf more and more, until I realized I couldn’t survive without him. I had bound myself to him and he to me- we began to slowly fuse together, losing ourselves day by day. I had fallen deeply in love with the wolf- his eyes as blue as forget-me-nots, his hair as black as ink. I loved him, I helplessly loved him and my heart caught a feverish chill. I was growing weak and so was he- our bond had made us both sick- we didn’t eat or drink or play in the sun- we clung to one another like desperate fools. We made love without stopping until we collapsed. We grew hungry and began to feed upon one another. Soon our tainted bond was more threatening than the vile beast which was still out there in the woods hunting me. One day, I looked into the wolf’s forget-me-not blue eyes and I said, “I need you to let me forget you. And you must forget me. We are killing each other…”. The wolf let out a long, guttural howl and the moon turned black. He didn’t want to let me go and I didn’t want to leave.But watching him waste away before me gave me strength. I loved him, I loved him with every raggedy inch of my sad soul and I knew that if this love was real and true, that I would let him go forever so that he could heal and be free and return to his beastly magnificence. I made love to him one last time and it was bitter-sweet and dreadful- neither of us soared to our previous heights of pleasure that night. Our hearts were shattered and the pillows were drenched in our tears. The comforting fire blew out somewhere in the middle, leaving us in the cold, dark, silence. As the wolf fell into an uneasy sleep, I crept quietly out of his lair and ran as fast as I could, far away. I ran so hard and so fast-I was determined to leave him behind. I was committed to erasing his entire existence from my mind. I buried him so deep in my heart that not even the icy tendrils of my worst nightmares could resurrect my love. I let him die. I let him be forgotten. I erased him.
The day that I ran away, I could hear his paws thundering against the earth as he tore off after me- and I knew that if I stopped for even a moment, he would find me. And I would let him. And then we would both die and it’d all of been for nothing.
This was a thousand years ago, in another place and time. I never think of any of it.
But tonight the moon is full and as I stand out under the night sky, I am convinced that for the briefest moment I can see a pair of long-forgotten eyes watching me from the shadows. I feel a chill dance up my spine. The door to those memories are sealed forever. The soul-achingly tender feelings are encased in hardened cement and sitting at the bottom of a deep, dark, forgotten ocean. I turn my back on the night with thoughts of my warm bed in mind, and as I begin to take my leave the icy wind rushes over my skin, tossing my hair about playfully. And I hear a whisper on the breeze, of a familiar voice that I can hardly remember. “Forget me not” it weeps mournfully. My heart responds in a vague aching, yet I can hardly recall the source of this terrible ghost-pain. I ask my heart why she is aching, but she only howls at the moon and cries…

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Posted by on May 7, 2021 in Short Fiction



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