And, I survived my weekend. I’m always surprised that I do, not always very relieved about it, lol, but fully commited to the next week none the less. Here, for your entertainment, we have part 5. Admittably, I struggled a bit with it, considered ditching it completely and eventually struggled on, hoping that it wasn’t going to break the flow of it. I need to add another paragraph really, but I wasn’t going to be able to finish it for tonight. So, you’ll just have to wait till tomorrow. 😉 Or, the next day – I’m working a double shift and then starting a short course on Wednesday… Regardless, I’ll try my best to get it here as soon as possible!
Bitten – Part 5.
With her nose touching the cold snow and her tail straight as a sign of alert, she trotted towards the clearing. She could smell him there, the other wolf, as he sang to the night. He had a sad song, filled with confusion and loneliness. He was alone tonight, his pack mate – the complicated wolf, not there.
Saddened by his song, she took a deep breath and answered him, telling him of the sorrow that she felt and how she understood his feelings of rejection. The Complicated did not feel as they did, did not think as one of them. She was of their soul, but sometimes her heart was elsewhere.
She allowed her voice to trail off and moved forward, catching a whiff of a foreign smell. An intruder yet…
The Complicated was with her.
She stopped and listened, hearing their voices filter through the trees.
“It’s not far,” the Complicated said; physical pain like a shadow in her voice. She was still lame, but had managed to fend for herself despite not being able to run. It was a strange world that she managed to live in… “He should be near the next rise.”
“Is it safe that I’m here Francis?” The Human replied, her voice strong though she smelled faintly of fear and uncertainty. “I mean, you say that they know you but…”
The Complicated laughed – a pleasant sound that warmed her heart. “If you are with me, they won’t hurt you. These wolves here…” The Complicated trailed off. “Wolves are different from other animals Vaughn. They have haunted man’s myths and legends all through the ages. Their howl can instil wonder and fear alike.”
“What does it instil in you?” The Human asked to which the Complicated chuckled again.
“Wonder,” she said. “Awe. Sometimes, a touch of intimidation. I’m always struck by how much we don’t know of the world, of how people have become so blunted towards it, towards communicating. We live these singular lives, lonely lives. Families eat together but never speak and people live alone, never to reach out.”
She could hear the Complicated’s mirth. “No Siobhan,” she said softly. “Not like me. I reach out just… Not necessarily to people.”
They had reached the clearing, their voices travelling easier through the open space. She was close, but not quite ready to join them. The Human made her uneasy, and she couldn’t understand why the Complicated had brought her along. By the sound of the Other wolf’s voice, he couldn’t understand either and he fell silent, his voice fading away as if it had never been. Curious now, she trotted closer, until she could see them. The Complicated and the Human was standing some distance away from the wolf, watching him as he watched them.
“Why did he stop?” The Human whispered, her hushed voice travelling to where she was sitting. The Complicated hesitated, her eyes fixed on her pack mate’s.
“He’s waiting,” she said carefully as she took an unbidden step forward.
Again, the hesitation and a spark of fear. She thought that the Complicated would answer, but didn’t. The Human looked at her, then at her wolf. She raised her front paw to touch the Complicated but paused.
“What’s he waiting for?” she asked again. Finally, after some consideration, the Complicated sighed and looked back at the Human.
“Me,” she said softly. “He’s just waiting for me… As is she.”
For the first time, the Complicated looked her way, acknowledging her presence. She did not walk forward immediately, but waited. Although she wanted to greet the Complicated, she was not going to do so in the Human’s presence.
“We’re not… alone?” The Human’s voice was scared, longing for comfort from the Complicated but she didn’t step back to touch her but kept looking in the direction of the forest.
“Athena is here,” she said softly calling her by the name she had given her. “She’s… there. In the trees. I doubt that you can see her.”
“How can you?”
“I know her.”
They were waiting for the Complicated, all of them. She was the reason that they had all gathered, the one they all unconsciously looked to. She herself didn’t understand it, didn’t understand why she craved this Complicated’s attention. She didn’t understand how she could be a wolf, yet walk on two legs, or how she could sing with all her heart, yet result to the endless yapping of human speech. She didn’t understand her, but she accepted her and accepted her need to communicate with her and her pack mate.
“They are… waiting for me to join in,” the Complicated said finally, her voice ringing with embarrassment as she looked to the ground.
Her words surprised the Human, and for a few moments all she could do was look at her. Then, fearfully, the Human took a step back and hugged herself.
“Then… go.” Her tone was rich with uncertainty, yet contradicting, she could hear her encouragement. “If you want to, then do it Francis. That’s… What I came to see…”
The Complicated laughed softly, though it wasn’t with mirth. “You came here to see me do something that other people might consider to be insane?” She queried. “You surprise me Siobhan.”
The Human laughed. “Ah, no,” she said. “But, I came here to see you. With your wolves. I want… to try and understand. I’m not surprised that you do it Francis, I somehow expected it. He’s expecting it, and this Athena. Go, I’ll stay here.”
The Human took another step back, not out of fear this time, but to give the Complicated space. They looked at each other, then, unexpectedly, the Complicated crossed the difference between them, seemed to lick the human in the face, and turned around to join her pack mate. He whined in greeting and loped towards her, ecstatic that she was going to join him.
She too, shivered in anticipation and walked to the edge of the clearing, waiting. The Complicated walked through the snow and towards the spot where the Other wolf had been howling earlier where she stood very still and listened to the forest around her. She took a few deep breaths, then she lifted her head to the heavens and sang…