A flash of red, a hint of human scent; aromas of fear and loss. A wolf followed it willingly, for it was new to him. The ground steady and silent under his white paws dashing through the fallen leaves. The red flash turned out to be a tattered cloak. Inside it moved a child. Long, dark hair fell from the split of the hood. A girl. A girl trespassing in another’s territory…
She seemed to be unaware of the second presence around. She continued to walk through the woods. His woods. Her strides were long but slow, seeming to be taking in the scenery of the aged leaves and towering oaks.
It occurred to the wolf that the child should be afraid. It was a cool dusk and the moon was full, providing an ominous glow to the path. Not to mention there was a predator watching her. She seemed almost calm, despite the latter.
As she walked, that sense of loss came back to mix in with her human skin scent. The wolf was intrigued and proceeded to follow her. Then a hint of prolactin hit his nose. Tears.
The child was crying. But this crying was different than what the wolf would see if a pup was beaten down. This was silent pain. No choking breaths or sobs of false bravery. Just silent tears of pure loss.
The child’s steps became a bit uneven as she reached her destination. At the end of the path, a tall tree was a marked grave for someone. The wolf peered at it child when she kneeled in front of it. She removed her crimson hood to reveal the face of loss and pain.
“Evening Gran…” The child spoke in a surprisingly calm voice. “Pompa said to visit you before I retired tonight…” She took a deep breath.
The wolf listened to her soft speech. It was soft and sweet.
“But I guess not everyone listens to their Pompa…” She said, slightly louder.
“A pest has been following me like a murderous lecher on my way here…”
The wolf growled softly in his shadowy spot.
“He thinks himself high and mighty. He watches from behind shadows like some kind of divine spirit…”
The wolf was disgusted at the child’s words. He prowled out of his perch and growled at the back of her head.
“What’s this, Gran…He wants to play?” The child said, not moving to look and earning a low growl from the wolf.
The wolf launched himself at her, his instincts taking over.
But before he could latch his claws onto her and sink his teeth into her petite shoulders, she had already pierced his eye with a pure argent blade. The wolf stared at the child who wore red.
Her skin was pale like a china doll and her lips were painted a dark red to match her cloak. Her expression was pained with anger woven into her tear-stained cheeks.
The wolf anticipated that the child would kill him. But there was a catch in his breath when she wrapped her arms around his neck. He was caught off guard by the embrace.
“Brutality to an animal is cruelty to mankind; it is only the difference in victim…You killed my Gran. So your skin will become the warmth on my back that she never had that winter.” A second argent blade went through the wolf’s throat and sliced down his middle. It was as if she was unzipping him.
And before the wolf’s last sight, all but a flash of red, a hint of scent and the aroma of loss and pain. Only this time, there was a dark, hellish sense of accomplishment as the child blurred from his eyes.