Thunder rumbled loudly above, while the occasional strike of lightning seared the cloudy night sky. This powerful force of nature had every creature cowering in their homes.
All but one.
A lone wolf ran; his paws pelted the muddy forest floor as his agile mind sought a way out. He weaved hastily through the dense foliage, now reminded of the unrelenting fact he was nearing defeat. The muffled shouts of the hunters came ever closer. Though his heartbeat remained steady, his mind was wearing. He grew tired of running, of fleeing these predators. His focus wavered for a moment at most, just long enough for him to not notice that the forest ended and emerged onto the highway. He had also failed to see the truck parked on the roadside waiting until it was almost too late. With little time to act, the wolf tried darting in another direction, but lost his footing and tumbled violently to a stop.
He lay on the ground, his sheer white coat tarnished with mud, barely beginning to depict his ordeal thus far. The lights came closer, blinding him as his panicked heart beat wildly. With an aching pain in his front paw and exhaustion welling up through his body, the wolf admitted defeat. A pursuer shouted to a dark figure beside the truck, but his fatigued mind couldn’t make heads or tales of it. The gunshot rang through the quiet night, and he welcomed the darkness as it grew ever closer. Drawing one final breath, he savoured his last taste of freedom.