I hadn’t taken the necessary precautions when it came to this pack of only a dozen. I should have killed the males first, then the females, and then the children.
Unfortunately, I’d gone after what was the closest to me, the most convenient, and the easiest prey. I couldn’t help but take advantage of the fact that the four pups were in a huddle away from their parents, how foolish and careless of this pack to leave a bunch of pups without a mature wolf. Even I, a human, knows when the wolves are being idiotic. I know the way wolves work, and I would never leave my offspring alone.
The night is cold and ruthless, snow clings to the ground slightly, making everything sleek and slippery. The wind howls loudly, shaking down everything in its path, picking up and tossing anything that isn’t strong enough to withstand its fury. The moon is full and wide, shining light down on the earth, gifting it with something instead of leaving it in utter darkness.
I’d gone in on bare feet, to keep my boots from making too much noise. Turning back, I shriek at how close the Alpha of this pack is.
Fear is to be saved for when wolves take over the world and there are hunters no longer, or so mother says. Tonight though, fear quakes throughout my very being, the snarling of wolves echoes throughout my ear, the sound of their paws slamming on the soil and snapping fallen branches in pieces and crushing dry leaves only make my legs move faster. My hands clutch my silver blades so tight that I can feel the hilts digging into my flesh, pain searing in me.
If you are being chased down, never stop running. You are not defeated yet, niña. Father’s stern voice rings in my ears, louder than the pounding of my heart.
Heaving in mouthfuls of air is what is heard along with the growling and snapping of teeth from these wolves. I have failed my mission.
Another look behind me and instantly a strong thrust of these males hind legs have this male wolf on me, teeth sinking into my left shoulder deeply, teeth snapping fragile bone easily, and I am down. Tumbling with this enormous wolf that could easily weigh five times more than I do. Both our bodies roll on the ground the two other sets of paws come to a stop, snarling at me as I twist to face this wolf.
Face to face, nose to snout, mouth to muzzle. I bare my teeth like a savage, I am just as wild and feral as this animal before me. I am not defeated yet.
The wolf bares its teeth right back and I crouch down slowly, feet hurt from rocks cutting into them the snow isn’t as deep here since we are closer to the main road, this soil is not kind to me. I am not part of its nature, of its home and it would not take kindly to any intruders.
“Come at me, fucker!” I yell out, this is my war cry, this is my growl. The wolf growls loudly, birds fly away from the trees and the many creatures of the forest slither or run away from the beast that claims this land. They know their master is enraged. These creatures know better than to stick around but I do not. I put my right shoulder up, arm up in front of me to keep my left arm tucked away safely. I am not defeated yet.
Human and wolf circle around each other, the wind does not move the trees any longer. Silence has taken over and the only noise heard is the snarling of the wolves and my ragged breathing. The wolves watching stay quiet as they watch their Alpha. I know all too well that these wolves assume he is the predator and I am the prey, but they will go belly up once they realize that I am the predator and they are my prey.
I want to observe my surroundings to see which way I can go to escape but I can not afford the risk that comes if my eyes leave the blackened ones of this male wolf. He is eyeing me with caution, this one knows to be wary.
Licking my lips, I take a step back, stopping our circling. Feet are grounded against the soil to embrace whatever impact this wolf will throw at me. I let my four fingers release from the hilt of the blade as I beckon the wolf forward, he is a tsunami of rage. He shoots forward with nothing but pure rage, his growl so loud that I want to keep running but I can’t. His war song rings loudly through these trees if anything, making surrounding alpha’s aware of the agony tearing this wolf apart.
Paws slam into my shoulders shoving me down but I press my knife up, silver embedding into his throat. The tear of his pelt rings out, his whine will forever be etched into my brain, the taste of his blood going down my throat forever to linger. I will never forget the taste of his blood as I swallow it. Letting out a loud wail of rage as I press my hand up, fist moving into his flesh.
The weight of this full-grown male pushing me down, cutting off my air. Left-arm burns like fire from the broken bone and torn open wound. Shoving him off I wipe my eyes free of his blood. The thickness of it drenches my face and hair, sliding down my chest and shirt. I stand slowly as if I had bathed in this wolf’s blood, his pack mates howl at the loss of their Alpha. They stare at me full of conflict, whether to attack me or cry to the moon for their pups, their mates, and their Alpha.
Whatever their inner conflict was, I would not wait for a second longer. I begin running knowing damn well that they will attack and I will not be able to fight them off. My legs move once again, the soil of this forest hurting me, it is as if it is alive and punishing me for intruding. It is punishing me for having sinister thoughts in my mind towards its caretaker. As if it knows I had slain the beast that claimed this land.
The howls that follow my escape are loud and even I, a human, can hear the grief in their howls. The war is over for now but if they decide to exact revenge the war will begin again. Then again, the war between wolves and hunters is a never-ending one. Today is not the first day a wolf died by my hands and it will not be the last.