An eery howl echoed through the forest, piercing the peaceful stillness of the night and waking me up from my dreamless slumber.
The sound was hardly new to Upton Hill Town. Nevertheless, after three months of living within the close proximity of Sacred Haven National Park, I still couldn’t get used to it. Nor could I get used to my canine neighbours. After all, when we moved here, nobody even mentioned the arguable beauty of local fauna – wolves and mosquitoes in particular. Granted, it was highly improbable that my dad had thought of such complications when he took the mayor’s job proposition. He was simply elated that he was offered anything at all...
Which was why we had to settle in a cottage house, bordering too close to the Sacred Haven National Park for my own comfort. Since then, not only did I have to endure cocky foxes and deers buffeting on our lawn (at least until dad finally fixed the fence), but also, well, wolves. And, honestly, I didn’t find anything charming in the yapping that took place only a couple of miles away from my house, several times during a month.
Whoever said that the wild nature was fascinating must have been high.
I crawled out of bed and, still half asleep, made my way to the opened window. A gentle, warm breeze caressed my flushed face, bringing a pleasant, resinous scent of the forest. Without meaning to, I glanced at the round and bright moon standing sentry above slender pine trees and black spruces.
Well, at least now I knew why the wolves were so active tonight.
Full moon... Fabulous.
I sighed, only too ready to close myself off on the world of nature and its dubious charms. Just as I was about to grab a wooden window frame, I caught a movement in my peripheral vision. From where I was standing, it was difficult to tell for sure, but I was quite certain that a pair of glowing, arctic-blue eyes was watching me from behind the bushes right outside our fence.
Suddenly, a loud, distressing howl pierced the silence again. This time, however, it was uncomfortably close to our house. Scared shitless, I jumped and yanked the handle, shutting the window with more force than necessary.
I was pretty sure that my new wolfy neighbours would soon be the death of me.
I didn’t know just then how right I was...