I feel their feet coming fast upon the earth. I hear them behind me, panting. My own breath hard and quick, burning cold, as it’s forced into my lungs. I can’t outrun them. The wolves will catch me. My body will fill their jaws. I can’t slow down though, I wont surrender. I will go on till my breath is taken from me, as they rip my body apart.
I would be dead already, but they are finding sport in the chase, not so hungry as to want the game to be over quickly. When they first spotted me, they yipped and wagged their tails so happily, for a moment I thought I wasn’t in danger. Till the saliva swept into their mouths, dripping out into the snow. Revealing their joy in knowing a good meal would soon fill their bellies.
I do not feel the numb toes I run upon, but the burning pain of my legs and arms pumping frantically says, “I am still alive”. I will fall soon, into snow, the pack upon me, hopefully my head will be struck upon something as I land, so I pass out, I want to feel nothing, none of this.
Have I been running forever? This moment seems the entirety of my life.
My eyes scan about desperately, wildly, searching for any escape. Through the trees, a building appears. I must make it inside. I hurl my body forward with all my force. Grabbing the handle, opening, tossing myself in. Shutting the door behind me, I hear the first wolf slam into it. I see their black nails through the space at the bottom of the door. Fear shakes me, I have to keep hiding. I have to tuck myself in, deeper, smaller, further.
I run about opening doors and cupboards, looking for a place to hide. I throw my body into one. huddled in darkness, but I don’t feel safe. I hear them scratching, and digging. Then a long “howl”. It is their victory. We all know I am trapped. It is just a matter of time till they find their way in. I jump out of the cabinet, searching for another place to hide. They whimper excitedly biting at cracks in wood, they will draw their own blood tearing this structure away, till the crunch of my bones, is felt between their teeth.
Another door reveals a narrow stairwell.
Climbing to the second floor I find a woman, or a beast. Hair of long wild tangles, hulking body naked but for the fur that covers her deep in places. I have never seen such a creature before, but know she has been waiting for me. She moves to the window, opens it, jumps down two stories, landing on her feet in the snow, she looks back up at me. Only her eyes speak, they say “We can do this, you and me, this is something we can do, this is a power we have”. She walks off into the woods.
I stand at the open window, paralyzed with shock. I can’t do that, my legs will break. The wolves are still down there. And as I think of them, I hear them again, pushing through the house door. Terrified, I run into the next room closing the door behind me. I hear their claws on the stairs. There is nowhere for me to run, to hide, to escape. I am frozen, still in the center of the room. They are at the last door, scratching, pushing against it, eager to get to their prey. This is it. It is over. I stand my ground, I have no other option. I wait for them to come get me. They burst through, charging, lunging. I open my mouth, screaming, louder, longer, wider, than I ever have before. So fast I hardly know what has happened. My finger moves up to my mouth to tuck the last bit of velvety ear inside, and I swallow down, hard.
I feel sick, nauseous, acid burning in my stomach, burning its way through fur, flesh, bone, blood, teeth, consuming rows of those black nails that had been clicking upon the wooden floor.
I fall to the ground, exhausted, uncertain, half dizzy with confusion. I access; I am alive, I have survived, they did not get me, they were coming, to kill me, to eat me. They burst through the door, and.......I ate them. Swallowed them whole. At the thought acid comes up from my stomach and fills my mouth. Horrified, disgusted, I want to puke them back out. But no. Then they will be out around me again, then I will run from the sight, from this act. No, I keep them in my belly, great as pregnant, while consuming them, devoured till they are no more, but what can fuel me, or become waste that will leave my body, thought of no more.
I stand up, walk down the stairs. Place my body unhidden in the open doorway to this dwelling. Knowing I can choose to walk out into the woods. Knowing I can stay and build a home here. I do not know at this moment what I will do. But I know I will no longer be chased. I know I will walk unafraid.
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