A Wolf In… Wolf’s Clothing

4 Apr

Today’s installment is a long one, but it was hard won.  My creative powers seem to be waning today, so if this seems kind of off, I apologize.  If you are new to my little game, please visit, the post that started it all, and then see the second installment.  And help the saga to continue by leaving a comment about what you think should happen next, of if you’re not into that, just leave a comment!

The scabby fruit Leo had called “Love Apples” were shredded under long black claws.  Ragged ears flying, tongue lolling, the wolf tore across the clearing with startling swiftness.  A harsh bark tore from its throat as it tensed to pounce.  Leo called out in a strange voice and gave her a rough push.

Landing in a heap on the ground, Sabrina nearly let the still warm key spill from her hand.  She thought it was shock at first, veiling her vision when she looked up at Leo and the wolf.  Where she had been standing only a second’s breath before, the wolf was crouched with bared teeth.  Leo had a stout stick in one hand and was speaking calmly in that strange voice.  An invisible wind appeared to be sweeping through the clearing, sending his hair flying around his head and the wolf’s fur rippling.  There was a cold blue aura spilling out from Leo’s bare chest.  As he spoke, the aura grew brighter and enveloped him fully.  The snarling beast snapped at the aura, but did not advance.  There seemed to be lights dancing just outside the clearing, chittering eagerly but to Sabrina it was all like a mirage.

Suddenly Leo dealt the wolf a swift blow.  The still air of the clearing rang with a hollow thud and a thin yelp as the wolf was flipped on its side.  Kneeling next to the prone form with closed eyes, he reached out with unnaturally long fingers.  As he tangled his hands in the thick grey pelt, Leo’s aura crept outward.  An almost human sigh slipped from the wolf’s jaws and its great head rolled to the side and Sabrina watched in awe as its blue eyes closed slowly until it was finally covered in Leo’s magic and sleeping peacefully.

The chittering dancing light in the forest drew closer.  Whatever was behind those lights was angry now.  Leo’s eyes opened slowly, his fingers clenching in the wolf’s fur.  A loud low sound came from deep in his throat.  The clearing filled with a cold flash that washed over Sabrina, stealing the breath from her throat and raising goose-flesh all over her body.  She saw them clearly, hovering just behind the tree line.  Their frail long arms were cast over their faces to protect their eyes from the light.  Dressed curiously in pale grey-green tunics cinched at the waist with what appeared to be belts made of bark, their wild unruly dark hair framed pale faces and covered thin shoulders.  The strange group flitted away, gleaming in the twilit forest, their chittering trailed after them and it sounded like mocking laughter.

With a trembling hand, Sabrina reached out to Leo’s hunched shoulders.  When it had receded, Leo’s icy blue magic had left a giddiness in the pit of her stomach and she found herself once more unable to speak.  Before her hesitant fingers could reach him, Leo turned.  All she could do was gasp breathily at the sight of his face, although she felt a thin scream crawling up her throat.

He had changed.  His cheeks were sallow and sunken, his lips drawn and pale.  His ears seemed too long and pointed, but it was the way he glared over his shoulder that sent her blood running cold.  His eyes, usually wide and a deep warm blue, had narrowed and had darkened to a color without a name.  Those abnormally long fingers dropped from the wolfs coat and he pivoted, the muscles in his shoulders working with a fluidity that was not human.

Behind them the wolf stirred suddenly, and at the same time, the strange key jumped in Sabrina’s hand.  The wolf let out a long high howl and the green light pulsing from the key jumped out into Leo.  Sabrina tried to cover her ears, shield her eyes and scoot backwards all at the same time, but only succeeded in falling over.  When the wolf had quieted and the light faded back, Leo was bent over her.  With relief she saw his eyes had returned to their normal color.  His cheeks were no longer so drawn, but he still looked pale with worry.  Pushing herself up, she noted the wolf was now sitting behind Leo like an obedient dog.  Without meaning to, she reached out and gently touched one of Leo’s still distinctly pointed ears.

“What are you?”  She was finally able to whisper.  “And what was in the woods?”

“I am, and they are, Fay.”  The shadow of a smile touched his eyes.

“What?”

“They are Fay, faerie people.”  A real smile broke out across Leo’s face as Sabrina goggled at the source of the retort.  The wolf was gazing evenly at her, one paw idly rubbing the back of first one ear and then the other, upon which she noticed a set of blue hoop earrings.  “Did you hear me, silly human?”  The wolf asked in it’s dry humorless voice.

She couldn’t respond.  Instead she walked across the clearing to the broken tomato plants.  Their leaves, though broken were no longer that sickly grey.  They shined a dark rich green.  Sabrina turned one of the fallen fruits over.  Free of scabs and a healthy blushing pink, it was almost perfect but for a single hole where it had been pierced by the wolfs claws.

I feel saintlike, Fred.  I’m holy.  Geddit?  HOLEY?

With her friend George’s wild laughter in her ear, she sat down and cried.

Leo came to her and sat gingerly among the now healthy but destroyed plants.  He took her hand and pried her fingers away from the key.  The green glow had left them and the key.  Now the big top symbol flashed a dull red.

“We have to move on.”  Leo said.

What she said next surprised her, since what she really wanted to do was spit in his eye and run in the other direction.  “What about the forest?  Those faerie things are still out there.”

What would you do?

A. Cut and run

B. Follow the faeries

C. Go on to the big top

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2 Responses to “A Wolf In… Wolf’s Clothing”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. WTF? « Tomato Forest - April 13, 2011

    […] if this is your first visit, to avoid confusion, go here, then here, then here. Trust me, this is a series of […]

  2. Into the Woods « Tomato Forest - April 25, 2011

    […] B) A huge grey wolf with earrings […]

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