Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dwell With the Lamb

The order of these snippets are not necessarily linear since I haven't been writing sequentially.
[I'm not certain of the continuity of this snippet as I sort of mashed two versions of this scene into one]
(H)e approached her camp with great stealth avoiding looking at the light, knowing that his eyes would betray him by reflecting the firelight in the darkness. The fire was very small and smokeless and the woman tending it was now making a quiet howling sound. The wolf recognized the howl which confused him. His ears were erect as he closed his eyes and scanned the sound. The woman was howling an assemble call, meant to retrieve all pack members to a rendezvous point.
The lone wolf was more than intrigued, he felt compelled to approach the woman in spite of the danger. He lowered himself into a stealth hunting crawl keeping lower than the grasses and rocks until he was hidden behind the last rock that was large enough to hide him. He was down wind, of course, his natural instincts made certain of that. He laid still and listened to the woman's howl.
She stopped the howling as if startled. Smelling the air, he could tell the woman had moved between him and the fire. She spoke words in that same whisper. Human words that shocked the wolf. They almost made sense to him. As if he would know what she was saying if she just spoke a little louder. She was facing away from him so he ventured a quick look. She sat looking into the fire a multicolored blanket wrapped around her. She was very large and the fire created an aura around her as if she was a specter, a figure from an old dream nearly remembered.
The woman spoke again, "Don't be afraid.
"I'm not here to hurt you. I'm here to rescue you."
The wolf listened to her deep soothing tones. The words meant nothing he could discern, but her demeanor was disarming.
"Come to me," She looked to the dark sky and howled again.
The wolf let out a small whine and licked his nose. He was in a quandary. He had no reason to trust any human but this woman's soft words and howling reached into his vengeance hardened heart and softened it. He resisted. His family had been killed by those such as this woman, there was no reason to be here, except to exact revenge. He should attack her and let her feel the pain that his family had endured.
He took a step exposing himself to the light. The woman didn't move. He took another step closing the distance between them.
The woman ceased the howling, lowered her head, and said one word, "Benjamin."
The wolf lost all thoughts and moved beside the woman and stared into the fire. The woman moved and tossed something into the fire causing it to momentarily turn a bright green.
The wolf laid down beside her, fell asleep, and started to dream.
He was following a winter trail. He was well fed, but had an urge to seek out a mouse or vole for a snack. He came across an Native American boy sitting cross-legged on a bolder, his eyes were staring straight out into nothingness. He had been so intent on tracing the scent of a vole he didn't smell the boy. That was odd for him. He normally kept track of all things near and far. He sniffed the air and could not detect this boy. It was as if he wasn't there. Did his eyes deceive him? He approached with less caution than would be normal, his curiosity was greater than his sense of danger.
He looked up at the boy from just below the boulder. He had made no movement at his approach. The boy's stare seemed somehow wolf-like in its immobility. The wolf placed its paws high on the boulder and sniffed. He was even more confused. The boy smelled like a strong healthy wolf. This was not possible. The wolf was at a loss as to what to do about this odd creature.
He barked, exactly why he didn't know, perhaps to pull the boy out of his trance. Then the oddest thing of all happened. The wolf was looking out across the valley, no longer seeing the boy but seeing in the opposite direction. He looked down and saw a wolf, paws on the boulder sniffing the air. He blinked, his dry eyes couldn't see clearly. It took several attempts to wet his eyes enough to see the wolf clearly. The wolf looked familiar but he wasn't sure how he knew him. He fell backwards and was looking up at the boulder again. The boy was gone. He circled the hill and came at the boulder from above. There were human prints leading to the rock but no one was there and no prints leaving the rock. The wolf decided it must have been a hallucination from the many days without food. This couldn't be happening for real. A vision quest was to find your protective animal not to become one
He startled awake. The sun had risen and spread light throughout the valley. The woman from the night before was nowhere to be found. The fire was a pile of cold ashes in front of him.
"Weyekin," said the woman as she approached the boy.
The boy looked up at her with eyebrows low.