Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dwell With the Lamb - A Human

[Returning to my WIP. The beginning of this scene is the first snippet I wrote. My method of dealing with a new idea is to first deal with proof of concept and getting a feel for my ability to write the subject effectively and my enthusiasm for the concept. If either fail I put the idea on the back burner.]

The heat of the afternoon was blowing in on a gentle breeze that barely ruffled his mottled, glossy, and thinning coat. The temperature was warm for an early spring day. He stood on an escarpment of dark gray cracked granite jutting from the peak of the bare knoll on the edge of the forest. The color of his fur blended well with the granite making him invisible to prey and foe alike. The huge beast lifted his snout to sample the wafting air. A cornucopia of information flooded his brain creating a landscape of smells. The accuracy of his sense of smell was better than his eyesight which was limited to what was in front of him, which in this case was for the most part forest.

Everything smelled as the wolf expected, There were a few insignificant details that he noted for later like the rabbit’s nest that was closest to his spot was empty, but he could smell succulent young rabbits wandering with their mother in the valley below, no doubt, looking for new shoots that appear after a rain as long as the one that passed through two days earlier.
He made a quick visual scan of the distant craggy snow-covered mountains and then turned and trotted down the knoll. It was time to refresh the no trespassing signs once again.
As he followed his own scent around his perimeter, his jaw hanging open and tongue lolling to cool his svelte body, he pondered once more how he would avenge his family. Thoughts that came unbidden over took his mind once more. He was not a lone wolf, he was an avenger wolf. He would find a way. They would pay for what they did. Each one, whose scent was memorized in his mind, would pay with their life.
He stopped dead in his tracks, an unknown scent ahead. He always moved toward the blowing wind both to mask his own scent and alert him to the presence of others and this unusual scent put him on full alert. He eased himself into a gap between two boulders where the tall brown grasses acted as a shield and lowered his body into his hunting position. This provided for concealment and wound his body like a spring so he could lunge whenever necessary either at prey or intruder or off and away should the danger be too great for him, a rare occurrence. The scent was human, but not one of the cattlemen. Still his heart rate increased as the woman passed by his hiding spot. That a human would be so deep within the woods intrigued him. That she didn’t smell wrong confused him.
He leaped out from hiding bounding well beyond the faint trail and moved down toward the river where he could parallel her from a concealing distance. She appeared to be oblivious to her surroundings and made a considerable racket as she moved down the game trail. He followed her to the clearing that his pack had used as a resting spot during the spring and summer months once they ceased their nomadic winter foraging.
This place held significance for the wolf beyond its utilitarian facet. It was where he had first spotted his eventual mate as she and her pack scampered through his claimed territory. He had always been tolerant of roving packs, allowing them to hunt in his area so long as they continued on in a timely manner. He had been laying atop a large rock allowing it to cool his body after a long chase.
When he saw the female he felt something inside that felt good and right. Without a thought he sat up, lifted his head to the heavens and let out the most melodic, mournful, and lonely howl a wolf had ever uttered.
The female stopped immediately and looked at him expectantly. The loner stopped and approached the female. They introduced themselves to each other and th female returned to the pack which moved to a pine tree with a low over hanging branch and settled down to rest. The female kept looking over at the lone wolf on the rock.
The woman stopped at that very same rock. She studied the ground with a professional air. She climbed the steep ground up to the top of the rock and again stopped and studied the ground. She lifted her head and looked around at the surroundings. She had a wolf’s eye he thought. Best to stay at a good distance.
The woman climbed down from the rock and began to gather stones using her skirt as a basket. Once she appeared satisfied she sat down among a group of smaller rocks large enough to conceal her completely from above, but left her exposed to the lower land. After arranging the stones in a circle she arose and headed to the river. The wolf had to scramble to stay out of her way. She filed several gourds she had hanging from her ample waist and on the way back up toward her camp she picked up fallen branches and pine straw until her arms were overloaded with wood. She set the wood aside and placed pine straw and kindling in the stone circle. After which she sat cross legged and closed her eyes and began humming. Soon the humming became a howl. A howl to draw a pack together. It struck the lone wolf in the heart and he wanted to approach. His wolf sense convinced him that she was a danger no matter what his body was feeling.
They both sat motionless for several hours. But as the sun went down the woman stopped howling and lit the fire she had built in front of her. She took dried herbs and sprinkled the fire creating a dance of colors.
The wolf found it difficult to not look at the fire, but he know if he looked at the fire his eyes would shine in the dark revealing him in his hiding place.