I went looking for the big bad wolf.
I found him leaning against a tree by a little cabin made of sticks, huffing and puffing on a cigarette. His tall frame, monstrous yet fragile. Deadly and hungry. The moisture that hung heavy in the night air matted his dark hair, the deep black of it seeming darker than the sky. The moon was rising, turning whimsical thoughts into madness that could get you killed.
He took one last draw from his cigarette and tossed it to the ground. Before he turned toward the little cabin, I took a step forward and he noticed my presence. He was surprised, but happy that he didn’t need to do much tonight, as his prey had found him.
The moon’s light floated down from the treetops and illuminated his face just enough to make out his dark, terrifying features. “What have I done to lure you here, my sweet?” he whispered, wisps of steam billowing from his mouth.
I felt a little thrill at the sound of his voice, deep and soft. There were black shadows where his eyes were. I stared at these shadows, showing him I was not afraid.
“I’ve heard your howling and I couldn’t ignore your beautiful song.”
He smiled. “No one in their right mind would come out here at night at the sound of my voice. You must not be in your right mind.” His voice softened at the end even more.
We stood there, staring at each other until the moon was shining fully over us. The wispy gray clouds floated over, sometimes casting us into darkness.. A chill crossed over me each time we were plunged into darkness—the thought that he could close the distance between us without me even knowing. He was still sizing me up. The look on his face slowly and eerily changed from satisfaction to confusion and something else that I wasn’t sure of.
“This is a trick to kill me and end the fear of my existence,” he finally said, thinking for sure that he was right. “You have a knife behind your back, or up your sleeve.”
I held out my hands and pushed up my sleeves to expose my arms to the cold night air. “You have a right to not trust me.” I said. “But you are faster and stronger. I know you could end my life quicker than I could respond, if you wanted.”
He walked slowly across the small distance between us and stood right in front of me. The presence of the deadly creature so close to me made my head reel. I looked up at his face and the first thing that struck me were his eyes. They were that of an animal, but with more wisdom behind them than you would expect from a ravenous beast. His face seemed to be drawn with sleeplessness, or perhaps sadness.
“Kill me now, if you’re going to,” he whispered.
“I’m sorry, I have nothing to kill you with. I could also say that to you, but may I request a song first?”
His eyes glinted with astonishment. “I must not be in my right mind either. I’m starving, yet here you stand. I might die tonight from hunger or maybe from shock.”
“Sing,” I pressed, “before either of us dies.”
He sighed, stepped back and tilted his head back slightly. A low howl rolled first from his throat, and then deepening to his lungs as it lifted up into the night. The wind flowed past us, as if to help his song extend up into the sky, to the moon and out to the stars. I shivered with delight to be so close to the source of this sublime, mournful music. There was something in the note that raised the hairs on the back of my neck. I felt my spirit lift slightly closer to heaven.
His song went on for a while, just in case this was the last time he would ever sing in this world. By the time he had stopped, I too had my head back and my eyes closed. I readied myself for the feel of claws to my insides, for the feel of teeth sinking into my throat.
I opened my eyes to find that he was gone. I looked around to see if he was hiding in the shadows of the trees, but he was nowhere to be found. I listened for his song since that night, but it was never heard again. Under each full moon’s light, the memory of his song fills my dreams.
Angela Neal writes in Ohio, USA.
This story is sponsored by
the psychic archaeologists at The Morpheus Initiative — Check out author David Sakmyster’s first two books in a trilogy about remote-viewers, ancient mysteries, lost tombs, and exciting adventure! At Amazon.com or visit www.sakmyster.com.