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The Grey Wood

A Tale of the Broken World

By Blake BoothPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Top Story - March 2024
20
Unseen, but always watching.

The Grey Wood was silent in the morning fog, like ghosts walking at dawn.

The earth was still the way it always was before it came alive. He stood there among the giants. Their roots crawling deep into the soil where they had fostered strength and wisdom from ages long since past. He let his fingers brush against their rough-wood skin as he passed by them. Tahtanah (Redwoods) was their name, or the name his people knew them by. Sentinels of the realm, they stood their vigil and never a word… but, he knew; they watched, they heard; they knew all... he could feel it.

He crept alone quiet as fog until he came to the break where the pass cuts through stone and found the brook. He slipped across the trodden way and into the giant’s home once again. On he went until he came upon the Old One lying where he always lay. Up his broken trunk where it met the Sister Tree who tried as she might to lift the Old One back to his feet, but he was much too heavy and her arms too short, so there they stood and lay where they always did never making any more of it than the day before.

Then he was in Sister Tree’s branches, from there he ran a familiar path. It wasn’t long now. From limb and branch. A swing and a step and there he jumped and again he was off running among the heights. He came to the nest–his nest–and there he perched more quiet than a breeze.

Now it was time to wait.

Dawn nestled into the sky, but then she got bored and wandered off and with her the Sun and when she had found something more interesting it was beyond the eyes to see. As always Dusk chased her, but he was too slow and she was gone. The world turned to slumbers and the fireflies blinked awake beyond the moon, but he was still awake nestled there in his tree. He heard their crashing and brambling before he saw them. The raucous cacophony of untrained feet cracking every piece of deadwood they could find; needles and cones groaned and snapped under their weight. Always it was the same with the folk from down the mountain. Clumsy feet, stupid feet, Tahtüünga thought, they belong to the flat land. He could hear them grunting—the whole forest could hear them grunting—for they could not speak, their tongues had been cut from their mouths.

Tahtüünga took a draw. So many different scents, each another’s story, the Iltowa (white people) carried them wherever they went, but it was not their scents that commanded his attention, but the holff’s (alpha’s). His was a thick, oily smell that lay heavy upon the air. Its poignancy was laden with the weight of authority, of power. He was the alpha predator, the protector, the head of the pack. To smell him was to fear him. Tahtüünga watched silently, waiting. Then for a moment he was there, not twenty paces away–Utaagh the great wolf, the holff of Tahtüünga’s pack, his rabid coat black as a moonless night, his eyes shone like fireflies–then he was gone; a shadow that the forest swallowed. Tahtüünga heard the grunt. That was his sign. The whole reason he was here. He coiled his lips and sang to the moon. It was a short melody.

He finished.

He listened.

He heard it further on. And, another carried it beyond that. His purpose done, Tahtüünga sat back in his nest and watched until the whole of the litter was past him. Other shadows passed by like mist in the trees, but his brethren did not command his attention, his holff had already passed. Tahtüünga watched for stragglers, trespassers, and fiends, but none had come. His brethren had done their job well. The haunt was successful. He found his feet and sang the wolf’s song. The moon smiled. It was his people’s song.

Further on another joined the song, “Come home.”

Tahtüünga raised himself and journeyed the way he came with never more than a whisper from his feet.

Fantasy
20

About the Creator

Blake Booth

Just a small-town dude from Southern California making videos and telling stories the way I like to read them.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (11)

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  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    It's a myth, a fable, a weaving of magic. This was so atmospheric. I'm not totally certain of what's going on but I like it because in the mystery is the feeling. Having it made transparent would be like lifting the veil and I like the fog.

  • JBaz3 months ago

    This is great, I love the feel that comes with reading this. It is like a story told around a campfire a long time ago. Congratulations

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Anna 3 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Carol Townend3 months ago

    That was emotional and pleasant to read. A very heart-warming story with a wonderful ending.

  • Oooo, Utaagh! I got so excited because I love wolves! Gotta agree with Caroline below, your story was very evocative. I enjoyed it a lot!

  • Sathishkumar S4 months ago

    hi good job. please read my stories also...

  • Caroline Craven4 months ago

    I thought this was beautiful. This is the kind of story I would like someone to read to me. If you shut your eyes you can imagine yourself there. Your description are fantastic.

  • Richard Embree2 years ago

    Great stuff. I'm digging the tone that you went with for this story.

  • Stephanie2 years ago

    I really like your writing style. Keep the stories coming!

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