The Moon

by Aurelie Jones 3 months ago in fiction

She's always there, even when no one else is.

The Moon

It is so far away from me. I stare up at the beauty of the moon and feel the chill ruffle my fur. I walk closer to the edge of the cliff, pieces of ground crumbling down the rock wall. The ledge is steady, yet the dirt still stirs as I move about. The grass is damp, it folds easily under my paws. My pack. I haven't seen or heard from them in two moon cycles. We had come across a camp of humans, and all the chaos, we became separated. I feel alone all the time now.

With each kill I take, I feel their bodies struggling in my mouth. I can hear the bones crack as I snap my jaw shut and seal their fate. Their warm blood trickles down my throat, I tear the fur from their bodies. I chew the bones and devour the meat. My belly is full once more. But my heart aches.

I look back up at the moon, I tilt my head up and part my jaw. My vocal chords vibrate as I release agonizing howl after agonizing howl. The sound echoes around the mountains, bouncing back to my ears. Silence soon follows. I really am alone.

I slump forward, my belly flattening the grass beneath me while my paws hang off the edge of the cliff. I can hear life all around me - but its not my pack, they've forgotten me, left me behind. The wind dances around my body, sifting through my silver white fur.

In the distance I can see scattered lights from the human homes, holed up in the mountains with the rest of nature. My lips curl back and I find myself snarling, but I make no motion to head there. I'm not angry enough, I'm hurting. Killing a human, that won't bring me to my pack. It won't fix anything, except maybe get me killed.

I'm not the alpha female, I'm not what holds the pack together. I'm certain they are surviving on their own just fine. Perhaps they think I'm dead. Maybe I am dead, maybe this is my afterlife.

A gunshot echoes between the trees. A few birds scatter from the top in fear. No, I'm still alive. There wouldn't be guns in the afterlife. I stand from the cliff's edge, and turn away. The light from the moon reflects on my fur making me stand out even more amidst the darkness of greens and browns.

I squeeze between two thick pine trees, strands of my fur getting stuck on the rough bark. I trudge further into the darkness, leaving the cool warmth from the moon behind. I talk to the moon, but she never responds. So why does it make me feel less lonely when her light is bathing my body?

My feet carry me on, for the longest time, until I find myself at a clearing. This area, it isn't a relief to me. I felt safer in the confines of the forest, because at least there, the trees touched me. There's nothing around me but open space. Even the wind has calmed down, not even that gentle caress of comfort is there for me anymore.

I stare down into my own reflection, the vibrant color of my eyes and the light tint of my white fur rippled on the surface of the water. I take a step forward, the pads on my paw feel the wetness. I allow my paw to press further, delving farther into the water until I swim. Until my paws can't even scrap the moist earth coated by the lake.

The water is cold, it sinks into my skin. Coats my fur and weighs me down. I trudge further. My movement shifts from slow to steady. I keep my snout above the water. It isn't easy. It is a task to keep on the move. The water keeps me afloat but could easily take me down. As wolves we know this. We must respect nature and all that it entails.

Almost to the center of the lake. Something caresses my hind leg. I continue to kick. But the sensation lingers. It wraps around my paw with conviction. My ears flatten to my head and fear encloses my throat. I attempt to continue on. But more, more of whatever has me coils around me. It nearly cocoons me and my snout leaves the surface of the water. Submerged. It drags me down at a slow but steady pace. I blink with great difficulty. The moonlight pierces the water only to become distorted by its' depths once it reaches me.

Whatever has me continues to squeeze my body. The last of my breath escapes my mouth. A few bubbles travel to the surface of the water. It disturbs the calmness of it all. Silence surrounds the lake.

In the distance, on the edge of the woods, yellow eyes peer through. Leaves and twigs snap beneath large black paws that retreat slow into the foliage. The lake resumes a serene affect. The moon reflects on the water. A still picture. A painting even. A dead lake.

Aurelie Jones
Aurelie Jones
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