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For my Portfolio
Wolves are sooo pretty!
This one I turned in for class. I'll be changing the ending, which was needed for the completion portion, but overall I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. Keep an eye out for the revised, more awesome version though. It will come. :-)
Three wolves ran through the deep snow, searching. Hunting. Winter was getting worse. The hunger in their stomachs drove them to test the outer limits of their territory. Two males and one female inhaled deep gulps of air; spurring their paws to continue, through the icy, white wet. Just beyond the thicker row of bare trees, a white fox ran with them, dashing through the trees like an inverted shadow. The four knew each other: had a friendship of sorts. The female on the far right yipped and they all slowed to a stop, panting for breath. It was too late; the other wolves had already surrounded them. They never should have run so far.
The alpha male strode forward, a full head taller than the three. He snarled and bared his teeth, sentenced them to death for trespassing. No one should steal from their pack. Apologies do not exist among wolves. There was a burst of snarls and a flurry of gray. The fox had somehow eluded the larger pack and was watching in horror from upwind. Blood was soaking through and melting the snow. Glaring red pierced the gleaming white, and in a few short minutes, the pack of wolves was gone and our three lay dying in the stained snow. The female tried to rise, but found that she only had three useable legs. She would not be able to run for help. She feebly licked at her own wounds and then lay back into the thickening snow. Her male kin did not rise.
Choking, she gasped into consciousness. Sweat clung to her entire body; her legs were tangled in the sheets. Her teeth were numb and tingling, her face felt like she’d sat in front of a fire for too long. She frantically rolled over to try and disengage her legs from the trapping sheets, only to tangle her arms as well. The sound of shuffling and rustling was too loud. She made a grunt of frustration and fell to the floor with a thump, feeling a cold spot on her right shoulder. The wood floor felt like heaven: crisp cold after the burning heat of the mattress and comforter. She tore at the opening and freed herself from the cocoon of warmth. Alyra curled up on the floor and sighed. Her mouth felt too big.
The next morning Alyra woke up shivering on the floor of her room. Her fingertips were still tingling and she opened and closed her icy hands to try and rid them of it. She glanced at the alarm clock sitting higher up than should be, on her bedside table. It read 6:43am. Alyra grumbled, rose sleepily from the floor and collapsed back onto the icy cool sheets of her bed. She wrapped the comforter around herself and waited for the warmth to encase her. It came slowly. She fell asleep again.
An hour later her alarm went off, screaming for her to get ready for work. Alyra thought of the coming day, and shrank back into the cocoon of warmth after smashing her alarm off. She didn’t want to go back; she wouldn’t go back. It was so frustrating, being so helpless. Toby, her small Corgi pup, waddled into the room and placed his front paws as high on the bed as he could reach. Alyra smiled and picked him up, setting him on her lap. He weighed only 11 lbs, and he was always so smiley, he constantly brightened her day. Toby yipped and started to play with her sheet. She picked up a corner and threw it on his head. He squirmed and growled until his red-golden ears poked out of the white again.
“Common, lets go take a walk before I let you out to bother Harry.” She thought of Mrs. Burkes commenting on her “devil of a dog” again and brightened. If her noisy, annoying cat couldn’t take it, maybe he shouldn’t dish it out. The sunlight tried harder to shine through the darkening clouds.
* * *
“Help!! Let go! 42nd and Carlisle! Please heeel--.” There was a shuffling sound, the sound of dead and dried leaves, and then the line went dead. Her heart was pounding; the back of her skin prickling. She grabbed the radio next to the second headset and smashed her thumb against the button. Her voice was shaking, “Get to 42nd and Carlisle. Sounded like a young woman, from teens to mid-thirties. She was being attacked. Suspect unknown.”
She typed out all the information on the already loaded page and quickly hit Enter. The file disappeared and the small ring-tone sounded from the speakers. Sent. She could almost see the young girl, her dark brown hair tangled and covering her terrified face. She saw the pink Samsung cell phone fall and slap shut against the brown, wet leaves… Her pink flecked Sketchers scrabbled against the slick leaves but the black leather combat boots stood firmly behind. Her daydreams always made the day so much longer.
Her hands were shaking. She opened the drawer and shook out a small yellow pill from a prescription bottle, broke it in half and took a swig of sweet tea. I hate my job, she thought.
“Ally, take a break; go get me a double cheeseburger would ya?” Andrew pulled out a dollar from his wallet and handed it to Alyra. He smiled sympathetically; he knew how stressful this job was on her. But they were all in it to help. They were the good guys behind the curtain. Alyra wished she could be as laid-back as he was. She wondered how he coped with it all.
“Yeah, thanks Drew. Some fresh air sounds good.” She walked to the door, and then heard a chuckle. A jacket flopped over her head.
“You’ll need this if you’re going out genius. Didn’t you see the sky earlier?”
In light of the tension in her muscles, she had forgotten what the sky had looked like on the way to work. The brightness of the call center office unusually overshadowed whatever the whether was like outside. Hot and sticky, cold and rainy, every time was a little surprise. And as it so happened, it was drizzling miserably, and chilly. The breeze blew mist from all around, making an umbrella more of a useless decoration than a helpful tool to stay dry. Her hood blew back and the wet air dampened her face. She ran to her Bat mobile, an old black 94 Celica with a broken driver’s side window. Today’s mission: McDonald’s cheeseburgers.
The rest of the day slurped by; squelching through the wet outside. By the time five o’clock rolled around Alyra felt so drained and disheartened she was doubtful even Toby could cheer her up. Two different women had witnessed their husbands having a heart-attack. A young boy had fallen into a pool and drowned. And several car accidents had occurred on the slippery roads of Blackwell. She never knew what really became of the people who called in. Sometimes she didn’t want to know. There was a soundtrack she played in her head over and over again: They’re all right now. They got help. It ran in loops until the words lost meaning and she forgot what she had been thinking about. By then she had usually made it home.
Toby sat in front of the main window, waiting for her arrival. She trudged up the stairs and jammed the key into the lock. Sometimes the lock would stick so tightly she was afraid her key would break off and Toby would be trapped until she called a locksmith, or busted down the door.
But she managed to get the door open and trip her way inside, her boots tracking wet pieces of dead grass and chunks of mud onto the small tile entryway. Toby trotted up and smiled his best smile, his tail wagging and beating the floor. “Hey Tobe, how’s it goin’ boy? Wanna take a quick walk before I start dinner?”
Toby shoved his way past her leg and walked out through the open door. Alyra dropped her bag and shut the door again, turning the key slightly until the lock clicked. She hobbled down the steps and after her dog and down the dirt road. The gray sky was still illuminated, but had gotten much more dreary and dark since earlier in the day. The rain had mixed with sweat and her skin felt gritty and cold. A nice warm shower sounded fabulous.
She watched as Toby ran after a frog jumping across the road and into the ditch. His teeth clicked again and again as he tried to snatch it out of the air. He disappeared into the trees that lined the road for about a mile, only to dart out again further down the road. His shiny red coat had dark spots of wet, and his paws were covered in mud. We both need a shower now. She walked a bit further and whistled, patted her leg and took off, back towards the house.
The dirt scrabbled and flew behind Toby as he lunged to follow. The light drizzle sprayed Alyra in the face as she ran, collecting together on her skin and running down in droplets. Toby sped past as she was about to reach the driveway. She laughed and dropped her gait to a walk, panting as she reached the door. The key still stuck and she hurt her fingers trying to get it open. Her legs felt stronger as she pushed open the door and took off her boots. “Shower time.”
As the water sprayed down in sheets, fog collecting on the corners of the glass, she shoved Toby inside and shut the glass door.
“Now, wash up, I don’t want you getting mud all over the couch again.”
She went to the sink and opened the cupboard, took out a small pill bottle and popped the cap. She jiggled out two little white pills and shoved the bottle back into the cabinet. She gulped a mouthful of water from the sink and downed her evening snack. She glanced over and saw Toby sitting in the center of the stream, mouth up and snatching at the water droplet. She smiled and cracked the door, stuck her arm through and shut off the water. “Now go ahead and shake. You’re not getting water all over the bathroom again.”
Toby shook, his little body wobbling back and forth. The mud gone from his paws and belly, Alyra opened the door. She grabbed the smaller blue towel from the rack and flopped it onto his head. Toby growled and fidgeted backwards, flinging the towel down. She chuckled and roughly stroked his coat, the water clinging to the towel. Good thing he was such a small dog. Toby sat, enjoying the rub down. His smile ended and his ears perked forward. His damp fur bristled and he darted towards the door, whining and pawing at the white wood.
She walked to the door, the wet ends of her pants cold against her bare feet. “What is it?” She opened the door and out he ran, through the bedroom, past the couch and out the open front door.
“Toby! Ah shit!” Alyra darted out and after him. “Get back here damnit!”
Toby kept on running. His clean, shiny fur collected the dark wet leaves like Velcro. She darted out the door not bothering to close it. “Toby!!”
The wolves dashed between the trees, intent on their deer. It was slow and unsure, dashing through the light snow. More was falling, setting static to the air. The white fox was keeping an audience again, downwind, watching. Perhaps there would be more than scraps to pick from the bones.
The alpha female led the hunt, yipping to her comrades to circle left. She dove right, skirted a blackberry bush and lunged for its throat, coming out almost directly beside the terrified doe. Teeth met soft-haired flesh and then muscle and sinew. The warmth flooded into her mouth. She clenched her jaws, whipping her head to the left and to the right. Prey. Food. Nourishment. Hunt. Kill. Live.
She snarled and growled, keeping her jaws on the throat as the doe drowned in blood, her airway blocked off from the force. Her comrades came up tails erect, joyous in having made the kill. They waited obediently as the Alpha indulged herself on the tender neck muscles. They waited.
* * * *
Alyra woke up. Outside? She was soaked and covered with leaves and mud. Her hair was tangled and wet, dirt encrusting the right side of her face. Behind her ear, a piece of thorn was stuck in her hair and underneath her skin. The cut burned barely, numb from the cold. Her skin was warm despite the frigid air around her. She sat up, and noticed her shoes and socks were missing, her toes dark. Her clothes remained but filthy and coated with grime.
“What the hell?” Her voice croaked and sounded higher than she could remember. “Toby?” She called. Her voice sounded strange. What had happened?
Alyra lurched to her feet. Her hands felt too long. She brought them to her face and gasped. Dried mud mixed with blood coated her once pale skin. The ends of her jacket were stained as well, streaks along her pant legs screamed. Her blood ran cold, goose bumps prickling on her legs and across her back. What the fuck was going on?
She started to shake though she didn’t feel cold. She staggered towards the right, where she thought she saw the road. She was only a few yards from her house. She dashed to her front door, still hanging wide open. Her bag was where she had dropped it. Inside the house was cold, the heater buzzing weakly in the corner of the living room. The bathroom light was still on, shining light onto the bedroom floor.
Her answering machine blinked rapidly. She went over and mashed the Play button. The machine beeped loudly. “Ally, where are you?? If you don’t make it in, they’re putting you down as a No-show, No-call. Get your ass here quick!” The beep sounded again, followed by the mechanical computer voice: “Wednesday, Ten…Twenty P.M.”
Wednesday? That couldn’t be right. Yesterday was Sunday. Something really weird was happening.
Alyra walked back to the door and closed it. She searched under the couch for Toby. Then made her way to the bedroom. Her bed was still unmade, the comforter and sheets all tangled around each other. She entered the bathroom and blinked from the light. Everything was the same, the blue towel lying in front of the shower door where she had left it. She raised a shaking hand to the cabinet and pulled out her pill bottle. Plugging the sink, she dumped all the pills into the porcelain bowl. She started counting. Thirteen left all counted, which means she had blacked out for almost two whole days, but had still remembered to take her pills.
The clean white of the bathroom made sharp contrast to her dirty clothes and bloodstained hands. She popped two more into her mouth and went to start the shower. She didn’t bother adjusting the temperature of the water, but hopped in with her clothes still on. She took the bar soap from the overhang and started to grind the green bar against the sleeves of her jacket. The stain stayed.
She sat down, feeling the water become hot and warm the top of her head. Her head hung low, seeing bits of leaves and chunks of dirt swirl toward the drain. Why wouldn’t she remember what had happened? And the more important question, why was there blood on her clothes and hands? The cut behind her ear was too shallow to create that much. She rubbed the skin where hair started and neck began. It didn’t make sense.
A few ridiculous possibilities entered her mind.
One: she had blacked out and became a wolf to slaughter unsuspecting deer foresting in the woods.
Two: she had blacked out and became a super heroine fighting crime down the highway in Blackwell.
Three: she had blacked out and went on a crazy rampage, murdering her neighbors.
She stripped her clothes off and scrubbed her body until her skin was raw and red. The dirt gone, her hair shampooed, and the blood barely visible under her fingernails, she jumped out of the shower and stepped on the small blue towel she had used to dry Toby. It was dry. She grabbed the remaining towel from the rack and dried herself off, finishing by wrapping it around her hair, and walking into the bedroom for some new clothes.
The phone rang mid pants and Alyra jumped through the legs as she hobbled to get the phone. “Hullo?” Her voice still sounded higher than it should.
“Ally? Where the hell have you been, ya Looney? Seriously. You missed two days of work. No call, No show; Jim is pretty pissed. It’s been busy up here. There’ve been more animal attacks than we can handle; Dispatch has been running since you left Monday. …Ally?”
Her mouth had gone dry. That’s ridiculous. It’s just some strange coincidence. “Uh, I don’t know where I’ve been Drew. I can’t remember. I blacked out and woke up outside. I can’t remember…”
“I’ll cover for you again, but this really has to be the last time, okay? You need to start keeping track of time. Get a damn calendar.” The line went dead and Andrew was gone.
What does he mean again? This hasn’t ever happened before.
Alyra set the phone down. She stood in the living room, the TV cold and the couch asleep. The windows were ablaze in orange. The sun had managed to blast its way through the clouds on its descent towards the horizon. She stood and stared. The house was just as she had left it.
She walked to the tiled entryway and pulled on her rain boots. She felt her pockets and realized her keys must be in her other jacket. She turned to head back to the bathroom, and spotted them hanging neatly from the nail beside her coat rack.
Confused and gathering frustration, she snatched them from the wall and stuffed them into her pocket. She opened the door and headed out to where she had woken up earlier. The night air had already descended, dew collecting on the grass beneath her feet. She stepped up onto the road and whistled to Toby. A few yards away a frog bounced across the road in front of her, towards the spot where she had lain.
As she neared the spot and left the road she noticed a gouge of earth a few feet behind the bush she had been under. She stepped around a few trees and saw what was in the roughly made hole. Toby, his small form lying half covered in dirt and twigs. Her heart thundered in her chest, her stomach surged in protest. The sting behind her nose became unbearable and tears welled up in her eyes as Toby’s smile flashed in her mind.
For a Good Cause. And it's adorable!
- Pink Glove Dance
It's to help raise money to help the fight in breast cancer. It needs so many hits and someone huge will donate! :)