In the woods. In the winter.
Snow on the bridge. The river frozen below. Wind in the trees.
All beneath a birdless sky.
The wolf limped forward, one footprint in four as red as the moon. In her jaws, a child.
She held the child delicately between her teeth, kept her warm with her tongue, with her breath.
Silence at the camp. The sound of sleep, of the watch going unwatched.
The wolf placed the child by the fire. Licked the blood from her face. Then retreated to the shadows, made enough noise to raise the dead.
She watched as they came. As they shouted, as they panicked. As took the child delicately in their arms, took her back inside to keep her warm by the fire.
The child’s cries were carried on the wind, through the trees, over the bridge, across the river, through the dark and on and on through the night.
Back to where I fell, to where she was found. Back to where I died, where she was born.
1. Written on September 25th, 2017__________patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.