I often get a spark of inspiration from a line in a song, and this scene has its origins in a song by The Accidental called Wolves. The lyric that caught my attention was the opening one:
There were wolves lying in the dark as she was raining sparks into the room like that
she was dancing in a neon cave with a tilted smile and a lovers laugh
embossed upon her in the darkness like a light at the edge of night beside her
and later in the song:
There are wolves hiding in the woods and they can smell the blood on the summer air and they run beneath a million stars
I highly recommend checking the song out, it's on YouTube here
There are Wolves
|Image from naturepunk - click to follow link|
In the stench of darkness she lies in wait. Around her the hot wasted bodies press closer. She can smell the rancid air of their breath and feel the fast ticking of their hearts. She clings to the earth, feeling the grit and scratch of earth under her fingernails, tasting the damp moss in every lungful of night.
Wolf Princess, Savage Girl, Wild Woman. She’s known by all these and more but she knows herself simply as Edon. She has a scar across her right shoulder. It runs deep into her flesh and into her bones. The wolves did not give it to her, though they have given her others. The scar runs over the bony knob of shoulder and down across her chest, ending above her heart. It aches in the cold and throbs in the heat.
Edon has hair that she cuts short with the flint daggers she makes from the loose stone in the caves. Her eyes are silver like moonlight and when she smiles her lips are blood red, her teeth too white for comfort. Whatever colour her skin once was, it has taken on the ashy hue of the ground she keeps close to and she melds into stone and earth if she chooses to. She wears wolf skin like a coat. The head sits atop her own, her arms stretch into the front legs, her thin legs into the back. It fastens at the front with thick knots of leather. She runs on all fours. She howls at the moon. She eats the warm beating flesh of fresh kill. But she is not a wolf and she knows it. She can read the words in the loose leaf sheets that she sleeps on. She can scratch her name in the rocks. She speaks human when she has a need to. But not tonight.
Tonight she lies with her belly pressed close to the ground, the dirt in her nostrils and her ears reaching out across the vast wind-swept plains of the territories.
The Old Grey female is close to Edon, she twitches her head, tilts an eye in her direction and Edon pulls back her bloody lips to bare teeth in agreement. Her heart is heavy and her scar throbs against it. She pulls back onto her haunches, sits for a moment and her lightning eyes are turned in the direction of the settlement. She feels a strange sensation in the pit of her stomach and takes a moment to assess it. A wolf moment. Calm, calculating. It is fear. She looks back towards the Old Grey and gives a low rumble. The other wolves ease away from her.
Edon takes another wolf moment and then with the long loping grace of the pack she straightens herself onto two legs. The wolves move away, small whines and growls rise and fall. Her legs are stiff and awkward, but it is best to begin now and practise. With a last keen glance out across the plains she catches the scent once more. The unmistakeable scent of fresh bood and violence. The sharp edge of gun powder. She pushes her wolf’s head from her own so that it falls uselessly against her back and then she turns and begins the slow unsteady walk back to the humans. Behind her the wolves press in close together. Their bellies to the ground, their ears pricked forward and the moonlight glancing off their bared fangs.
To be continued....