Creative Writing Contest Spotlight Winnter: Trip Wolf

Amelia Kain, Creative Writer

Trip Wolf

Written by Amelia Kain

I am late. I am very, very late, and the wolves are coming out. Let me start by telling you a bit about my scenario. I live in a world unlike yours, where humans and wolves are equal. The humans can have the daytime, as was decided long ago, and the wolves the night. The wolves were never domesticated, as in your world, to make docile, family-friendly pets. No. In my world, they are the opposite of that. They are as intelligent as humans, but more bloodthirst resides in each of them than in a thousand of us. All children must be inside two hours before dusk, two hours before the reign of the wolves begins and before the wolf siren blasts. Those two hours are known as No Man’s Time. Homeowners must take precautions such as locked doors and barred windows. That is how it is, and will always be.

It is now five minutes until dusk, and the wolf siren is screaming into the night. Get inside.

I fall to the earth and bruise my knee. Pulling myself back up again, I see blood droplets surface on my scraped skin out of the corner of my eye, but I don’t have time for that. All I can hear is the siren, my pounding heartbeat, and so, so far away- the unmistakable sound of a baying wolf.

“Ugh!” I grunt. I’m out of breath, from running over a mile. Never mind why I’m late. That is of no importance now, now when home-life, light, shelter are all too far away. I’ll have to find my grandmother’s house. I am distracted by bars falling over nearby windows with metallic, resounding boom, boom, booms. Oh well, I couldn’t have gone in there anyway. The penalties for a minor out during No One’s Time are too severe. I shake my head as if to clear my thoughts and focus back on the trail. I am running again, faster than before, adrenaline being pumped through my veins, inducing sheer panic. My lungs shriek in their own way to stop, but I can’t, can’t, can’t. Run, my brain tells me, shrieks at me, Run faster than you ever have before, faster than the wolves, for God’s sake, run!

The cold is not the only thing gripping my heart. Latching onto my consciousness is something much more formidable- fear. I see a few faces looking at me through lit windows, concerned, then dismissing it, as if thinking their brain was only pulling their leg. Perhaps, they will tell those dwelling in their home, they saw a child running away from the wolves! The little ones will scream and giggle at the same time at this ridiculous prospect. I hear the canine anguish again, closer this time.

“Aughh!” It takes me a second to realize that was me, and not a third howl. I see my grandma’s Tudor cottage up ahead, warm windows gleaming, so welcoming it might have been a mirage. Eyes blink out of the darkness on the sides of the trail. I’m sprinting up the path so fast that if I tripped, my injuries would be worse than a wolf bite. I see the protruding rock too late.