If you could change into any animal, what would it be? I always said I wanted to be a red-tailed hawk, strong and proud soaring over everything. Werewolf mythology did not grow out of such thinking, but I love to take my mind there. And I enjoy the idea so much that I have begun two completely unrelated werewolf stories. Neither will be complete for some time to come. Nevertheless, here is a snippet in honor of the A to Z Blog Challenge for W-Day.
Once upon a time a she-wolf moved into the cave beneath the only piney knoll in the wood. She lived on the vermin, small game, and whatever easy beasts happened by her lair. She lived with a secret that the wolfen once feared and then somehow forgot. They remembered the Old Mother, as the she-wolf came to be called. She they remembered and revered till some of them did not. She permitted it to be because she no longer had a whole heart nor even a whole mind. Twas her own sons tried to steal what they could never possess, and they broke her. Still she had the mind’s eye to hold fast, to be still, and to wait for another.
Walking to her car as the sunset behind Fillmore Middle School Scarlet Feer caught a flicker of movement out of the corner of her eye as if a shadow darted between the path of the sun and the edge of her own senses. As expected she saw nothing when she turned. She half hoped the sightings were evidence of her stalker’s return. The alternative meant a defect in either her mind or her vision and family history supported the latter.
She chose not to dwell on what she could not change. Accept it and move on, come what may. It was an attitude that had served her well in most areas of life beginning with her mother’s early onset of dementia and carrying Scarlet through her own father’s desertion. Moving on had meant finding work, taking night classes, and calling in her aunt for assistance when things got too rough for Scarlet to care for her mother anymore.
Now she had a teaching job she loved, a solid reputation as a firm but fair educator who was respected in spite of her aloof manner.
Scarlet never thought it right to develop close relationships without first casually feeling out how the person reacted to issues of mental illness. Turned out people whose responses lived up to Scarlet’s expectations were few and far between. Acquaintances and colleagues she had many while her best friend was also family, a younger cousin named Janie who worked as a park ranger in the National Forest and was as tough as nails in Scarlet’s book. They were bosom friends who had rescued one another from all manner of youthful entanglements.
Copyright 2014 by Kristin King
Kristin King loves animals, especially dogs and has spent the last couple years fostering them so her golden lab, Argos, would not be too lonesome after the loss of his pal. Claryn Anderson, the heroine from Kristin’s first novel,“Cain’s Coven,” works at a dog shelter.