I watch my mate from a distance. She wimpers next to my corpse. Hot blood still flows from the gunshot wound that stopped my heart. I watch my mate sniff once, twice, then wimper again. I throw back my head and unleash a howl that she cannot hear.
She must rejoin the pack. Our family needs her. Another will ascend to my place. They can and will survive.
I turn to my new hunting ground. A distant howl answers mine. One wolf, another, then another appear. They stare at me. It is a challenge to join them, not stay away. I will.
the scent of old buck
on the wind
But first, I have one last hunt on my old ground to make. For the hunters that killed me approach after my mate flees. They take my slipped skin for their own. I race beside their speeding vehicle as they leave. They hear nothing, see nothing.
Until I bare myself growling on the road before them. One panicked glimpse of me is enough, for the driver loses control. The vehicle rolls several times and then skids to a halt. I see them get out of the car. I stare at them as they look back in horror and see their own corpses.
One last growl. One last frightened look from all of them. Then I turn and join my new pack.
all of the cries
WD PAD 2019 23/30