The Wolf And The Trap
The woods were beautiful this time of year. Their leaves swayed in the gentle breeze that rolled over them, whispering a greeting of warmth. Moss had already begun to cover parts of the ground, aided by the fungus and foilage that followed behind. Birds could be heard singing in the distance as they flew through their homeland, while deer ran just below them in perfect unison.
So then why was it that out of all of this beauty, that I had found the one thing so ugly that it was bound to kill me? I had been walking in the woods near my home, maybe a mile away or so, when I stepped on something metallic. Only after I had fought past the pain had I realized what it was. I'd unwittedly gotten caught in the clutches of iron teeth, their force enough that my frail body had broken in its maw. Blood had drenched the fabric of my pant leg, leaving a cooling stickyness to coat the wound.
I'd never heard of people setting bear traps in these woods, so why was this one here and directly in my path? Shouldn't somebody have put up some kind of warning? It didn't matter anymore I suppose, I was caught and utterly trapped. I was not strong enough to pry the trap off of my ankle, and the pain that had overcome me the moment the bone had burst through my skin had sapped any lingering strength I had. I was alone in these woods I had so admired, lost in a world that had never once caused me harm until this day.
Once more I tugged at either side of the traps jaw, praying for it to release me. Instead it held on fast as if to spit in my face. My hazel eyes scanned the wilderness around me in hopes of spotting a person or at least something to help me in my struggle. Trees and dirt. That was all I could see.
In front of me was an incline that rose to a small hill that I couldn't see over, while at my back there was a neverending stretch of woods. What was I to do? Despite the warmth that flowed down from the sky my body was shaking not only in the slowly numbing pain but the fear that had sank its own hold onto my chest. It was relentless, keeping a tight grip upon me just as the trap was.
But that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was that nobody knew I was out here. There would be no search party, only the person who set the trap in the first place. I layed down, opting out to try to rest so I could possibly regain my strength. Maybe when I awake, I would be laying in the comfort of a hospital bed staring up at the sterile white ceiling squares as a nurse brought me some food. My eyes closed, listening to the world around me. I'm sure... I will be saved.
The stars above twinkled through the open space where the leaves had been unable to obscure their light. Constellations were all the more prominent in the wilderness, glowing softly as they emitted a fairytale like sight. Fireflies seemed to dance with the stars, blinking periodically as they did. Somewhere an owl sang its own song while the floor of the woods held still in a heavy sleep.
Was I going to be proved wrong? It had already been a day, and with each second I felt myself losing myself. I was without food or water, with no protection from anything that wandered across me. It seemed that the wildlife was avoiding me since nothing had yet to come across me. That included the owner of the trap. I lifted my hand over my face to check how pale I had gotten. Even in the dark my skins paleness was easily visible.
I couldn't even feel my leg anymore. I could barely move it for that matter. It was as if it was already dead, to weak to survive with the rest of my body. Forcing myself into a sitting position I lightly prodded my leg to no avail. I couldn't feel anything. Was I to die here? I threw such a thought out of my mind. I had to keep up hope, if not for the sake of it in general then for the sake of my own mental health. Was there any way for me to be found? Maybe...maybe if I yelled out for help?
"Hello? Is anybody out there!? Please, I need help!" I shouted, my voice hoarse. I blinked several time while counting in my head, but I received no reply in the darkened woods around me. A wind swept over the ground, casting any loose undergrowth out of place.
"Please!" This time I screamed. Yelling out for help wasn't helping, in fact I'm certain it was slowly driving me to my breaking point. My hands found the metal teeth and tried to wretch it off of my ankle with a feverish manner, repeatedly pulling and tugging with no gain. I hadn't even noticed when I had started to cry. Tears dropped from my face, pelting my pants as I continued to try to free myself. I refused to give up. I would keep trying until either my hands bled or it released me.
I was so distracted by my attempt that I didn't even notice the dirt rolling down the incline in front of me. My mind and heart were set on getting free while my body itself was straining to help with the cause. Only when a deep thrumming sound came from above did I stop what I was doing. I didn't dare look up, not when I could identify that sound so perfectly. Another, more demanding growl escaped the chest of what I had secretely been dreading since I had been trapped. Slowly my gaze lifted to the hill, my heart faltering momentarily as I took in the beasts appearance before me.
A large wolf was glaring down at me with black fur that seemed to melt it into the night. It's sandstone colored eyes peirced mine, judging, assessing. Contemplating. It curled its lips back to bare slightly yellow teeth set against pink gums. Grey hairs rested against his muzzle, showing it to be a well aged hunter. My eyes were wide as I stared back at it. What was it that you were supposed to do when faced with a natural predator? Look bigger? Growl back? I could do neither since the wolf itself was larger then the small framed me, and growling at it was not an option since my throat had closed up. Its eyes flickered to the bear trap, then back to me. For a moment I was certain I had seen understanding in its gaze, but it quickly turned and left.
It was getting its pack no doubt. The thought of being ripped apart while I was still alive was terrifying, and only sent me into a paniced scramble to get the trap off. I pulled at it violently, ignoring when its teeth sliced my hands and flinching when the bone sticking through my skin moved. It was impossible. I stopped and merely stared down at the metallic death trap.
Something hit my foot at that moment, and I immediately flinched. The wolves had come- No. There was no wolves, instead what had hit my foot was a large peice of wood. I looked up at the hill where the black wolf was now sitting, watching me with those knowing eyes. Slowly I grabbed the peice of wood, which in alll honesty looked more like a stick that hikers used, and set it in the corners of the metal teeth. I used the dwindling strength I had left to push as hard as I could until the teeth were finally clear of my ankle. Using my other foot I got my ankle away and let the trap snap down on empty air.
"I-I'm free..." I muttered to myself. I looked up at the wolf once more, who was now standing up. Had he... had he helped me? Carefully I used the stick to stand up, though it didn't seem to matter since I lacked any feeling in my leg. Using my right leg I hobbled in the direction where I knew a road would be. To my left the wolf was walking a good distance away, but there was something about the way he walked that surprised me. He was limping, in fact one of his hind legs looked as if it was useless.
I continued on, with the sky as my clock as night turned into dawn. Throughout the whole, slow trip the black wolf maintained its distance but always in a way at my side. But it didn't matter. I couldn't see the road I had thought was there, but instead I was starting to see little lights at the corner of my vision. And that wasn't it, I was also starting to feel cold. I've lost to much blood, and now was I destined to lose my life as well? I didn't want that at all. I forced myself to move faster, towards a steep slope that led downwards. Trees had grown in a curved fashion there, offering a spot to rest or the means for getting down.
A vole scurried out of my path as I reached the slope. It was only about six feet until more flat ground, but what was the best thing there was the fact that only about thirty-two feet away flickers of moving cars could be seen and heard. I'd been right, there was a road this way!
Gingerly I lowered myself down the slope, using the tree branches and trunks to climb down. With each moment I could feel myself getting weaker, and once I reached the solid ground I noticed my working leg was shaking, along with a throbbing sensation of falling. I needed to reach that road quickly. I began to make my way towards it, vaguely aware of the wolfs absence. It had been comforting to have it nearby. I'd just started to feel like it had been gaurding me...
I was stumbling now, even with the walking stick and the trees that I leaned against for support. How much blood had I lost anyway? How much could a person lose before they couldn't move? I blinked at the lights twirling around in my eyesight. I tried to focus on my surrondings, but everything seemed to have multiplied. I moved forward, swaying slightly as I tried to keep my sense of direction in check.
My foot snagged on a vine sending me toppling to the ground. The stick I had been using clattered out of my reach, leaving me on the ground with nothing but a broken heart. I didn't want to give up hope, I wanted to live. But I was so cold, and the foilage I had landed on was rather comfortable. My entire body had begun to numb, but the little leaves were tickling my cheek as I layed there. I tried to move, but my body moaned in protest. My head was starting to blacken like the fur of the wolf, leaving me dizzy and unable to tell which direction was which. Goosebumps had risen on my skin and my eyelids felt so very heavy. I just needed to sleep for a few minutes, then I could get back up and finally reach the road. The last thing that I saw was the wolf, lowering its muzzle and staring at me so intently. Even with my eyes closed I could feel the faint heat of its breathe, while just before my mind faded completely I could feel its teeth sink into my shoulder.
Where was I? What was happening? There was something in my mouth, and something had wrapped around my wrist. Wasn't I dead? Didn't the wolf eat me? My eyes fluttered open just barely able to stay like that. There were people standing above me, doing something to me as the sky floated just behind their heads. I still felt cold, but a small amount of warmth was growing on me. They were saying something to me that I couldn't understand; no, it wasn't that I couldn't understand them, it was that I couldn't hear them. My head rolled to the side to spot the woods... and pavement.
I was on the road? How strange. My gaze landed on something black in the woods, its own gaze focused on me. Whatever I was laying on was moving me towards an ambulance, but I kept my eyesight on the wolf. He must have been caught in a trap like I had, otherwise why would he have helped me? Wolves usually were of a more violent and dangerous nature were they not? I blinked at the wolf as the men around me prepared to lift me into the ambulance. I lifted my hand as much as I could and waved at the wolf.
I may not know much about the world of the wolf, but I feel like there may be something more to them then what their portrayed as. I smiled faintly as the wolf began to limp deeper into the woods while my own mind began to slip back into the darkness.
A/N: Short story that somebody requested. I was leaning more towards having the wolf kill the narrator or the wolf be killed, but I opted out to save both of them. How did you like it? Would you have preferred if the wolf had killed the narrator or what not? Please review!