Their footsteps are loud, in my forest so silent. They crunch on the leaves, boots heavy and violent. They shove through the brush, snapping twigs on their way. My eyes find my Moon, then I breathe and I say:
"My Moon, they come, they will end my life here. Please turn me, my guide, for I'm trapped in my fear."
My Moon remains quiet, hanging heavy in the sky. Will she not heed my pleas? Will she leave me to die?
I stumble to stand, limbs shaken and weak. My eyes find my Moon, and my tears start to leak.
Why has she left me in my darkest of hours? What have I done to be denied of her powers? I crumble to my knees, and I stare at the sky. I reach for my Moon, I reach while I cry:
"These men, each carry a silver-forged blade! Turn me, my Moon! Please lend me your aid!"
My Moon remains quiet, she hangs heavy in the sky. My Moon will not turn me, and I've no strength to try. Then the trees rattle, leaves pushed by a harsh wind. It knocks me to the floor, it keeps me there pinned. It softens to a gentle breeze, swirling around me where I lay.
"I have heard you, my daughter, and I will do as you say..."
My heart, oh it soars at the dulcet voice of my Moon.
"...So be ready, Moon child. The beasts will come soon."
"I'm ready, my guide. Turn me so I may run!"
"Show me patience, dear daughter, then my task will be done."
The restlessness in my veins is hard to make steady. But I do it for my Moon, and I show her I'm ready. The wind moves around me, it churns, faster and faster until my skin burns. My bones, they break and they move and they shift. The pain that I feel is piercing but swift. And the wind, it slows, and it whispers in my ear:
"It is finished, now run! Run, child, they near!"
So I run, and I run, paws eating at the ground. I listen for my pursuers, and I pick up their sound. They're shouting and yelling in a wicked, cruel chorus, boots pounding their way through my once peaceful forest. My eyes find my Moon, she hangs heavy in the sky. But I feel her still with me, as the wind passes by. It's quick like my paws, cutting fast through the trees. It pushes me faster, my Moon's helpful breeze.
My breath, it leaves in quick puffs from my snout. It fogs in the air every time I breathe out. My legs stretch long every bounding stride I take, as I increase the distance from the men in my wake. My heart pumps wildly against my fur-covered chest, thumping and thumping it tells me to rest. But I can't slow, I can't stop, and no, I can't quit. Not while the bright shine of my Moon is still lit.
She's full this night, so heavy in the sky. I will make my Moon proud, she will not see me die.
I land in a clearing, it's large and wide-open. Without the trees above me, I see the sky unbroken. And my Moon, she's there, her greatness so profound. My throat starts to vibrate–
"Child, do not make a sound!"
I hold back the melody that I so crave to sing. It's hard, but I try to heed my Moon's warning.
My ears flicker at the guiding wind passing by, and a sharp glint to my left catches my eye. Their movement is slow, cautious and wary. My eyes travel to their hand, to the bow that they carry. Behind them, a quiver, filled with silver-tipped arrows. All at once my muscles tense, and my straining sight narrows.
"Foolish child! They are here, they will slay you with their silver weapons. They burn your flesh like fire and they leave you dead in seconds."
"They won't, my Moon," I say to her quietly in my head. I plan to leave the clearing, and I don't plan to leave it dead.
This one must've been lucky, sneaking up on me as he did. I'm not worried of the others as I stalk to where he hid. A creaking hits my sensitive ears when his bowstring pulls taut. Its sound trembles while his hands shake in the fear that I brought. And his fear is well placed, as I approach the tree he hides behind. We are not known to show mercy to his despicable kind.
In a sudden move, he jumps out from his dark hiding place, bow drawn and arrow aimed directly towards my face. And I stare, the arrowhead shines of the silver that sears through our skin. His hands, still they shake, as he smirks and lifts his chin.
"Don't like that, do you, little she-wolf of the night? It'll burn through your skull, you won't get the chance to fight."
He smiles more confidently and then adjusts his aim.
"And to Hell you go, straight back from where you came–"
I launch at his legs, canine teeth sinking deeply into his flesh. And the blood rushes forth, so warm and so fresh. He cries out in surprise, and pain, and then yells further in despair. Because he knows what my bite means, and the curse he's now forced to bear.
"Don't kill him," my Moon says, her melodic voice even and calm. "He will not handle his first changing, he will not last long."
I listen to my Moon, she has always been truthful to me. So I watch my fallen attacker as he cradles his bitten knee. It's swelling with the curse that now flows through his veins, it's always worse for the bitten ones, they feel the most pain.
An echoed howl travels high from above, my leader, he sings to my Moon of his unwavering love.
The song bubbles in my chest and I toss my head back, my throat tingles and vibrates as I sing to my pack. They respond in a chorus of howls while my Moon hums back her affection. They howl again and again, as they cry for her to keep the connection.
"No, my children, the sky lights from the sun. Once it rises over the horizon, my time with you is done."
Their echoes fill the forest, muffling the bitten man's own cries. I whimper to my Moon, as my pack says their mournful goodbyes. The wind, so gentle, brushes against my left side.
"Next time, my young one, remember to hide. The beasts, they hunt, and the traitorous Sun lights up their way. But when the sky is darkened, you are the hunter and they are the prey. The beasts, the rest come, they look for their brother. Run to your pack–"
"Yes, my Moon, Yes, my Mother."
After one long look at the cursed man crying, I leave him to his pain where he lay dying. And I run and I run, as fast as I can, and they won't catch me while turned because I am faster than man. And my Moon, she watches, she hangs heavy in the sky, while her wind brushes past me, as she says her own goodbye.
Author's Note: This was originally going to be a short poem I was going to incorporate into my other story 'Solitude's Howl' some time ago, but then I thought what if I made it into a short little story while still keeping the rhyming elements, which is something I've only ever done once. So it was interesting to write. This story might still be incorporated into Solitude's Howl which will undergo re-writing, if I can find a way to fit it in.
Anyway, feedback would be appreciated :)
Thanks for reading!