Arcane Encounter

May 2, 2011
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Tiny rocks and twigs on the earth’s floor scraped my bare feet as I raced through the woods behind my house. The arms and legs of trees tried to slow me down, but that wasn’t going to happen. I was on a mission and I couldn’t slow down now. I dodged the scheming trees and leaped over the creek. On this side of the creek, the ground was flatter and covered in aspen. The flame colored leaves danced lightly in the zephyr. I could feel that I was getting closer.
I dashed through the lissome trees, and spotted the massive boulder I was looking for. She was hiding behind it underneath the great willow. I was sure of it. As I rounded the boulder I sucked in my breath and shouted “Gotcha!” I sprung out to the other side of the rock and…she wasn’t there. I looked all around, but still didn’t see her. Where was she? I took another scan around the area to make sure she wasn’t hiding behind any trees or bushes. Nothing. Where’s my best friend? She was supposed to be right here. We were playing together outside, like we always do, taking turns running and hiding from each other. And I had chased her to right here. It was one of her favorite hiding places.
“Kaitlyn?” I called. She didn’t answer. Maybe she got lost. I examined around me one more time before I left to go look for her somewhere else. I saw something golden behind some plants, and thought that maybe it was her hair, but it turned out to be some dead brush and pine needles from the autumn chill.
After a while of calling and searching for my friend, I decided to sit down for a minute to think. I thought about all the places I looked to find her, but she still was nowhere in sight. I didn’t know where else to look. As soon as I decided to turn around and see if she went back to the house, I realized that I had no idea where I was. I had never been this far into the woods before. I stood up and tried to see if anything around here looked familiar. Nothing did.
I listened hard for a few lengthy seconds. The woods were so still that it didn’t take long to make out the soft murmur of the creek. I headed towards it. All I would have to do is follow it up stream and I would eventually end up at my house. While making my way through the thick vegetation, I noticed that the sky was already blushing as if embarrassed, because the sun had to leave us so soon.
As I approached the mound that lead to the creek, my foot slipped over some loose rocks and I tumbled down. When I stood up I checked myself for any serious damage, but there were only scrapes and bruises. I wandered over to the frigid creek and couched down to wash the blood off my hands. When I finished I started to get up, but then I realized I wasn’t alone. To my left was a great brush wolf. The biggest one I had ever seen. He was just lapping up the water, having no concerns that I was right next to him.
At first I just stared at him motionless. Trying not to scare him but also trying not to make a wrong move that would make him feel threatened. His appearance was striking. His perfect, smoky umber fur looked bristly yet downy. It made me want to reach out and pet it.
After a long minute I decided to take a baby step towards him. He lifted his head, and stared at me with his arcane sepia eyes. I felt myself getting lost in them. As we stared at each other, there was some kind of connection. Like we understood each other. We stayed like that for a long time. I knew he wasn’t afraid of me. Most brush wolves would have ran off as soon as they saw a human, but he was different.
Steadily, I reached out my hand. I stopped about half way towards him and waited. He didn’t pull away. His nose breathed in my scent and he seemed to be sensing my energy. Slowly I began to move my hand closer, and stopped right in front of him. I could almost touch his muzzle. All he had to do was reach out with his nose.
I waited. Finally, he tentatively started to inch towards me. The little hairs on his snout tickled my hand-
“Carrie?!” I quickly glanced to my right at the sound of Kaitlyn’s voice. I had completely forgotten about her. I could just barely see her behind the trees. I looked back to my right. The wolf was gone. I hadn’t even heard him leave. I gazed at the faint footprints he left behind.
“There you are, I’ve been looking all over for you!” Kaitlyn said, her cheeks flush from the crisp air. “What are you doing?” She was staring at me crouched down beside the creek.
“Uh…nothing,” I said glancing back to where the wolf once stood. “Come on,” I stood up and put my arm around her shoulders “Let’s go home.”

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