I was walking through the forest, it was getting late, the sun had started to set, the tree’s blocking what little was left of it. Only cracks of light flickered over the ground in front of me. I’m not sure why I decided to come out but i’m glad I did. Mom will be worried. Dad will be worried. Katherine will be worried. I will be worried.
After a while of walking, practically blindly I turn my flashlight on, I wouldn’t have but as I walked through the barely light forest I can’t help but remember the stories mom and dad would tell me as a child.
How the wolves would come out at night, run around howling, eating anything that moved. How there was this one girl that lived in our village, she was adventurous, she would go and run around late through the night, everyone told her she shouldn’t and that it was dangerous but she didn’t ever seem to care. Until one night after her boyfriend, who she thought was her true love, told her he had cheated on her a while back with one of her friends. She was furious, they got into a huge fight and she went running outside, sobbing. There were many different versions from here but the one that stuck with me is that she had gone and sat on a rock, crying, wondering what she did wrong, when the forest seemed to call out to her, drawing her in. Dazed by the calls she wondered in only to discover a pack of wolves. The story had said she screamed through the night, but no one ever found her body, some people say the wolves didn’t touch her and she ran away, some say that someone murdered her and hid the body, and some, as I, say that neither of those are true and that up to this day she runs the forest, as a wolf.
Lot’s of people believe it’s just old folklore but I think in some version of the night it could be true. Katherine thinks I believe it just because I’m big on happy endings, with the idea that the girl lives forever happy with her real true love, the forest.
I stumble over a rock, scrambling my way back to my feet. I should go home, everyone’s worried. Or asleep. What direction did I come from? It was either East or South. I think it was East, I will head East.
I walk on, probably going back to the village, maybe getting lost deeper in looming trees. Either way I don’t mind much, laying comfortably next to Katherine or getting to where no lanterns are possible to see. I see a distant flare of fire, not bad fire, cooking fire. I can almost smell the aroma of dead chicken roasting away.
I hear a howl. No matter how many folk tales there are there are no wolves. None. Coyotes sure, dogs of course, nearly any other dog like creature but not wolves. I’m almost back. Just a few blocks. More howls. Stop imagining. Get back, calm nerves, eat, sleep. That’s the rest of my night, easy. Howls. Howls. Howls. I slip over a log. The damp dirt soft on my hands. I get up and walk. Walk. Walk. Walk.
I’m here. I sit by the roasting chicken with Katherine. She’s mad. Mom’s mad. Dad’s mad. I’m mad.