January 9, 2011
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The sky is alight with the colours of gemstones. Amethyst borders on ruby, and ruby leads to topaz. The diamond stars are disappearing and the moon says its last goodbyes. Evergreens climb high into the air, reaching for the coming dawn. A lazy breeze wafts through the trunks, bringing with it the scent of fall. Rising birds ruffle their feathers and begin a song, turning the desolate wilderness into a symphony. A grouchy grizzly bear shifts in his den, settling down for the long winter ahead. Squirrels dart across the ground, chattering at one another as they forage for food. The forest floor is dry and brittle with long forgotten pine needles and acorns.

A single sound immediately alerts all manner of beings to an alien presence. One stray paw catches a splintered twig. A lone howl pierces the morning air, a long and lonely sound that lingers. His cries are answered, and the air reverberates with the sound of the pack; howls echo off trees and amplify the sound. The forest draws silent as the predator pads through the underbrush, his breath white in the frigid temperature. His coat is grey, thick and matted. His ribs are pronounced even under his thick winter fur, betraying his hunger and desperation. His eyes are yellow and piercing, glaring through the foliage. His nostrils flare as he catches a scent.

A growl rumbles deep in his chest as he advances on an unsuspecting target. The doe freezes, her wide-set eyes innocent and startled. Her ears flick, trying to catch a sound which might betray the sudden source of danger. The howls start up again as they close in. The wolves appear as silently as wraiths, creeping out of the forest and into the clearing, surrounding her before she even realizes they’re there. A single wolf crouches, his shoulders low to the ground, sinewy muscles quivering in anticipation. He leaps into a pounce, his lean body forming a perfect arc as he soars through the air. He lands with a sickening crunch, the doe killed upon impact. The howls start up again as the wolves swarm.

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