Prota 22

Prota 22
The Lone Wolf

The snow bled from the white skies and covered the alpine mountains in thick blankets. A valley of blue spruce stretched far and wide, surviving the brutal beasts of winter. With them came another survivor, the wolf, staggering along its four long legs across the icy frontiers. A pair of glowing amber eyes floated gently across the terrains, guided by his stifling black nose. His coat of long and silky white fur blended perfectly with the snow, providing warmth in even the deepest breaths of winter. Once born deaf and blind, the wolf grew to gain the sharpest of sight and acute hearing to help track down his next meals. Trailing hundreds of kilometers of his own footprints, he hoped to find any sign of life that would satisfy his dire hunger.

Before the young wolf separated from his pack long ago, food had become scarce, and the lack of prey made him question his leader. He started to challenge his leader and became impertinent to all his superiors. He would not crouch before or walk behind them. He would not wait his turn in their chain of command to eat the carcasses. The largest wolves would take turns ripping out specific organs for themselves and leave smaller chunks for the rest, but the young wolf became defiant. He clawed his way into the pack and forcefully bit into any organs he wanted—sometimes even stealing from the mouths of others. Many violent outbreaks led him to leave the pack and journey through life alone.

The wolf realized it was harder to survive on his own since prey were often too big to hunt and were protected by their own packs. Smaller prey did not come by often, so he eventually became more starved than ever before.

As the wolf endured a blizzard, he stopped to listen to a howling pack of distant relatives. They came from the opposite side of the valley as their piercing voices echoed through the frigid air. The wolf pulled his defined ears back while stiffening his leg muscles. Brilliantly sharp fangs revealed from his muzzle as his nose pointed upwards to reply with a howl in hopes of meeting a new pack. The wolf guided himself nearer towards the collective voices by sniffing scents that they had left behind.

Finally, the wolf was met by a pack of twelve others. Some were as white as he was, while others had a mixture of grey. The wolf slowly walked forward while bowing his head as a sign of submission. He stopped in his tracks as the other wolves started circling around him with deepened growls. He turned around and saw more from behind. He was trapped by a territorial pack who were not fond of outsiders. The wolf fearfully cried out to them and howled desperately into the cold winds above.

The leader of their pack swooped in from his hidden spot and centered himself with the lone wolf. His haunting growls vibrated the snow banks as the massive beast simultaneously revealed his killer fangs. Freezing winds grazed his icy white fur but his thick skin was impenetrable. His pair of ruby eyes gleamed above his snarling muzzle while staring dead ahead into the despairing eyes of the smaller wolf and started to inch closer. A burning instinct set aflame and the lone wolf readied his stance in a fighting position. His claws buried into the snow and he stooped his head while keeping a fixed glare on his large enemy ahead. He snarled and growled back through clenched teeth while dangling saliva froze from his jaw, and then stooped lower while his back hairs spiked higher as the leader and the rest of the pack closed in on him.

The lone wolf stared into the reflection of his enemies eyes and saw himself shrink in the midst of the united pack around him.