A Hunter's Lament

Writing a resume would completely give it away...
-with some editorial help from Adam Gilray, my pal.

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2. Clouds of Questions

 

The morning sun streamed through the windows, illuminating Lacey’s lightly freckled face, the light reflecting her hazel brown eyes. Stirring, she lazily stretched her arms and yawned. Sitting up, she banged her head on the shelf above her bed and mildly cursed under her breath. Groggily, she rubbed her head.  

Lacey loathed mornings. She would prefer to sleep all day. When had she not felt this way?  

Slipping into her slippers, she trudged across the hall and into the kitchen, forcing herself to keep her eyelids open. Undeniably true, she was swamped with tiredness and longed to crawl back under the sheets, to be surrounded by their familiar, welcoming warmth.  

More significantly, she wanted to dream of the wolf. What was its importance and why had it appeared?  

Whilst preparing some toast, she stared absent mindedly out the window. Her backyard was covered in thick, untouched snow. Beyond the fence was the mysterious and implacable forest. Maybe it was the forest from her dreams? Why had she never questioned this before?  

Excited with anticipation, she clasped her brown knitted cloak with the tribal patterns around her. She loved this cloak, a present from her mother, who had been away in South Africa.   Lacey never really had a strong connection with her parents. Whenever they felt like it they would just leave, either on business or simply because they had the money. Lacey had gotten used to being left on her own. She had grown to love the silence of her house.   The quiet, the absence of others, comforted her.  

Flinging open the back door, she trekked through the thick snow. She didn't know what she'd do when she reached the border of the forest just beyond her back garden. Urgently, she wanted answers. She reached the gate attached to the fence, slowly unlatching the lock, sliding out into the unknown territory of the forest.  

She had never broached the forest and she should have been terrified. But Lacey felt certain that there was something in the forest that could answer her questions. Maybe she'd see the wolf. Her reason told her that wolves didn't live in this forest. Had they ever?  

Nothing made sense. A voice in the back of her head told her that nothing ever would.   

As she walked through the forest, her eyes were entranced by the light that shone through the trees. She relished the light and shadow dancing across her porcelain skin. Robins chirped faintly on the nearby branches.   

The winter wind wailed between distorted, bleached trunks, reaching her face in a brutal wave, sharp and bitter. Faster she moved, ignoring the snow covered briars that caught at her pyjama bottoms. She hadn't bothered to dress, she’d been in a daze, her mind consumed with the possibility, however faint, that the forest might hold the answers she so desperately sought.  

An hour of endless walking had only brought her deeper into the forest. It had not brought her to the spot where the wolf had appeared with the elk hanging from its mouth. More importantly, it had not answered the questions that consumed her mind, like a forest fire that rages for most of summer.  

Now wired with anger and impatience, Lacey had wasted an hour of her time trekking through the snow to find nothing but more trees. But what was that caught in the branches of a tree?  

Intrigued, she stood forward and reached up, trying to grasp the material that clung to the branches. The bright red material was soaked from the snow. She managed to pull it free from the spidery grasp of the branches, and as she pulled it close towards her, the realisation struck her, like ice cold water that falls on your face from a heavy winter downpour.   

The red lattice, bodice dress from her dreams. The girl in her dream was not her. Only one question consumed her thoughts.   Who was it?

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