It was a dream come true. Yellowstone National Park! I was going there for summer vacation! I could see real wolves in real action! Never did I dream that I would meet one in the wild.
Never did I dream it would change my life forever.
There was no bite. There was no blood. Yet somehow I still became one.
And I can't control it.
The beast kills on its own free will. I can't stop it. Yet I have to do something to stop all these deaths. But what?
Maybe mine is the only solution.
Dream or Nightmare?
"Where?" I asked, clearly not interested at all.
My mom glanced mischievously at my dad.
My sister fidgeted in her seat, and I sighed. "If you're not going to tell us then don't get our hopes up."
"We're going to Yellowstone National Park," my dad finally said.
My sister squealed, and I sat bolt upright in my chair. "Yellowstone?! No way!!"
My dad smiled, and my mom was, too. I couldn't help myself. I rushed forward and hugged them both. We may not have the best of family relationships, but we sure knew how to please each other at one point or another. "Thank you so much!" My voice was muffled, because I was still hugging them both, and my face was buried in my dad's shoulder. This was going to be great!
Little did I know it would change my life.
My finger was trigger happy. I was taking so many pictures of the beautiful park it wasn't even funny. This was only our third day out here - we still had four more to go - and I had already taken a few hundred pictures. I felt proud of myself, really. I had even managed to get a few good pictures of the wolves roaming around the park. That was definitely a dream come true.
We were hiking up the side of one of the mountains. The sun was shining beautifully, and a light breeze was blowing. Every time we got hot and sweaty, a gentle wind would suddenly blow through and refresh us all, as if encouraging us to continue onward and see more of nature's beauty. Even if I was hot and sweaty, I wasn't going to stop. This place was just too amazing.
My mom looked at me as I snapped another dozen pictures of the majestic landscape from a few feet away, higher up the trail. I watched her out of the corner of my eye. I was always self-conscious about myself; I couldn't really help it.
I didn't pay much attention to it, but I slowly watched my mother's face go from a grin to that of fear.
Before I could even turn around, I heard a low growl behind me.
My eyes wide, breathing shallow, heart pounding, I slowly turned around to see what had made the noise.
There, standing before me, was a silver-white wolf, fangs bared, golden eyes glowing.
"Don't move," our guide cautioned. "If you try to run, it'll attack--"
As if the wolf understood human speech, it lunged at me. In two bounds, it was on top of me. With strong forepaws, it pushed me down onto the ground. Luckily, since I still had my backpack on, I wasn't flat on my back. I was propped up at an angle, but I wished I was sprawled across the dusty ground. The wolf was glaring at me, growling, practically snarling at me. Its forepaws still on my chest, it looked me dead in the eye. Somehow, I couldn't look away. I was captivated by its golden stare. I thought it was going to bite me; the amount of saliva that fell from its jaws onto my face was quite disgusting, and I cringed. This is it, I thought. Away on my dream vacation and I get killed by my favorite animal in the world.
The wolf remained there, perched atop my chest, growling, not doing anything else.
Our guide took a step towards me as if to help, but the wolf growled with such ferocity that he backed off. What is it waiting for? I wondered.
After what seemed like an eternity, the wolf got up off my chest and dashed to the edge of the woods.
I sat up, wiping my face on my sleeve. What was that all about? My dad and the guide rushed to my side, pestering me with questions like "Are you all right?" and "Did it hurt you?" Oddly enough, I wasn't hurt; the wolf had just jumped me and then ran off. It had looked rabid enough to kill, and yet it didn't harm a hair on my body. With the help of my overprotective father and my hyperventilating guide, I got up onto my feet and brushed the dust off my pants. "Really, I'm fine, nothing happened. I honestly don't know how to explain it."
My mom and dad seemed relieved, but my guide seemed skeptical about it, as if he didn't believe me for some reason. How could he not believe me? I'm the one who got freaking jumped and basically faced death.
Our guide spun around and started walking up the trail without further ado. "Come on, we best get moving. We don't know if there are other wolves, or other animals out there, for that matter, that might be rabid, and we need to get to the next campsite before nightfall, anyway."
I looked at him quizzically. Why was he acting like I was some sort of complete stranger now? He had been guiding us for the past 3 days, and he had taken a liking to me for being witty and comical. What had suddenly changed that?
My mom looked at me and shrugged as our guide walked by her. Rather, he practically stalked past her. I cocked my head slightly in return and then began to follow.
Something stopped me, and I turned around to see the silver-white wolf still standing at the edge of the woods. It seemed to be..../grinning/ at me.
I'll see you later on down the road, it said, and I practically jumped out of my socks. A wolf just spoke to me! I opened my mouth to try to say something, but nothing came out. For once I was at a loss for words.
Still grinning wickedly, golden eyes twinkling, the wolf turned and disappeared into the shadows of the trees.