writing

A goodbye story

Once I knew a girl who was haunted by wolves. They came for her in her dreams and in her awakes They leapt out at her in the supermarket from behind boxes of cereal and other produce. They didn’t care where and had no decorum. Porridge or beans, it was all the same to them. The wolves were hungry and the girl though it was probably her they were hungry for. She’d read about wolves and thought they were after blood and it was likely to become something a bit Freudian, if she didn’t get a grip. Night after day after night after day they stalked her until she became ill. For a long time she wouldn’t tell anyone – being stalked by wolves seems so difficult a problem she didn’t want to bother her family and friends with it. Had it been fleas or spots or a funny smell and it would have been different. Wolves were a special category of problem that didn’t seem to exist outside her so that’s where she thought the solution must lie. One day it all became too much, startled in the fizzy drinks she dropped a bottle with explosive results. The manager of the store arrived and she was mad as hell. “It takes a long time to get the sugar off the floor and she would have to close the whole damn aisle” was what she said. “What in hells name made you drop it?” said her mother. And when she said “wolves” and started to cry the store manager saw this was no ordinary care of clumsy childness. “Yeah, we’ve had stalking-by-wolves problems before. You are not alone. And I have a fix for it” she said and led the child to the pet food section. “So kid, your wolves, Grey or Black or brown? Eyes blue or..?” On being told they were a mixture and tricky with it the manager handed the girl and assorted pack of pet food. “I’ve given you the pouches because you may need to get them open on the run and tins are bitch awkward at such times, believe me.” The manager had been a marine and so it was very easy to trust that she knew what she was talking about when it came to evading wolves and so forth. The girl took the pouches of food and set them on her bedside table that night.  As she slept, the wolves strode boldly towards her bed, as was their way. The smell of the forest and the plains and the roads and the zoo woke the girl but for the first time she was not afraid. Well, actually she was but it didn’t matter this time. In fact she realised that this fear was delicious and bold and shouty. If she let it in she would be stronger than the wind. It was a fear that grows a person.  She reached for a packet of Chow Chow and offered it to the lead wolf. The wolf sniffed the packet and sat down on her bedside rug. She could see the wolf was weeping. Being really really hungry can make you that sad. The girl patted the wolf’s head and spooned the food into its mouth.  Once I knew a girl who was blessed by wolves. They followed her and they loved her and she was not afraid.

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