Oct 2008

Chapter 32Entranced

To my own surprise I didn't jump up when I woke. I just became alert of the world again. Even before I opened my eyes, I just felt the rise and fall of my own lungs while I gently breathed air. Glorious air. Something was nagging at me though, part of me knew that it was important not to show that I woke. I felt Deirdre right next to me, apparently she'd shuffled closer during the night. My sword was in reach as well and, almost instinctively, I gripped the handle tighter. Why was my body still on alert?

There was a sound.

It was very, very soft. I wondered what time it was, I still hadn't actually moved or opened by eyes yet. The scents felt like those before dawn, damp but not moist yet. The sounds were slow and very deliberately soft. If someone was moving over to us, it was really stealthy. I tried to sense, with my whole body, what was going on, but it was very difficult. I had to open my eyes.

Moving as slowly as I possibly could, I opened my eyes. I saw the light of pre-dawn all around me, it was an hour or more before the sun would come up. I tried to look around without opening my eyes more than slits and possibly see what woke me. There was movement again, behind us. But I couldn't move my head without making noise. IT was walking around the walls to stand in front of us. My eyes slowly opened further in surprise.

A white wolf.

It was moving easily, almost gracefully over the rubble in the ruins. It hardly made a noise with each step and it kept sniffing the air almost every step, as if curious to who was in his forest. There was something very powerful about this creature. White wolves were quite rare, especially ones as pure white as this one. Almost like walking snow, despite the soft light.

Now my eyes were completely open, gazing at the beast. To my greater surprise it caught my gaze and answered it, a mind with peace I'd never seen before in a beast. He walked closer, I wasn't quite sure if I should be scared or not. I remembered tales of wolves, how they supposedly slaughtered travellers and ate them whole. It wasn't true though. The few times I'd seen wolves tamed, they were calm, intelligent beasts that protected their master by all means. I was amazed at how big the white wolf was. He almost towered above me if he'd been standing any closer.

I blinked.

He ran.

To my surprise, however, even in his running, there was a silent grace to it that almost made me forget the dream I just had. Almost. The wolf left without disturbing us at all, leaving me to wonder if it had any meaning or if it was just accidental. I hoped it was, part of me was scared of the wolf, for it's strength and stealth were definitely admirable. I could only imagine how much power those magnificent jaws could have, the fight he'd have in them. Though part of me was imagining the wolf as a companion, at my side slaying enemies, another part was wondering why I thought all this. It wasn't that often that I had visions of blood lust in my mind.

Apparently I drifted away into sleep again.

When Deirdre woke me, it was dawn already. She looked quite worried when she woke me, her eyes locked tightly with mine. I wasn't quite sure what was wrong until I realized I had slept again and didn't wake myself. There was no need to worry, that's what I wanted to say to her. That I was awake before and just drifted to sleep. Strangely enough, other words flowed past my lips.

"There was a wolf."

Deirdre blinks. "Where? In your dreams?"

I answered almost automatically, unsure if my body was actually awake. "No, here. A large white wolf."

Deirdre looked around. "Did it take anything?"

I shook my head. "It left when I blinked. It was so calm."

Deirdre really looked at me worried. "Are you alright?"

I blinked, finally coming to my senses. "Wait, what?" I blinked a little longer, keeping my eyes closed and seeing a flashback of the whole thing. "I'm sorry, I must have been slightly asleep."

Deirdre smiled. "So, what happened?"

I swallowed. "I had another nightmare, but this time with bushes in the desert and instead of flame consuming me, this time I died of asphyxiation. When I woke, the wolf was walking around. I looked at him for a while but didn't move. When I did move, he ran. But, if I'm honest, it wasn't so much flight as it was just leaving."

Deirdre frowned. "Strange. Was it real or a dream?"

I smiled. "It was real, it was here, but neither of us made a sound. That's probably why I woke up so silently."

Then Deirdre asked something I wasn't expecting. "Did you feel any Magic from it."

It was a good question, just slightly unexpected. "I... It didn't feel like anything, strangely enough. Just an intense presence. Perhaps Light." I thought for a moment more. "Yes, it was completely real."

"Just a normal wolf? Strange..." She sounded thoughtful.

I smiled. "Strange, but it's a good sign."

She smiled back. "That's true."