My heart was pounding so loudly in my ears that I don’t think I would have heard the pursuit even if there had been one. But I made it into the thick of the woods and no one had caught me so I kept running.
I had no idea where I was headed except that it was away. Crashing through brush and hurrying around tree’s, I kept going until my breathing was so hard it hurt and my legs turned too shaky. I abruptly sat down on a fallen log. The fear had given me adrenaline which had finally run out. It wasn’t that I couldn’t run, but that in my fear I had failed to pace myself. It was too late now. I had to hope I could rest where I was without being discovered.
As my breathing lessened and my heart slowed, I buried my face in my hands and cried. My whole situation seemed hopeless. I might have gotten away but now I was lost in the woods. And it was a very big section of woods. I remembered that from my drive up to the house with Kale.
Slowly I stopped crying and wiped at my eyes with the back of my hand. Then I took deep breathes until I felt better. Feeling more clear headed I looked up at the sun. I had watched some survival show one time that said you could use the sun as a kind of compass. But as I looked up a flock of birds suddenly broke from the trees and flew off. The forest turned too quiet and the hair at the back of my neck pricked. Was someone watching me?
I looked around and quieted my breath so I could hear if anyone approached but no one strolled into view. I stood and looked around once more and that’s when I saw the faint movement from the corner of my eye. Slowly I looked back toward my left and gasped as I spotted the huge black wolf there.
The wolf was a monster. Almost four feet high from the pad of his foot to the top of his head. And his yellowish green eyes glowed faintly in the shadow he stood in. A gaze he locked solely on me.
A shiver stole through me and I backed up. The wolf stepped out of the shadows toward me as if pacing me. I wanted to run but I knew he could outrun me. Besides that, I didn’t want to turn my back on the huge wolf.
The wolf made a snorting sound then suddenly shook his head in a ‘No’ like manner. It was so un-wolf-like that I frowned and my jittery pulse hammered down. What the heck? I stepped back once more.
This time the wolf raised a paw at me before he did the head swinging ‘No’ motion again. My eyes widened as a realization dawned on me and I really looked in the wolf’s eyes. Could it be? Was the wolf really Kale?
“Kale?” I whispered into the silence.
The wolf made a rough sound and wagged its tail at me a few times.
Still unsure I had guessed right I tried again. “Is that really you Kale?”
The wolf stared back at me for a moment. I watched as his jaws locked and his neck tightened and then his head bobbed up and down in a very human nod of confirmation. It obviously took a lot of concentration to move the wolf body like that.
“Oh my God!” I whispered.
The wolf that was Kale slowly padded toward me now. I still felt the urge to run but made myself stand still until the wolf was right in front of me. He glanced up at me before stepping forward and licking my hand.