Topic: Off-topic /
[story] Free Spirit, a story by StinkyCheeseLady
Black was giving the fox no chances.
All through my amazement, she pounded and scratched the fox, ripping more life from him with every hit. She struck him until he whimpered, and gave a cry, signalling that it was enough. However, she didn’t fall for it. She tore at his flesh, barking and yowling, “Don’t you dare hurt my friend!”
I couldn’t bare it. I knew how he felt; I knew the pain the seared through him now. I had just got through it, but I didn’t think that he would.
She turned with her paw still on the foxes’ flesh. In the silence that followed I heard his heavy breath rise and fall, crackling, his body straining for air. Immediately I felt sorry for him. His eyes were blank, and his face beheld a look of sheer terror and shock. I shook my head. “Don’t.” By my expression she knew what I meant and released the fox. He hesitantly stood, trembling, cowering away from Black. She came to me, and I nuzzled her. “Sorry. Protect,” she said. Together we looked back at the fox. He had gathered enough strength to stand and walk over to us. “Why you fight well?” Amazingly, he appeared to have forgotten the whole fight. Now he looked deep into our eyes and said, “You teach me?” Black was astonished. She took a step towards him. “You join us. We teach you.”
The creature smiled. “I thank you. My name is Ams,” he turned to me. “I’m sorry. I not know you meant no harm.” I bowed my head.
Black raised her head and showed us a smile. I grinned back. I looked at Ams and saw that he was happy too. Another creature had joined my group. In happiness and power, we came together in a circle and let out a huge, long howl that echoed through the forest, that lapped around the trees of the bluebell wood, three times as much as it might have done.
I lay on the cold stone floor, where he had thrown me, and shivered with the sheer
cold, immediately regretting I hadn’t. The immense pain that shot through me now forced me to shiver violently, uncontrollably. I was scared. So scared of my life, my future. I cringed with every breath, wanting the need to be alive to go away. I shut my furred eyelids hard, although it made no difference to staring into the pitch-black darkness of the cellar.
Everything hurt. Hadn’t I experienced enough pain in my life? I grimaced, using every bit of my strength to try and blot out the pain. Think about something else, I told myself furiously.
So I thought about my dream. It certainly took my mind off the distress; for hours I pondered over it. My mind was whirring constantly. That night I had seen, and experienced, the incident with the calf, and earlier I saw the fall from my point of view, from across the field. I laughed as I imagined the impossible, although it pained me. Could it be, I thought, that I had a gift? I was certainly different. I chuckled mockingly at my strange thoughts. No. That wouldn’t be possible. But still a serious tone lay in my mind, and as I kept thinking about my dream, my thoughts kept tripping over it
And then, suddenly, an idea came to me.
I’m mad, I scolded myself. It’s worth a try, though. I will, next time I’m in the field.
My thoughts broke as I felt that the atmosphere around me had changed. I opened my eyes and saw that light had flooded the room. The cellar door had swung open and I suddenly realized that it was morning. In the space where the light mingled on the stone floor was the silhouette of a short, strong man, brandishing a choke-chain leash.
Sorry, Can’t resist XD
I sneezed as I received a muzzle full of earth; I had shoved my nose, rather carelessly, down a large badger sett. Having gained some wisdom, I withdrew it secretly; I was quite embarrassed, and looked around, just to make sure that my teammates were still there, on the scent. They were. I smiled to myself. Teamwork. Ams had scented the beautiful smell of a red deer hind. I had no idea what that was, but Black told me that it was a large animal. Large, but fast. We would have to work together to catch it, as we were all hungry.
Suddenly, I heard a loud, excited bark. It was Ams, and I sensed a trace of urgency in his voice. Milliseconds later, I saw a flash of the coat of a large, red animal as it sped past me. The thrust of the passing deer drove wind into my ears and I was surprised at the does’ speed. I grinned as Ams shot past me, after her, jumped onto the worn path they had made and joined in.
The chase was on.
I found myself a few seconds later with Black at my side, but she was always edging ahead. The thrill of the chase boiled and rose in our stomachs, and I felt a huge, sudden burst of energy, and forced my legs to go faster, which I did so, to my surprise, with tremendous ease. I threw my head back as we galloped through the forest, laughing loudly; I had forgotten the true fun in being a dog (in truth, I had never known it). The bluebells gave us soft footing and an uneven ground gave us more speed. But the doe was lightning and she gracefully fled over ground, eyes wide with fear. Her nostrils flared and she barked in alarm to her herd, which, as I saw, was suddenly all around us.
We found ourselves amongst vast numbers of deer, and I slowed, only a little, as yet more terrified beasts shot past. I was greatly surprised as some of the animals had huge branches stuck to their heads, rising up above them and curved backwards and forwards, forming small trees that always watched over them. Some deer had smaller sprouts, but other, older males had huge, twisting antlers, writhing in the sunlight, and, as it seemed to me, feeding off the envy that was given by the younger animals.
The deer with antlers, I noticed, were also terribly big. Their legs were thicker than
the branches above them, which was, obviously, the cause for their speed. Their chests
were wide and deep, covered in thick skin, which was in turn layered with golden, wiry hair, and each stag had an impressive, powerful throat-sack. Their skin rippled with strength as their wide hooves thudded into the ground and propelled them forward.
I glanced sideways. To my surprise, Black wasn’t with me anymore I looked ahead and saw her running alongside a hind snapping at her heels and barking with delight as the petrified deer ran faster with horror. I admired Blacks’ speed, her agility. I admired her beauty, and, for the first time, I began to examine her features, even though this wasn’t really the best time to.
I realized that her face never took on an angry look, and her face was long and placid, apart from times when she was excited. Her eyes were kind and submissive, and I always gave in to her plans. Unscheduled, she had become dominant, always choosing the decisions for both of us. I did not object to this, however, as she always choose right and taught us the wrong, telling us the reasons for her wisdom. Of course, she always also taught us the right, so we would be prepared in ‘rare’ cases of emergencies in the future. She had also promised to teach us some lessons in fighting, which she had learned from her older brothers.
Black was not at all a plump dog. Quite the opposite, in fact. She was deep chested and very streamlined, with thin (but powerful) legs, ready to propel the light, long-tailed body they carried at immense speeds with ease. Something told me now that this wasn’t the fastest she could go.
Her coat was normally silky black, with a striking white blaze on her underside, but now she had a waxy look to her, due to the sweat produced because of the chase. Her paws were long and thin with short, blunt claws.
I grinned once more with the thrill of company. Black certainly was a one in a million dog, and Ams was a great character.
The fox was a strange colour. Unlike what I had been told, Ams had no white tail tip. Instead, the creature had a pale coloured muzzle and curled, black whiskers. He was, apart from that, all brown with patches of gold and red. However, this didn’t stop him
being a great friend.
Ams was funny, and normally always cheerful. Just the sort of canine I would love as a friend. He was shorter than me, with thick legs and an even body. He was fast, as I saw now, because he was chasing the hind in front of me.
My mind snapped back into reality as one of the stags jumped over me and its’ back hoof caught me full on the back of the head. Bewildered, I stumbled and fell on the path, with just enough time to crawl into the grass on the side of the path before more deer thundered past. I looked around and saw with horror that the wood had changed completely. The floor was hard and straight, and covered in dead grass. Ahead, along the path, the trees thinned and opened out into a huge field, in which Black and Ams were now. I lay down and rested my stunned head, thinking of nothing but hunger. Pain throbbed in my brain, and I sighed. Will they realize? Will they return? These questions saw me pick myself up and trotted onto the path, which was now clear. I barked once and waited a while. No answer. I fretted, and my pace broke into a run as I entered the field.
To my greatest relief, I saw Black and Ams racing up to me, crying, “Where were you? We thought we lost you! What happened?” I smiled as they embraced me and presented me with a cascade of licks.
“A stag got me on the head with his hoof,” I explained, “So I had to lie down.”
“Oh, no,” said Black, panting, “were you hurt badly?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Well, at least you’re all right,” said Ams, like a worried mother, giving me another lick.
“Any success with the hind?” I asked eagerly. They shook their heads.
“We realized at the same time that you weren’t with us,” said Black, “So we stopped and looked for you. We are sorry. We’re all hungry. Would you like to try again?”
“No. I think that’s enough for one day, as we’ve got more important things on our minds,” I said.
“Like what?” They asked.
“You haven’t noticed? Were are we, for starters!”
They looked around, and their eyes widened as if they hadn’t noticed. “Why, you’re right,” said Ams. He grinned. “I always wanted to see what it felt like to be lost!”
“And that won’t be today,”
We both stared at Black. “What did you say?”
Black grinned at us proudly. “You won’t get to know today, Ams. I know this place. My humans took me here for my walks. And, if my calculations are correct, there is a place we can stay overnight just over that hill there.” She lifted her paw and gestured towards a large hillock.
“Oh Black! You’ve saved us,” both Ams and me were very grateful, and so Black led us the way across the field, which was marvelling in the sunset.
As he hauled me up the stairs, I wondered if my plan to test my strange dreams would work. Well, you’ll never know until you’ve tried, I told myself. The light hurt my eyes as we emerged into the morning sun, although it was weak, as if it had lost a battle with the clouds, which partly hid it from view.
The metal of the car was very cold as I jumped into the back, and I had to keep switching from paw to paw to avoid them getting too freezing, and the lane was hard as the frozen mud formed rivets that violently shook the truck as it slowly trundled along. I fell a few times, getting up quickly, as the cold material bit my wounds.
I slid forwards a bit as the truck was sloping now, up the lane. I looked to the front, trying to hold my ground as we were being thrown quite a lot by the uneven earth, and saw the field slide into view. Seconds later, the vehicle stopped, and he climbed out of the truck, came to the back and dragged me out by, as usual, the scruff, which clearly wasn’t needed, as I knew the procedures off by heart, and would have got out anyway.
Together, in a forced, unwanted bond, we walked into the field. But to my surprise, he immediately stepped over to the bit of fence, next to the shed. Then he fixed the end of the choke-chain to the wooded border. Then he walked away with me tied up and set to work among the cows. I pulled and struggled with the leash, unused to this torturing
captivity. The weight of the leash made it hard, but a couple of times the taught chain lifted my paws off the ground, forcing me to stand up, pulling with all my might, trying to free myself.
After a long time of straining with the choke-chain, I suddenly remembered my plan to test my dream. I immediately stopped and looked around for something to observe. Almost as if it had been waiting for me, I spotted a hawk on top of the trees above the place where he had attached me. I walked slowly out as far as I could go and sat down, looking back up the trees to prevent craning my neck.
As I watched, the hawk surveyed the fields. Its eyes, sulphur and bright, glared ahead as its round, feathered head swivelled in all directions. The dark brown plumage that was plastered beautifully to its skin was disrupted, the cold wind ruffling the coloured feathers. The hawks sharp, feared talons gripped tightly to the branch it had earlier alighted on, keeping it steady, clutching hard.
I shuddered as it suddenly leant forward, opened its terrible, hooked bill and cawed.
The call echoed through the land, and the small animals of Wales trembled with fear at the sound of one of their main predators at the height of its power. Even He looked up, distracted from his feeding task.
Again the bird called, but this time it was effortless. One powerful call was quite enough. I looked on in wonder as the hawk unsettled its wings, stretched forwards and leapt off the branch. In an instant, it had opened the wings totally and now they were spread out beside it as the bird held them up high, carrying them proudly as it soared through the sky, slinking away without an effort.
I sighed. It was done, and now all I had to do was to wait until darkness came down on the land.
It had begun to rain, so I crept further in, closer to the fence to gain shelter from the wrath of the tree. There I sat for what seemed like days, watching him guard the cows. Again I wondered why he cared so much for them. They were just fat beasts that didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘danger’. I was determined to find out why. But now there was nothing at all left to do but lie down and watch the world go by.