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Freelance Writer

Blanchester, OH
October 21, 2021

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The air is moist and chilled in the forest. A blanket of fallen leaves, brilliant shades of red

and orange cover the hilly ground. Tall and ancient oaks, patches of leaves missing from their expansive and powerful crowns. Atop one of the woody behemoths sits a hunter. He silently observes the ground, a rifle held firmly in his hands. With piercing and focused hazel eyes, he looks around through the rifle’s scope for the beast. A lone wolf. A wolf who has been stalking the hunter for days. The hunter does not know the lupine’s goal, but he knows the wolf has bad intentions. The hunter has heard the beast’s howl and seen its maw in his dreams. Its glistening, white teeth.

The hunter does not falter however, as he continues to await the wolf’s arrival. From the corner of his eye, he sees a small rustle. The forest somehow becomes quieter as he slowly shifts the rifle’s scope to the disturbance. He can barely make out a form from the bushes and saplings that rise from the forest floor. Yet what he can make out is unmistakable. The wolf. It has scarred, grey fur and a large frame. A ghastly bastardization of what the hunter thought was a noble creature. The monster stops and looks in the hunter’s direction. Although its piercing, yellow eyes don’t meet the hunter’s, he somehow knows the wolf is staring him down. The lupine’s tail begins a slow and methodical sway as it closes its eyes and smells the air. Its enormous chest expands with air before the beast slowly exhales. Its gaze shifts upwards as it spots the hunter. For a moment, the hunter can only see those yellow eyes. They dominate his vision, like two full moons on a cloudless night. It shifts in place momentarily before exploding forwards towards the hunter’s perch. Despite the behemoth’s size, it moves gracefully and without noise. It quickly closes the distance and stands onto its hind legs. The wolf leans forward, resting its powerful front paws onto the trunk of the tree, staring up at the hunter. The hunter does not hesitate. He has been waiting for this moment and seizes it. The silent, cold air is broken by a powerful and dominating boom. The forest once again falls silent as the beast of the woods slumps down, the bullet having ripped through its head. The tattered fur of the beast grows a bit red as blood begins to seep out of the wound. The hunter climbs down from his perch and, slinging the hefty wolf over his shoulder, takes his leave. His business is complete.

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