A Wolf's Howl By: Sofie Hekster

One week every year, a wolf howls. For one year, on the foggy mountains near the south of Colorado, a wolf comes. For one week every year, my town lives in fear and horror.

My name’s Aspera. I’m not the tallest person you'll ever see. My mom tells me my eyes are bluer than the sea. I have dirty blonde hair, like my dad. I never met him, and i only have one picture of him. Whenever I intend to know more about him, my mom quickly attempts to change the subject.. My mom would sometimes mutter that he’s gone. I never believe that thought.

I’m an only child and I live near the mountains near the south of Colorado. During the winter, it’s really foggy. I enjoy it. It really shows the history of where I live. The town is called Paralio. It’s really small and there is usually nobody on the streets. That’s what I'm found weird. Anyway, my mom decided to move here because I need to go outside more. I thought I would love it here. I was wrong. Very wrong.

My phone says this town is the oldest in American history. I know why. The battered brick housing, the old rusty, iron stoves, the dead, dusty grass. It felt like nothing was alive here. Their weren't many townspeople here ands nobody ever went outside. I found it all awkward. I didn't know what was with everybody in this town. All I ever saw were the dusty streets, and the old brown weeds left behind from the past.

It’s been around three months since we left from the city of Chicago. The weather has not been amazing. There has hardly been any sunshine and the fog is so dense i can only see things that bare five yards and closer. It’s around 10:30 P.M. And I really can’t sleep. I stare at my bedroom ceiling. Why is this place s- I ponder. I’m interrupted by a faint, soft noise. I throw my bed covers of myself and scramble to my window. Nothing. I sigh a sigh of relief and hop back into bed. Then I hear more.

The sound is louder. I can make it out now. Wolf howls. Not one wolf, not two nor three. Thirteen. Thirteen howling wolves and 11:00 at night. Wolves only howl at midnight. I grab my backpack a dig around for my phone. I open Safari and search up “13 Howling Wolves at 11:00” The first link I get I click on. But my phone goes black. Probably a darn power shortage or something I wonder. I was able to make our little text though. “If you hear 13 howling wolves near midnight, go to safety. Quickly”

Questions run through my head. What?, Safety? What's wrong now? I thought in fear. I get up, grab my backpack and dash to my moms room. I see her and I notice she's been waiting for me. She knew all along. I forget about that and before I know it I'm being dragged to the attic of our house. My mom takes a huge lock and uses it on the door. “Mom…. What’s going on?”

“Something bad” she replies. I look out the small window and stare at our town. Everyone is inside… I mused. My thoughts are disturbed by my mom. “Aspera, I want you to be strong. You can get through this. Do it for your father…”

At this point I knew this wasn't normal. “You know what” Mom says as she gets up, “I’m going to see if it's ok downstairs.”

“Be careful..” I call after her.

“I promise I will.” She calls back.

The time she's gone seems like hours, days, years. I take my backpack and use it as a pillow and stare at the old, wooden ceiling. I fell asleep.I was startled to hear an ear piercing scream that wrung in my ears. Tears start to crawl down my cheeks. I try not hold them back. I can’t.

“Mom….”

From that day on, every night there would be a scream. Every night one person died.

***

Friday came, and I was extremely happen. Although every night, I would cry as the fearful memories of my mom, and what happened that very night comes and lurks in my brain. I peek out the window. Nothing. It’s the time of the scream. I know it. It happens the same time every night. So I sit, like the rest of the town, and wait for the last ear piercing scream.

But, there isn't one. What? Where is it? There is meant to be one now. I questioned. I look out the window, the sun was rising. I was relieved. Look through the window once again, and I see nothing.

I predict nothings outside, so I unlock the lock, walk to the stairs, my hands trembling more and more at every step, and I finally reach the bottom. The doors already unlocked. Oh, Mom, why would you unlock the door… I think to myself.

I opened the door and saw her. I saw her on the floor, Pale. Very, very pale. I didn't care if the Wolves got me. I had to see my mom. The tears come. I run to my mom and sit on the ground next to her, sobbing.

The town hears me, and come outside too. Many come and help me. Many tell me it’s ok. We all just stand there. I know that many other people might have lost loved ones too. I can't help it but i crawl down to my mom, and cry. A man with a dark hooded cloak comes from the town hall. Probably where he was hoping to stay safe. He helps me up. “Thanks” I say.

He doesn't reply. All he does is takes off his hood. For some reason I remember this face from something. I think the picture frames my mom has...

“Dad…” I stared at him, then I burst into his arms with tears pour my out of my eyes.

(Sorry there are not many pictures, If I had more time, I would definitely impress you. I did my best. Thank you for reading)

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