The Wolf and Sally

By Asa Montreaux

I think we were really all feeling happy and things. I feel like I remember jumping around smiling. I do that a lot of times. maybe this time I did it more often. we weren’t even dancing then. we were just talking and things. I also felt kind of carefree because my hair was cut real short. it wasn’t really the best for all of those pictures. i realize i really liked weddings that night though, and that changed the way I felt about being good looking.  I want my husband to smile really nicely in our wedding photos. just not too beamy like a dumbo. He’ll forgive me for saying that. there were a bunch of people there I didn’t really know. there were our cousins from ontario. there were some from the western side. even a couple of people that jessica’s husband met in the states years ago. i had to help arrange things. my mother made lots of things. i had to be there in the kitchen and learn while we were cooking. she told me to make all the measurements. it’s good for my math and for my visual measurements. one day i won’t have to even think about it. i told her it would take even less time than this. i bet i could visually measure three ounces of flour in a cup any size right now. everyone acts impressed when i say that. except for my sisters. they really haven’t any patience with me. they always want things for their friends to be mean together. they use the fact their older to get more things from dad and mom. there really nice mostly. but all the things that happened when mom didn’t want jessica to go through with the wedding anymore. she wouldn’t tell her why. i realized she overheard something the groom said. it wasn’t hard to tell that she was trying to say he wasn’t as nice as he seemed. even I know that sometimes the people we’re just meeting can have a lot of things that they haven’t told you, but I guess women are always worried men will cheat on them and have other women that are in love with and I don’t think there’s much limit to their imaginations in this way. i can understand a lot of it i guess. a lot of men are already gone most of the day when their working. who knows what their doing. when dad comes home he usually tells stories about what happened with his work friends. it’s a good things for stories, or else we wouldn’t be able to make sense of the rest of Dad’s time.  it definitely happened away from the main banquet room. but i’m sure my mother’s very concerned whisper voice could be heard if there wasn’t anyone that wasn’t too drunk to listen. She was thinking about other friends who had made mistakes. Jessica was pretty adamant it was nothing, though she definitely thought about having a go at it with Kenneth. I don’t think anyone realized I was listening. It was sort of okay.  I wasn’t going to tell everyone, it was at least semi-private.
Once I realized there was so many mixed feeling behind the faces trying to be looking picture perfect, it made me feel like I was pretty important. I found out secret stories investigating around other sides of the party. Mom and my sister were sitting around, telling each other stories. The funny thing is they were laughing a whole lot, even though they had conversation that suggested they were so suspicious of the other family. Old women can be scary. They really can be manipulative and things. She wasn’t doing anything except try to make good decisions right now I thought. You could tell they were involved because usually there was someone talking to me but there was no one talking to me now and I felt nervous and ran out to the back room where the washroom was and no one even noticed me going. I didn’t know what to do there there wasn’t even anyone watching me there and it was already dark and I heard something like a wolf but I still went through the door into the wilderness. We were really kind of far from the city. It was surprising there wasn’t any wind. The crickets were really friendly. They were telling me things with their music. I didn’t want to scare the wolf so I walked instead of running. That probably isn’t very interesting. Even not far from the house, I never have felt so alone. The crickets got sort of quiet like something was going to happen. There was something off in the distance. I hope there wasn’t a pack of wolves, otherwise I really shouldn’t have gone into the wilderness by myself. I thought I saw the shape of one, but  I wasn’t sure. I had to keep walking further into the forest. The trees were growing thicker. I started to hope I wasn’t going to get lost. There wasn’t any path, I just hope I could tell where north was if I get really far into the forest. I think I saw him. I started walking on the tips of my dress shoes. He looked friendly for some reason in the window. He had stopped and wasn’t making any noise, and he looked around at me without making a mean face. I got excited because he might want to be friends.
I looked right at him. I bent forwards a little so we could be at the same level. I whispered to him at first. Mr. Wolf. Mr. Wolf, want to be my cute wolf friend. He kept staring at me blankly. I moved forward till I was nearer to him, and when I was close enough to almost reach for him he ran off, deeper into the forest. I got kind of discouraged but  I still went following him. It felt like almost a couple of minutes, when he could have run in a bunch of directions too, that I followed him. Then I found him again in a little bower area, and he was facing me this time. His eyes were glowing with light. You can stop there, he said. I did what he said. He kind of let me cross most of the bower. I didn’t think he was ever going to speak again because he made us look at each other in silence. You’re a very big risk-taker little girl. The forest is very dangerous even for someone like me. The wolf really wanted to talk with me. I concealed my happiness. Yes, Mr. Wolf. You don’t understand. The wedding, it was so dreadfully boring. Even if it was, you’ve put yourself in danger in the forest. You’ll have to trust me if you want to leave again.
I tried real hard to trace my steps. I’m sure I can walk back.
No. The forest has rearranged just while we’ve been standing here. Quick. come along. There are others that are after us, and we have tarried too long. He sounded like he might be telling the truth. I followed after him when he took me farther in the woods. He wanted me to meet someone. It was someone who could help me out of the forest, and someone who was supposed to help me in some other way.
You’ll have to trust me the wolf said. And he used his mouth to open a hatch in the ground. He told me to step inside. And as soon as I did, the platform fell, and I wondered if he had tricked me, and it fell and fell till we were halfway down the mountainside, looking over the cliffs. I didn’t even feel the platform stop, and the room was made of glass windows and there isn’t any lights. It was glowing like the light in the wolf’s eyes. He was standing there beside me all of a sudden too. It’s time you meet someone. There were a flight of stairs on the far side, and looked at me with those glowing eyes and lifted me lightly and moved his head towards the stairs, and drifted me down them. He was there to meet me. There was a women sitting there eating a small dinner disinterestedly, with two very regal dogs sitting at the table with her. Even though she hadn’t acknowledged us yet, she knew we were there. She had the longest hair I’d ever seen. She was extremely tall and slender, and she flew even more effervescently than the wolf, through this very strange condominium. Darling, come have a seat. Would you like anything that were eating? We really have everything.
Anything you would like, we really have everything. She had a huge glass of white wine, though I’m not sure if this women could ever be drunk, and she sure didn’t need to be drunk to seem totally relaxed. I think I should have felt scared of her, but without even saying anything she assuaged my feeling. So, I hear you need to get away from the forest, do you?
The fox said it’s going to be very difficult.
It might be. Well, who am I kidding. It is going to be extremely difficult. You’ll have to do something for me before I will even considering letting you away from this place where believe me you really have put yourself and everyone of those humans at the wedding party in danger.
How do you know about them.
Never mind you how I know things. Though let us get around to what I want you to do for me. The first thing, Mr. Wolf will assist you to something else to wear besides what it is you have on. He’ll find you a private room for a minute. Go on.
Me and Mr. Wolf went into another chamber and he showed me what the women was speaking about.
Here. You’ll have to wear this if your going to escape the fire swamps.
Are there really fire swamps?
No, but there are many swamps. Run along now.
There were two different pieces of clothing, strangely I was sure they were fire protective. I felt uncomfortable in that dress. I couldn’t even make it stay in the places  I put it in.  I looked at myself. My mother told me to put a little make up on. I didn’t want to wash it off just yet. Even though they were telling me it wouldn’t be easy to go home, I knew I had to at least try. I anticipated seeing jessica smiling and throwing her head around like she knew her angles like any professional model.
Now, little girl, I need you to look at something here with me. I sat at the table with her and there was something showing in the table. It was the life of jessica’s dad. She wanted to show me that he’s dying, and that was why jessica was getting married so young. She wanted him to be there but it was more she was scared and making hasty decisions and all. There was much more she wanted me to understand but I don’t know how to explain it all at once. It was confusing to say the least. When someone tries to make things clear, it makes so many other things have to be reconsidered too, did she really want me to do all of this work? My head was starting to hurt from thinking so much, and walking so much. She looked at me and made the projection go away and things hurt less. We didn’t have much time. But I’d certainly never forget meeting her. The fox will help you get away from the forest, if you can successfully follow his instructions. Let me give you something.
She gave me a ring that glowed just like the fox did. What is this for? I think you’ll find what it is for shortly, she told me. Then, the fox told me, come along little girl. We have much time to cover. In forest time it will take us two days to return to the banquet hall. He lead me to a wall which began to permeate, and we walked through it into the middle of the forest. Look at the sky, little girl. Do you see the stars?
Do you know which one is the north star?
It is the one over there.
Come along. We must walk this way again.
It was quiet in the forest, and I wondered if it would really take two days to get back to the banquet room. In the forest it was very cold now, but the clothes she gave me made me stay very warm. Suddenly, there were things flying all round us. I felt very unsafe. Are those things bats?
No. They are sort of like bats, I guess. Leave your head down and let’s start running. Don’t look at them. This was very strange.  I wasn’t even that scared. They weren’t sweeping down very low. They didn’t go away. For two hours they kept circling above us. There were so many of them, I couldn’t see them in the night sky anymore. Now I was starting to feel pretty scared. We could hardly see where we were running and then suddenly the wolf stopped and looked right ahead and I thought i’d better stop too. There was another animal in the forest, who was sitting facing us. The hairs on his back started to raise. The other animal moved towards. This one was black, just like the sky was now. I really was scared now. The closer he moved, he looked more like a werewolf. He was big and scary. My wolf didn’t even looked like he searched for prey. He wasn’t stopping. I looked at the nice wolf to see if he would do something. He addressed in words. You can stop there. This child just needs to go home.
There really was anger spinning around in his eyes all the time. He didn’t say anything for the longest time. Then he said, I’d like to take her with me.
I can’t let you do that. Just run along. Eat one of those calfs you have stored away.
Little girls can be very helpful around these parts. I wouldn’t just eat here. Not right away, anyways. Really, I wouldn’t.
I could have sworn the wolf mouthed the words run the other way, but he stood his ground. He stepped in front of me. The mean wolf crouched forward. He was really going to pounce. He wasn’t even going to wait and talk about things a little. He opened his mouth, if it wasn’t so big he would have to unhinge it. He could eat my wolf friend in a few seconds.
My ring started glowing. The grey wolf bared down, his glowing eyes were more slitted now. The other wolf had stopped quite a ways away really. He finally started running towards my wolf. He didn’t start running back. I was very scared. I wanted to move completely out of the way but I was frozen. He was still thirty feet away, and my ring was glowing even more brightly. The monster was only ten feet away, when suddenly, glowing beams flew out of the wolf’s eyes, and the monster was obliterated in the white light. The beam kept going for thirty seconds, and when they stopped the monster wasn’t there anymore. For a few seconds, it wasn’t even scarier than when he was there. Wow,  I said.
The wolf sat quietly. Sorry if that was scary for you, he said.
We should really get away from the forest now.
Come on and jump on my back. We still have a day’s travel even this way. We rushed off through the forest together. After a while, I asked the wolf, through the noise of the wind rustling, what was that thing?
They’ve been genetically modified by eating things that have escaped from the building we were just in. There are more of them. We really must hurry.
The forest looked different this time. I didn’t recognize anything I was seeing. I thought about asking Mr. wolf to tell me a story, but he kind of had to yell, and he kept avoiding trees, so  I think he needed to concentrate. I kept looking forward to, because I was kind of scared of what was happening. Maybe I could protect myself if we hit a tree. The wolf was really good. He didn’t even get close to any branches that could throw me off the wolf. I held on tight around his neck. sometimes there were noises. every time, he tried to run faster, but he was already going full speed. the frequency increased. i thought about my parents. i hope they weren’t worried. they probably thought i was missing something. but i really have to admit this was kind of fun. it really is fun saving your life. we were really trying to get away from there. then, there was something else glowing in the forest, glowing very red and the wolf swerved, all the way, ninety degrees to the right and then it really wouldn’t go away. it was coming from over there. we tried to turn around the way we came, but it was coming from there too. we were trapped. the wolf stopped for the first time. and we spun around, and we looked all around for a way to escape, for what it was that enclosing us. It was just a red light. and it kept moving closer all around us. the wolf spun around again. and I could tell he was thinking about running. but it was twenty feet high. I could feel the heat. saving your life wasn’t very fun right now. it was going to fry us. finally, we saw there were shapes moving behind the red beam, following it as it enclosed us. there were more of the wolves, the monstrous animals like the one that ran right for us to eat us. it was getting very close. we were starting to fry. I couldn’t breathe really at all. Then, without saying anything, the wolf started to go week in the knees. And all at once, he fell to the ground and I thought he was dead. But I could hear him faintly breathing. I realized I needed to play dead too. The beams were moving closer, and finally the wolves stopped them, and they went away. We didn’t move yet. The came closer, and they really were salivating, slobbering everywhere. I didn’t know what we could do. I was even more scared than when we were frying. Finally the wolf stood up quickly, and they actually were taken aback. They stopped moving forward, and they didn’t know what to do. Then, they were really angry. They didn’t even need to take a run at us, they just had to take a couple jumps, and then they were right there. Mr. wolf said something, and he really made them stutter back for some time. Why is it you won’t leave us alone? We only want to get this little girl through the forest. There wasn’t a leader amongst them, which was strange. Not one of them responded, they were already in the pounce mode. The wolf caressed me with his neck and tried to protect me for as long as he might be able to. It is a good thing he did, because just as we were about to get devoured, we were swept up. And he was holding on to me. She carried us for hours. The forest was getting less thick as we flew above it. The bats were gone, the sky was becoming lighter. It was the women we met earlier. She flew in little waves. We reached a part of the forest, where she started to descend, and she left us on the ground. Well then, you certainly got yourselves in some trouble. How do you know that was happening, I asked.
I watch you all now and again, is all.
Are you coming with us?
No, you’ll be safe from here on. You should begin, your not really making such bad time. I must go the other way, home again. I’m sure we’ll cross paths again. Goodbye, little girl.
  Okay, I said. I guess I had to accept that she couldn’t come with us. We did feel safe now, but the wolf was still running quickly. He had even found whole straightaways without any chance of us getting hit by trees. It really made me happy that we had saved our lives again. I couldn’t say yet that it was a thrill to almost get eaten though. We were going to come to the end of the forest. Maybe Mr. Wolf would go inside with me. I was going to miss him if he didn’t at least come inside, and say hello for a little while. The clearing was near in front of us. The wolf didn’t slow down. He ran right through the clearing, before he finally slowed down, stopped, and I stepped onto the ground again. Well, little girl. You certainly got yourself in quite the adventure.
I never thought all those things would happen. It sure is a good thing I found you there.
Everyone needs looking out for in the forest. And now, run along. I am sure, in forest time and in real time, your family is missing you.
Bye, Mr. wolf.
Goodbye, and with all the sweetness a wolf could ever have he went back into the forest, running like he had done many great things like this. It was still a little ways walk to the banquet room. You always have to go a little ways from the foot of the doorstep to find real danger. Stepping inside the entrance to the side room, there wasn’t anyone in there. I walked to the hall to get in the banquet room, and nobody noticed me when I walked in. My mom was wrapped up in a very serious conversation with some of Jessica’s other aunts, while I went and sat at the table, and helped myself to the cake. Eventually, she looked over, and acknowledged I was sitting there. There was a lot of people eating, and they all seemed like they didn’t notice me there, or not feel me there. We felt safe insulated by the quiet woods around us. They didn’t know how scary the forest was. I ate very slowly. I was positively buzzing still from all of the adventure. My cheeks were flushed, bright red. Nobody noticed it though. I realized the lady showed me those things because I was to understand I might do something. Did she really expect I could interrupt the wedding? I hope no one wanted to do that. I was thinking again, and again that I finally realize how sad it is that Jessica’s dad isn’t here now. And I couldn’t feel that excitement inside me anywhere else in the party. All at once, I couldn’t do anything. I learned enough about unsteady decisions that day. Over the course of the next few days, the next few weeks, I would have the insight that sometimes the adults forget about. I felt happy like I was in a movie, where people are only happy enough to smile weakly once, or twice. I was drawn out of myself, into the happiness, or the mirth, and the sleeping sadness, of everyone there.


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