Until her Last Breath Passed

Her rapid breaths seemed ahead of her as she ran through the darkness of a forest which had once been the place which awakened her fondest dreams. The trees were heavy with Autumn but daylight had ceased and so the canopy of her paradise now served only to shut out the moon and cast the foreign lands into complete darkness.

She had lost her shoes as she had waded through a cold river just before dusk. Her clothes heavy and sodden with the muds which she had once used to cleanse her body, now clung to her like a grey cloak weighing down her heavy soul. Her feet slipped on sodden leaves and bled from the punctures of sharp stones. If only she could reach the edge of the forest. If only she could make her way out.

The forest had been her home for months, perhaps even years. At first she had been awestruck at its beauty. The way in which it cast just the right amount of light and whispered secrets to her eagre mind. She would drink it's honey and eat it's fruits. Bathe in it's rivers, cleanse in it's soils. But as Autumn came, she realised she may no longer be welcome.

Time had stood still and all the things which she was running from when she daydreamed her way into this foreign land were passed. Yet still she had wished she could stay there forever, languishing in beautiful truth. A darkness crept in bringing a chill in it's breath. The nights were cruel and left her body weak as the birdsong continued to announce the dawn of each day.

The days were still beautiful, but grew ever shorter. She tried to console herself that that was enough.

Until the day the wolves came.

She never saw them but she sensed them nearby. One day she discovered blood on her arm as she woke. A claw mark stretching from her shoulder to her wrist. That was the morning she knew she must leave.

At first she wandered still half care free, sure she would reach the forest edge soon. Across the river she had thought. That would bring her to the other side.

It had brought her instead to a part of the forest she had never explored. As darkness fell so had risen the howling of the wolves. The forest seemed alive all around her yet it cloaked itself in darkness. A shape shifter turning all that she had once loved and believed in into nothing she knew or could understand. Where once was beauty, only darkness now, mocking her as she ran. On and on.

Barefooted, dirty, mudded, bruised.

Her heart ached as it paced too fast. Her breath panting with energy she could not afford to lose.

A fallen tree waited in the forest unapologetically as it grazed her shin and set her flying forwards into the mud.

Face down. Breathing in mud. Exhaling mud. Weighed down by mud.

That's when the wolves heard her cry. An almighty wail as she rolled over and saw only darkness in the sky above.

The pack crowded her. They knew her scent. Then she felt the first breath next to her thigh. Licking at her leg, nibbling at her clothes. More mouths, breathing around her body. She held her breath. Trying to be still. Waiting for mother earth to swallow her.

She felt a nose nudging her. She opened her eyes and saw her heavy muddy clothes were gone.

The nudging continued and she turned her head and saw a path before her, lit up by the reflection of the moonlight in the wolves' eyes.

A final nudge and she rose before the wolves. She felt no shame as her pale skin greeted their eyes, slowly making her way along the path of tiny lights they had made for her.

She was surprised how soon it was that she arrived at an opening. A small village lit up in the distance. She felt both hope and despair. As she saw a new place she could try to settle before looking down and seeing her own naked form.

How could she ever go forth?

She could not go back.

So there she sat. Watching the villagers. Until her last breath passed unnoticed.


  • Laura


    What an amazing story! So vivid and alive! As I was reading, it felt as if I was there witnessing a rebirth! Incredible! I enjoyed reading your incredible short story immensely!


    • sylviasearcher

      Thanks Laura. I wasn't sure if there was the right place to post it.

      Thanks for reading and enjoying

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