I heard it just before my campfire slowed, oddly calm-- the howl seared my peace from an unknown distance.
I could see it in the trees; the nervous leaves shivered, lost their snow, perhaps wishing me to flee.
But the howl cut into my ears and huddled there, its feet scratching, its fur bristling--
I shook my head free but its breath smothered me, hot, rank, ripe with waiting impatiently.
An angry wind shoved the trees and jostled the crowd of yelling leaves urging me, run run but the howl was all I knew--
Suddenly, I could taste what the howl wanted: smooth fur and malleable flesh that falls apart in its captor's teeth before it knows to writhe, simple, easy, like biting into a peach and I savored the metallic tang of conquest.