When the Shadows Turned to Wolves

Yicheng Teng

The sun was still bright above the sky, and there was light piercing through the tall trees in the forest, but it was getting darker and darker. She was walking through the path in the forest, wearing an all red hood with a pointy, long hat behind her head. It cast a shadow on the ground behind her. The forest seemed to be peaceful in its quiet. She could only hear the sound from the singing birds mixed with the noise generated by her own feet walking. She moved across the bridge made of stone with a carpet of moss on top of it and then walked on tall, bright green grass that stood as tall as her wrist.

As she continued walking, she saw walls that were broken into pieces, buildings that were destroyed and left as pieces of stone on the ground. Around her was an abandoned city and Red was walking in it. After a while, the night finally came, but all still felt peaceful. Exhausted from a day of relentless walking, Red sat down against a ruin walk, set up a fire and fell quickly to sleep.

***

In her dream, the world was no longer peaceful. Everything turned red and even the tiniest molecules in the air were filled with fury and anger. Very soon, the world started to shift, to become corrupt. A fallen tree she had seen that afternoon shifted into the upper jaw of a creature, and its shadow, the lower jaw. It was a wolf, a wolf made of shadow with two red eyes. The branches of trees became cruel with malice as they shifted into more wolf heads and bodies of shadow. They moved like snakes down the path that  had gone through that afternoon, slithering into the abandoned city. On their way, the buildings he passed through was destroyed, huge stones and remains of them fall to the ground.

***

Immediately, Red woke up with her heart bumping out of her chest. The fire was off and she noticed her bag on the ground. She picked up her bag, pat her pants, and was to walk. The strangeness of her dream had certainly hindered any interest in further sleeping, especially as she was alone in this forest. As she began to walk forward, to continue on her journey, a huge shadow was cast on the ground in front of her, suggesting that there were many huge creatures behind her on the wall.

With no doubt, she began to run.

As she looked back, she saw wolves! Wolves that were made of shadows and two red eyes – as if they had come through her mind into the world. They chased her into the forest and the shadows of trees, bushes, and even flowers became wolves, joined the stalking group. She ran and ran, until suddenly, she stopped, not because she was tired, but because she stood at the edge of a precipice. She knew that she would probably be injured if she jumped, but she had no choice. She even heard the roar of the wolves inside the forest behind her, so she jumped, and slid down the steep slope and into the woods again. The trees were tall and dense, and the number of wolves was growing larger and larger.

Suddenly, there was another cliff in front of her that separated the forest into two parts. She ran on a fractured piece of wood which formed a bridge connecting the two sides of the forest. Though the bridge was weak, she had no other choice but to cross it. She ran with all her strength and did one somersault as she landed, continued to run when she made it to the other side.

The countless wolves still chased her. She looked back again, and began to crawl up on a huge pile of stones. 

She climbed so slowly that the wolves might reach her at any time. At the moment that her body was finally exposed to the sun, she closed her eyes and was ready to face her death…

She waited.

The time seemed to become static, and she stayed in that pose much longer than it should have taken those wolves to consume her.  

She slowly opened her eyes. 

When she looked back, she saw no wolves. They had disappeared! It seemed like nothing had happened, and the forest became peaceful again with birds singing. She wondered, and looked up the pile of rocks. On top, she saw a huge, fortified building. It was huge, solemn, and empty. There were no people around, though it seemed surely that there should have been. 

She walked up the stairs towards the entrance; there was no door, and there was no light. Just a gaping hole in the wall…As she walked in, she heard the echoes of her own feet and was startled by the suspicion of someone behind her. Then her body was gradually swallowed by the darkness. The world outside the ruined palace became red again, and the angle formed by the entrance and the floor became the shape of the mouth of a wolf. As it opened and closed its mouth, she vanished in silence.

About haringeyunchained

Haringey Unchained is a collective of students aiming to show case the creative talent of Haringey Sixth Form College in Tottenham, London. We think that through the promotion of our creative thoughts, we can educate our community, bringing to the foreground the critical and creative consciousness of a vibrant school in a deprived part of London. We are endeavouring to provide this blog as a platform for our community, giving the space to those whose work otherwise might not be seen or read. Being that the cuffs are off, we are able to express through our photography, art, short fiction and poetry, what’s really on our minds. We are free.

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