Blizzard – Part 2

second installment


It was silent except for the slight blowing of the blizzard. The snow didn’t pierce through the thick trees of the forest as easily as it did through the air. The coyote was in front of Ivory, farther than she would’ve preferred, but she didn’t want it to sense her presence. 

Ivory didn’t let anything but Isabelle dominate her thoughts. She looked on with determination to the horizon, or what she guessed was the horizon. It was hard to tell in the snow and dark days of winter. 

Ivory’s mind began to wander, thinking about her sister and whatever other worries of survival. She padded on, only to remember that there was a coyote in front of her. She didn’t notice that the coyote had stopped at the end of the trees. She froze, her tail stiffening, not daring to move, as the coyote slowly turned around, sniffing the air. 

Ivory held in her breath for a few seconds, barely hidden by a slim tree that merely covered her head. The coyote’s eyes scanned the area, and in a few seconds Ivory would be dead, she knew it. I should have stayed back, I shouldn’t have come! 

A bark echoed not far from the coyote’s spot, and it quickly flicked its head back to the direction of the field that lay at the end of the woods. It padded forward, and Ivory nearly collapsed in relief. 

She looked nervously at the descending coyote, but gathered together her courage and, taking a deep breath, continued to follow the coyote. The closer that she came to the coyote’s pack, the fiercer the snow seemed to become. They were traveling across a field, and Ivory was forced to duck slightly in order to blend in with the snow. Ivory shivered, wincing at the cold as she brought her pelt closer to the snow’s surface, but knew that it was essential to stay out of the coyote’s radar. 

Ahead of her, at the end of the field, she saw, what looked like rocks from a distance, two more coyotes. One had golden fur, the other gray fur. The gray one looks scary. Grayfur(as Ivory named him) had large scars on his face, the longest one crippling the skin, stretching from his long muzzle up to his ear, which was torn on the ends. Ivory grimaced at the sight, burying even closer down to the ground.

The only shelter was a dead, hollow tree. The two coyotes were resting inside the large cradle that the tree created, side by side, as the one Ivory had been following came back. There’s only three…this shouldn’t be too hard. Naive as she was, Ivory underestimated the coyotes, and began to step forward. Just as soon as she did, more coyotes seemed to appear from the shadows, and Ivory stopped in her tracks. 

There was a faint crying from inside the crowd, and Ivory’s ears perked up. Isabelle? More coyotes began to file out, and soon, once they all stopped, there seemed to be twenty or more coyotes all together! They all were snarling, ready for something to happen. Grayfur looked expectantly at the back of the crowd, and some of the coyotes were pushed around by another coyote that popped out in the front, making his way from the back. 

He held a fluffy gray lump in his mouth, and as he moved, everyone’s eyes followed his muzzle. At first, Ivory thought that he was simply shaking his head around, but then she realized that he was struggling to hold onto the gray lump, which was twisting and turning around in his mouth. 

Ivory’s eyes widened and her heart squeezed as she realized that it was her sister. Instinct told her to run, but if she had followed her instinct in the first place, she would be back in the den waiting for her time, a time of death forced to come too soon. She had to use all of her strength to stay put, digging her claws into the earth. 

Isabelle’s cries only grew louder, so much that they sounded more like unnatural screams. A restless spirit rose in the crowd of coyotes, and they began to impatiently move a little closer to the little wolf. They moved into a circle, blocking Ivory’s view. Ivory locked her gaze onto Isabelle, internally begging her to look back. 

Everything seemed to move in slow motion, Grayfur’s mouth snapping open, his powerful legs fueling his pounce, Isabelle biting as hard as she could on the coyote’s paw that ensnared her. Just before the coyote’s jaw clamped onto Isabelle’s slim figure, she skittered away from the coyote that howled in pain from her bite. 

Ivory felt hope well up in her chest as she watched Isabelle squeeze through the crowd that was watching her with beady eyes, all beginning to process what had just happened, and in a split second, they were all scrambling towards Isabelle at lightning speed. Isabelle threw a panicked glance at Ivory, and they both began to sprint across the snowy field towards the other side. 

Ivory wanted to scream and cry, the adrenaline tearing her heart into little pieces as it beat hard in her chest. As much as she was relieved to see Isabelle alive, she had to be focused on what lay behind her, gaining at a fast pace: a large pack of coyotes not far from nipping her tail off, not to mention Isabelle, who was even closer to the pack than Ivory. 

There was a thorn bush at the end of the field, and just as the coyote in the front began to pounce, Ivory and Isabelle slid under the thorn bush, crawling out to the other side. There were only trees, and a fierce growling began behind them. The pups quickly realized that the coyotes were unable to pass through the large bush, as they were each too big to fit. Ivory collapsed down onto the snowy ground, watching her breath swirl around into the air. 

Isabelle, her chest heaving just as much as Ivory’s, nudged her sister with her button-like nose. Ivory looked up at Isabelle and whined. I’m tired…but once she saw the urgency that lay clear on her sister’s face, she stood up and looked back at the spot where the coyotes had halted and noticed a faint skrttt skrttt skrttt noise that wandered around the full length of the bush, threatening to encroach upon the pups’ safety. 

Ivory widened her eyes in alarm. The coyotes were beginning to scratch a hole under the bush, and soon their chase would be on again. Ivory needed safety, perhaps a den to hide out in, or maybe even an empty fox burrow. Whichever, it would be needed quickly. 

Isabelle nudged Ivory, impatiently gesturing to the depths of the forest with urgency. They sprinted off into the forest, treading through the snow’s barrier, only for the thorn bush to be torn apart by a frightening rip that echoed through the gaps in the trees. The rustling itself seemed angry, as one may cry out in painful agony when they are indeed torn in half. 

Ivory’s throat went dry. She thought they would be safe by then! She looked around frantically, blinking the snowflakes off of her eyelids, and Isabelle ran past her towards a cluster of trees a couple feet away. Around the corner the coyotes stopped, sniffing around the base of the trees, and Ivory nimbly crawled over to where Isabelle was. She found that her sister had climbed inside a hollow tree, which was still standing, yet very much dead. A centipede, long and yellow, crawled sneakily across the bark and Ivory grimaced at the sight, but jumped inside nevertheless.

And as soon as she got inside and warily turned around, the coyote’s big yellow eyes and snarling teeth appeared in front of Ivory and her whimpering sister.