Doric had a serious look to his eyes.
“What is it?” Melina prompted.
Doric cleared his throat. “Maybe it’s nothing.” He smoothed his beard with one hand, looking into the fire. Melina waited, and after a moment of contemplation he turned to her and spoke. “On the trail, Brash was a little behind me for a ways. Then he came up—I think he’d been running but didn’t want to show it—you know how that is. Anyway, he came up and said, casual like, that he thought he’d seen a wolf in the trees, sort of following along with him, paralleling his track. Wolves do that, you know. It scares the wollies out of folks, but I think they do it just to check things out, get a feel for who you are.”
“Was it a wolf?”
Doric gazed into the trees beside the path, his eyes hooded. Melina waited.
“I offered to go and check, and Brash, he hemmed and hawed, but you could tell that’s just what he wanted me to do. Finally I got him to take me back to the spot. Didn’t find any tracks, not a sign of anything since the snow fell. Brash, he says, well, maybe this isn’t the spot, looks like it but maybe it isn’t.”
“So, you think he imagined it?”
Doric considered that, looking again into the fire. “No. Brash saw something—” He turned back to her “—but it wasn’t a wolf. I think he knows that too.”
Melina didn’t know whether she was being chided or not. In front of the others, yes, Doric would do such a thing, but it didn’t seem his way to frighten her for no reason. She wanted to ask what he thought Brash had seen, but she knew she wanted to hear only a safe answer: a shadow, a bird, a patch of fog. She didn’t want him to answer something that doesn’t leave tracks.
|What I Write
Wolf is a professional actor, artist, editor, photographer, poet, singer-songwriter, woodworker, and writer, and an amateur everything else. If there were 48 hours in the day and he never slept, there still wouldn’t be enough time to pursue all the things he’s interested in. Wish him luck.