Finding The Answers | By: Nabil Hossain | | Category: Short Story - Adventure Bookmark and Share

Finding The Answers

Finding The Answers

     The owl’s cries gave voice to the eerie shroud of darkness that covered the mountain overpass. A thick cloud of mist poured into the vast chasms below that obscured all view of the blanket of snow covering the valley.  The steady fall of snow continued outside. The warm glow from the embers inside the cave brought little warmth into the single body curled up beside the fire. Jason slowly moved to an upright position and fed some more wood to the waning flames. The cry of wolves echoed and gradually grew, captivating his attention. As the howls grew faint, Jason returned to his poorly made bed and curled towards the warm embrace of the fire as the dreams took over.
As the sun rose over the horizon, Jason woke and packed his bags. He doused the lingering flames with some snow, and started climbing up the mountain. Jason had embarked on a journey, but it wasn’t just for sightseeing. He sought out answers, answers that he had no answer to. Questions like “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose?”. These were questions that were constantly plaguing Jason’s mind. He needed isolation and he was intent on finding the answers on his own.

A deep trail of footprints followed Jason as he trailed up the mountain. As Jason walked, he suddenly heard the sound snow being trampled. Jason froze, slowly craned his neck to look back,  stumbled back, and fell into the snow. A great white wolf stood feet from him on a small sloped hill. It remained motionless as it set its great brown eyes upon him. Jason felt a little relief as he gazed into the wolf’s eyes. They held no hunger, nor malice; instead they exhibited a sense of curiosity and dull admiration. Jason slowly rose to a standing position and cautiously walked towards the wolf. The beast gave no sign of acknowledgement as Jason slowly lifted his hand and pet it. The wolf instantly sprang up and pounced onto Jason as his hand came into contact with the wolf.

Jason closed his eyes awaiting the pain, but instead he felt his face grow wet and hot. The wolf started licking his face and jumping up and down. Jason got up and started to play with the dog.  After a few minutes he got up and brushed of the snow on his jacket. He pet the wolf once more and left the dog behind as he started to walk up the mountain. As he walked, he heard the shuffling of the wolf’s feet behind him. He stopped and tried to turn the wolf around.

“Sorry buddy, I have to go alone”, said Jason as he attempted to coax the wolf away. He turned away once and started walking; however, he looked back and found the wolf following him. Jason stopped and started petting the dog. “You’re a persistent one, I’ll give you that much. But you still can’t come with me, I have to find these answers alone.” He turned back to gaze towards the top of the mountain. He started walking up, and he was rewarded with the silence of feet behind him. He looked back and saw the wolf sitting motionless staring at him. It hurt Jason to leave him, but it was necessary.  He turned away from the wolf and continued up the mountain.

As the sun began to set, Jason started building a camp. He dug a small hole for shelter. The sun eventually set, and stars came out. The moon illuminated the dark sky as the stars shone around it. The moon was much larger viewed from the mountain. Jason thought back to the encounter with wolf. He wondered where it went and what it was doing. He missed the wolf. It was the first encounter with a living being in a long time. He wished it were with him. The howls of the wolves in the distance only worsened Jason’s longing. Jason had bad dreams that night.
Jason continued up the mountain when he suddenly saw a quick movement through his peripheral vision. He quickly got down as an arrow buried itself a few feet in front of him. He looked around for his attacker, but he only saw the snow. Then three more arrows flew through the air in quick succession. Two arrow buried themselves in his leg as the third hit his chest. Jason fell into the snow as the snow went from a pure white to a dark red around him. Pain shot through Jason’s body and his senses tuned acutely articulate. He saw the final arrow that could end his life in the matter of a breath. Time seemed to slow as the arrow grew closer. Suddenly, a white shape shot through the air redirecting the arrow and rendering it harmless.
The wolf stood in front of Jason with the arrow protruding from it breast. It snarled once towards the general direction of where the arrows were being fired from and collapsed as Jason cried out. Jason spotted the aggressor far off on a cliff wearing a white suit that camouflaged him. He saw another arrow being readied to fire, and this time no one would rescue him. He knew that the aim was true and this arrow would pierce his heart ending his life. He would die without answering the many questions he had. Jason painfully crawled over to the wolf, and laid his head on the wolf’s chest. There was a faint heartbeat; the wolf was barely clinging to life. If Jason was going to die, then he wanted to die with his only companion and friend he’d ever known. He closed his eyes waiting for the end. The arrow flew.


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