Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta wolf. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta wolf. Mostrar todas las entradas

martes, 17 de febrero de 2015

Creatures of the Blast

   The place was dead silent, which made Lina smile. It was weird to be in such a building with that overwhelming silence. It was a bit scary but also kind of freeing. The place was enormous and it offered great possibilities to explore.

 She knew that the city had been vacated by its inhabitants many years ago and everything had been left just as it was back then, when they all stopped doing what they were doing, work or school, shopping or exercising, to leave the city they had been living for so many years.

 Lina checked her oxygen tank and saw everything was working according to plan. She had the impulse of checking it every few seconds, thinking she might be contaminated if she wasn’t careful. But the air, as she investigated with a rod-like apparatus, was not as polluted as they had thought. Of course, she couldn’t just remove the mask and start breathing. That would’ve been a very stupid thing to do.

 This city had been the victim of a nuclear attack. Well, not the city properly but a military base located about fifty kilometers to the south. The winds that day were gentle so the city was washed in chemical residue, but it was contaminated anyway. People had time to take shelter because, after all, it had been war and the government had installed an audio system to alert the population of an incoming attack.

 They were all certain it was going to come. They had no doubt of that. The military base, as everyone in the country knew by now, had been used to launch several drone attacks on several targets and it was obvious it was a prime target for their enemies. But they had also thought it would come in the form of a bombardment, setting the city and everything around it on fire.

 But that didn’t happen. Well, not like that anyway. The nuclear blast tore down every major building although some lower ones still stood, as if defying that act of war. Lina had entered one of them, against the wishes of the leader of her group. She felt she had to enter, as it had been the one were people had not been able to escape. It was a television studio building and they had stayed behind to report. So they died, doing their job.

 Lina gathered a few flowers and put them on top of a big rock, which seemed to have being part of something else. She said a short prayer and then left the place. It was probably not very safe to stand beneath a building that sounded like it would collapse in any second. But she had an impulse and had to attend to it.

 When walking through the streets, back to her ATV vehicle, she noticed something strange. She had already felt eyes on her during her stroll around the city, but now she was certain something had been lurking next to her, all the way from the building to her transport. She started to sweat, but tried to relaxed and attributed it to the sun, that was very bright and no clouds stopped it rays from reaching the ground.

 She got to the ATV but then she felt movement behind her. She ducked just in time to avoid being hit by what looked like a very big and hairy black dog. Or maybe it was a wolf. It seemed enraged; his eyes red and his teeth yellow and covered in white foam.  It looked at her and she tried not to move to suddenly. If maybe she was able to get on top of her ATV… But the creature looked at her, already in position to jump again.

 Just when Lina’s thought raced to have a solution for the problem, the wolf creature howled to the sun. That was very strange to see, as the throat and in general all the body of the creature, seemed to crack and move horribly as he howled to the skies. It was as if it was the last thing he would be able to do. Effectively, he dropped dead, or so it seemed, seconds later. Lina didn’t look at it for a second. She jumped into the ATV and raced through the streets back to the compound at the other side of the forest that was used as a natural border of the city.

 All the way back, she still felt she was being followed. But it didn’t matter. She just pressed harder for full throttle, sweating like crazy. The ATV jumped on branches and tree roots when arriving at the forest. She couldn’t stop there but then a large creature jump in front and, stupidly, she pressed the brakes. That action made her body flies several meters over the forest ground, landing loudly on mossy soil, which was very fortunate.

 Her back hurt a lot but she stood up fast, limping. She realized she had twisted her ankle but that was not important. The camp was too close to stop now. She walked for a few meters to a tree and looked around. Her ATV was apparently unharmed but she couldn’t see the creature that had crossed her path.

 It seemed to her that this one was larger that the wolf she had seen in the city. This shadow was larger, more ominous. She regretted pushing the brakes because it was clear she could have continued with no problem. The shadow had only crossed in front of her, clearly not trying to knock her down. It did it miss?

A growl. Lina was already leaning on the ATV when she heard it, if she could, she would have screamed. The creature came out from among some tall bushes, by two thick oaks that appeared kilometers high. This one wasn’t a wolf but, like that one, it was looking right at her. She moved because her injured foot was hurting too bad. This did not seem like a good idea as the creature growled louder, visibly annoyed.

 It was a horrible animal, if that was what that thing was. It walked on four legs but rather clumsily, as it had not yet learned to do it properly. Differently to a dog or a lion, its knees were thicker but its body was as covered in fur as much as any other creature of the woods. It moved towards Lina, who tried not to make a sound but that proved difficult as fear was making her move all her weight right on top of her injured foot.

 The creature moved closer and, oddly enough, seemed to clam more and more as it came into contact with the woman. It sniffed her and she felt her odor: it was disgusting. It reeked of blood and spit and dirt. She tried hard but her body shook like mad. She inevitably collapsed to the ground and thought the creature would know attack. But she was wrong.

 For some reason, the strange animal stood there, looking at her, as she was the most interesting thing it had ever seen. This relaxed Lina a bit who looked straight into the eyes of the animal. Somehow, she knew it was a male, something was clear about it. She couldn’t see her genitalia, to be honest it did not seemed to have any, but she just felt he was a male.

 Against anything she knew was sane, she stretch one of her arms forward, very slowly. The creature was not scared by this act. In fact, it almost ignored it. But that was until Lina moved her fingers, trying to reach his head to stroke it. The woman now had all its attention. The creature and her appeared to be blocked by an invisible filed, about to be broken by Lina’s hand.

 And then it happened. For a single second, she saw something in the creature. She actually saw it all, as a whole. And she understood. She pulled her hand back and the creature roared. Then, a whistling noise was heard and the creature dropped unconscious.

 It had been Robertson, the leader of Lina’s group. He stood by a tree, with two others, and a rifle on his hands. He had shot a tranquilizer to the creature. They walked towards her and Robertson rode her ATV with her. It was a short journey to the camp but she needed to tell him before anyone else knew.

-       Jay...
-       Yeah?
-       That creature…
-       He’ll be fine.
-       He’s a human, Jay.

 He couldn’t look at her as they were just arriving to the main tent but he was visibly unsettled by this discovery.

viernes, 24 de octubre de 2014

Lake Akhizgraz

When you go to Batong, you'll only hear one story over and over: the legend of Lake Akhizgraz. In the shops, coffee houses, department stores, the market, by the pier or on the hillside, everyone single person in the region knows the tale of the lake that rests near them

According to many, Lake Akhizgraz came to exist when a meteorite fell to Earth and transformed the region. Some scientists agreed and other did not. However, one could argue that hills surrounded the lake on every side except one, were Batong had been founded.

Legend also said that there used to be an island in the middle of the lake, long before the city existed. Everyone said the island was not attached to the bottom of the lake and so it moved around slowly over the water. Now, some stories differ: some say the island was not an actual island but a gigantic animal that roamed the waters. Others say the island had always been there and that it still was but sunk to the bottom.

Anyhow, they all agreed the island had been the home of the first settlers that, enchanted by the lake, sailed to the island and built a house there. It was a couple, man and woman. She was pregnant and they stayed as she was unable to walk anymore.

The baby's name was no other than Akhizgraz. They say is a name in an ancient language meaning beautiful lake, but that too hasn't been proven. The truth was that they lived happy for about ten years, until something happened.

One night, after supper, the family heard a voice calling them from the water. They came out of the house to find a wolf walking on the water. Yes, that is what they say. He was silver and from his eyes came a white light, piercing and impossible to stand for long. The wolf told the family that they had been good to this holy place but that danger was imminent and that they should leave the lake immediately.

Father, mother and son discussed it all night long, each giving reasons for staying and for leaving. But in the end they decided to remain in their house as it was the only home they had. The couple had gotten there after getting lost in the desert and escaping poverty and they had no desire of going back to that.

So they lived there one more year and then a storm came. An awful storm, black and twisted, carrying sand from the desert. Their house was almost destroy by a fire started by a lighting that hit the tallest part of a nearby tree. It lasted for hours and the family just begged for it to stop, as they held each other.

And it ended, as fast as it had started. The wolf appeared again that night and told them the storm preceded the arrival of a stronger evil. He said the spirits now considered them part of the lake so they would protect them as long as they could.

Only a week passed until Akhizgraz, chopping wood with his father, saw something on the plain side of the lake. He thought the ground was shaking and told his parents the storm was back but then they realized it wasn't the storm. It was an army.

They had covered the house with leaves and grass days before and now just watched what happened. The leader of the army walked along the shore slowly and the kneeled and put one ear against the ground. He then sent three groups, one to each cardinal point in the lake, so to cover all its extension.

And then the family heard the explosions. Brutal and overwhelming. The ground was lifted and so they created three more entries to the lake. The family hid for days as more men arrived. The yhad brought machines and rapidly installed them. They were mining and drilling and taking the water to feed their industry.

The lake begin to die, slowly. The wolf appeared once again and told them they could only save the lake if they destroyed the machines so they planned an attack on the army. They all feared death but their life was one of many that would be destroyed. So they went on to sabotage machines and causing malfunctions.

But their leader was smart and one day caught Akhizgraz when he was about to sabotage one more drilling machine. As he knew a boy this young couldn't be in the forest alone, the cruel man stood in the know cleared beach and called for them. Mother and father watched their son but knew that revealing themselves would mean no one would be left to save the lake. And their son indicated to them, by single blink of an eye, not to come out.

The evil man killed Akhizgraz with a knife and threw his body to the lake. This action was decisive: the forest and its spirits revealed themselves and fought along the now grieving parents, destroying everything that the lake wanted out. With superhuman strength, everything was thrown away and the men were swallowed by the ground.

Only the leader was left and it was the mother, now enraged, that killed him with her own hands.

Knowing the sacrifice of Akhizgraz, the lake and its spirits decided to honor the family for ever. On each of the new entrances to the lake created by the army, the spirits created new mountains, taller and more beautiful than any in the vicinity. And they created them using the body of the son and of his parents, that decided to part the world as the pain of loosing a child was too great.
Soon after that, the spirits used the island to carry the souls of the family to the afterlife.

Nowadays, people say the tallest mountain around the lake, just across from where Batong stands, is the one built from the body of Akhizgraz.

Once every year the city celebrates the sacrifice done by the first family to settle in the lake and thanked them for their strength and courage.

There is a temple by the lake too and they say that if you go there in a foggy day, you may be able the see the wolf spirit that took the family to their final resting places.