If you start during this part of the story, you will be thoroughly lost. My recommendation is to read Parts 1 (here) and 2 (here) before starting this segment. “Shadow Wolf” is based on a writing prompt posted by Intuitive Writing Guide:
“What big teeth you have, Grandmother!”
“All the better to––”
“Eat me with?”
“I was hoping you wouldn’t notice.”
“Yeahhh, I’m not sure why you thought that would work.”~ Mirriam Neal
Without further ado, here is Part 3!
I see gray. Lots and lots of gray. Oh, and that gray’s darker! It’s like a big ol’ shadow––wait, nope, there are lots and lots of shadows, comin’ toward me. I step back, but they’re behind me, too. I shriek. My head hurts.
A shadow touches me. It’s all slick and nasty, leaving a wet, dark stain. Then all the others think they can do it too, and they start squishin’ me. I wail, trying to twist away, but the shadows keep coming. I can’t see! I hate these shadows!
Mommy? Daddy? Stella?
Then, there, a bigger shadow––big and wolfish, but not wolfish like Daddy. Daddy’s a fun wolf. This is a mean wolf; I can tell. It’s got a hole in its head that I think is its mouth, and now that it’s comin’ closer, I can see two lil holes for eyes.
I don’t want it to come closer. I want it to go away and stay away. I wish I was at home or in Endellion or somewhere other than this nasty, awful shadow place.
“You’re the girl who can jump between worlds,” the wolf says.
I cock my head. “How d’ya know that?” I didn’t tell him! Can he read my mind or somethin’?
“All that power, but look where you are. Your shoebox isn’t here to save you now.”
My head hurts more. The shadow-wolf keeps gettin’ closer. “Stay away, wolfie.” My voice shakes.
“Your friends have abandoned you. The creatures from Endellion––where are they when you need them?”
Stella and Freya and Lysander––I bet they could help me. They could get me away from this shadow-wolf. So where are they? Don’t they love me? My breath hiccups in my throat.
“Stella!” I cry. “Stella, where are you?”
“She’s dancing across the water without a care in the world.” The wolf is real close now, pressin’ against me real tight. I shudder. “She doesn’t care.”
“Stella!” Tears spill down my cheeks. Why can’t Stella be in my world? Why can’t she be here? It’s just me and the shadows. I don’t wanna be in the shadows. I wanna be in the light.
“Just let go,” the shadow-wolf whispers.
I wipe my nose. That sounds real nice. I’m real tired, and maybe the shadows will leave me alone if I just go to sleep.
Stella. Whimpering, I sink to the ground. The shadows still creep ’round me. “Go away!” I cry.
“You’re stuck with us.”
I think the wolf is tryin’ to grin, but it looks real weird since he doesn’t have teeth.
Teeth. Wolf. Why am I thinking of Daddy? Of a basket? Of pain in my head––
“Let go,” the shadow-wolf says.
I rock back and forth, holding my head. “My head hurts,” I moan.
“It won’t hurt if you let go.”
“Stop fighting, Marielle.”
I hate the shadows. I hate the wolf. I dunno where I am, and I dunno where Stella is, and I’m tired, and I wanna sleep, and my head hurts. I wish I were in Endellion. I wish Stella were here.
There is one more part to “Shadow Wolf.” Come back tomorrow to find out how the story ends.