ENDOCRINE WOLF





Introduction.

The time had passed; where the forest stretched as far as many moons travel would take wandering paws. The pack ruled the territory they marked and took only what they needed, selecting the weak, the old and in times of need, the young. The lean season ran short and there was no need for gluttony.

Their small world grew only a little with each generation.

In these times, in the dark season, the Humans cowered in dark caves, huddled about small fires, clothed in the skins and fed with the meat of the animals they chanced upon, weak enough to be taken down with stones and clubs.

There was animosity between the wolves and humans. The wolves tolerated the competition, but took it as no serious threat.

In the dark winter nights, the humans developed greater cunning and honed their tools, not having teeth and claws with which to hunt. Hunting became a great craft of the humans.

A war over territory was waged and the wolves took many casualties and lost much of their territory. The two warring factions now had to compete for the same animals as a food source.

The humans took some of the wolves young, whose parents were slain and raised them as their allies to hunt the herbivorous beast of the forest. Some of the herbivores were taken as young animals and raised to no longer be wild.

The wolf young, raised by humans were charged with guarding the vulnerable slave beasts, the humans kept for food. Humans became adept at breeding their stolen slave animals and required greater grazing pasture. The humans began to burn and fell the forest, driving the wolves further away and threatening the numbers of the pack.

As the forest died, the native grazing animals were depleted. The balance disrupted, the wolves no longer could take only of the sick and old. Hunting became a greater risk, having to chance running down whatever beast the pack would chance upon. Prey became scarce and the wolves; desperate, brazen, ravenous. They made raids on the human settlements, to find food, taking of the livestock, bred by the humans.

The humans struck back at the wolves and began hunting them to protect their herds, the living beings that grew from the young of the free animals of the forest.

The humans thrived in this new way, bending the natural resources to their own needs, destroying the forest. As the forest died, so did the old way of being. The balance had tipped beyond a point of return, the cancer had instated itself.

As the human civilisation grew, the wolf became demonised and a bounty was placed upon the wolf's head. Soon the wolf was brought to the brink of extinction.



I.

Its breath tore ragged, rasping, bellowed by strained ribs. Adrenaline coursed, fear, flight for the sake of its life. In the wake of flight, the beast left the remnants of a destroyed territory and murdered pack.

Speared by heavy iron, then to be ripped apart by its own cousins, the callow moronic slaves of the most dread enemy, the humans, that hunted down the remainder of the kindred. Into the night, towards the mountains it fled, guided by the the great goddess that watched over the night.

Away from the thick polluted air of humanities civilisation.

Instinct, all that it was, all that it had. To survive the grasping hands and whistling barbs that would destroy it. Away, into isolation.

In the mountains, the air grew much colder, the beast slowed, the air burned as ice, deep within its exhausted lungs. The wolf found a nook among rocks upon a narrow mountain pass, into which it fell, totally drained.

Huddled in the lee of the wind and relatively safe for now, the wolf shut down, collapsing into a pile of ragged fur and bones.

Emaciated from many hard winters, the life it knew was an endless struggle. Born into a diminishing pack of survivors, the band of wolves sustained themselves only on small rodents and the occasional kill from a raid upon the outlying human settlements. Such raids were risky and the spoils of plunder scant, the greatest share of which, was saved for the the new-born.

In these bleak times the alpha pair still chose to mate, it was in their nature, the need to prolong the bloodline sang in each of their hearts.

In this season, the hunters had come upon them, when the pack had thought they had fled to safety, seeking new territory at the foot of the mountains. The Alpha pair stood to defend their pack and were the first to fall, their severed heads raised as grisly tokens of war by the humans. The pack dispersed, fled as small groups and stayed on the move.

The wolf had not seen many of its kin for the moons since the attack, that had seen the end of the alphas. The wolf could only presume them dead. It’s own companions that it had fled alongside, were dead by iron and fire and the teeth of the abominations that were once of their own blood.

Now alone, the wolf saw it had little chance of survival, no conceivable hope of starting a new, with no mate. It was possible that all of its kind were now but bones beneath the roots of young trees, from as far as the forest would stretch, across into the dead world of the humans.

In the dead world, smoke billowed and strange smells overpowered the winds. Navigating these lands was murmured to be next to impossible.

The wolf sank into the abyss of exhausted sleep.



II.

Startled, awake, panic, the smell of danger. Grasping calloused hands fell about its throat, pulling the wolf from its nook. A solitary human, smelling of bitter and foul scents, hauling the wolf out into the morning air on the mountain side, the flash of iron, the human meant to kill. The wolf scrabbled, tore with its claws, bit down, became wedged between sheer rock and the human. The wolf thrust outward and felt the weight of the human shift. The human shot back and fell. A cracking came from the human’s head as it met the rocks littering the floor of the mountain pass.

The human lay twitching, strange sounds emanating from a gaping mouth. A froth burbling, spilling onto flushed and blood flecked cheeks. Weak and prone, the human was at the wolf’s mercy.

The helpless biped stared wildly into space and for a time seemed to fixate upon the wolf, who watched it quizzically, now certain the human no longer proved threat.
The wolf had the scent of the blood. It spurted in small jets from the back of the human’s head, turning the rocks onto which the human had fallen, into a glorious crimson tableau.

The wolf felt the bitter acid sense in the pit of its stomach, it ravened. In this human it saw the hunter, persecutor, torturer and murderer of its kind. The wolf surged upon the prone form of the human. Biting deep and tearing in a frenzy, the wolf's maw was soon crimson like the rocks. The steam rose up from the gaping wounds about the humans exposed face and neck. It had stopped twitching some time before the wolf was done tearing away its fill of the meat.

The rage abated. The wolf became calm. Within this state of calm, the wolf experienced a clarity and felt the dim presence of understanding, an alien sensation. It looked to the back of the human’s head. There among the blood and fragments of shattered bone peeked out the grey matter. The wolf sniffed and sensed an importance behind getting to the grey matter. Gripping the human’s head, the wolf worried at it, causing the head to hit the rocks many more times until there was more of the grey matter free of the skull. The wolf carefully picked with the keen tongue, separating tissue from shards of bone, taking time to consume what it could of the grey matter.

The wolf’s appetite and curiosity were both satiated. It knew that where this human was, more were certain to be.

The wolf fled further into the mountains, where the pass became more narrow and treacherous and the trees grew more thickly.



III.

The wolf again slipped into unconsciousness, having found what appeared to be a safe place among the cold peaks. This was not, as before, the sleep of exhaustion and was disturbed by strange dreams. Dreams harking back to the earliest memories the wolf had of its pack. It dreamed of its hard life and how the humans had always been a constant threat. There had been little comfort or happiness, many had fallen, but life continued and there was a sense of determination and promise that the wolves would find safe haven and that some new harmony would be struck in this fractured world full of enemies and suffering.

Now, all of the pack were gone, their scent eradicated from the winds. The wolf had no kindred with which to share the goal of new life in peace. It was plain that existence could continue but there seemed little purpose. Humanity was the main cause of this total sense of despair the wolf now felt, a gaping void of emptiness, beyond which was only death. The concept of destroying itself was not even something that the wolf had in its comprehension, instead there burned a bitter need for revenge.
Revenge. As a concept, it felt alien, but was clear and understandable. The wolf knew this way of thought to be of human origin. An understanding of the humans began to swell in its mind. It felt the greed and fear that drove them. It felt the jealousy and animosity between all of the humans. It sense how they had no bond with nature and sought only to destroy and bend their environment to their own ends, at the cost of all other living beings, which would in time become slaves to humanity. Disharmony, pollution, destruction.

The wolf was sickened by these thoughts and craved retribution, annihilation of this parasitic race. To see their bones rot to dust, upon which the strong roots of a new forest would feed.
How could this be done? Even if it continued to live until the moon fell from the sky and every green thing that covered the earth had withered, could it overcome the curse, this plague of humanity?
To not die was a start. How could this be? The wolf understood somewhere in its dim cognitive process, that it had only recently come to find such order to its senses, which it now began to recognise as thoughts.

This was human, not wolf. The wolf had eaten of the human grey matter, of the thick stodgy organ that gave off the effervescent tingling sensations which now travelled about the wolf’s body.

The wolf felt itself growing, slowly, as the trees grow, ever so slowly, as the worms move through the earth, ever so slowly.

To continue to put order to its thoughts, it must have more, more of what came from the humans. To think like them would be to understand them. The wolf could fight its enemies on a level battlefield. The humans had iron, cold hard and deadly, the wolf could wield that, but not with these claws and teeth, it must have hands and the cunning of a human to master the techniques of such implements of destruction. The wolf saw its next task clearly: to enter the dead world of man, to feed from them, learn, assimilate, destroy from within, like a sickness that comes under cover of night.



IV. 


Before Dawn, the wolf crossed onto the barren earth of the humans settlement and slunk into the shadows of their defences. It felt it was now larger and a little cumbersome. The wolf’s body was racked with dull aches, it could feel its bones shifting, moving, forcing it into a less sleek position for running on all fours, but more of a hunched crouch that favoured its hind legs.

Hunger, aches and nausea began to cloud the wolf’s faculties. It knew it must feed soon, or face the prospect of madness at the torture of these pangs and bodily discomfort.

Take the weak.

The wolf was in no state to battle or bring attention to itself. It kept to the outskirts of the settlement, lurking, awaiting suitable prey. Young humans, strong and healthy passed in pairs, holding iron tipped spears, guarding their settlement.

After some time, the wolf spied a hunched from, bearded and shuffling. The wolf could smell the decay and reek of disease from this human. It knew it could take this passer by with little fuss.

The wolf came up behind its prey and launched to its throat, cutting of a startled cry. Semi conscious the prey was dragged into the shadows. The wolf found an abandoned structure that stank of long departed cattle, the dark smell of the faeces and urine still clouding the atmosphere.

The wolf crunched away the remainder of the weak humans life force, biting hard into its throat, ripping at the meat of the bitter tasting and hormone drenched thyroid and parathyroid glands. The rancid taste of the human filled the wolf’s senses, it knew it had not selected its prey well. Choking on the elderly and diseased blood and fluids of the human, the wolf hunched and vomited.

Relieved a little, the wolf turned its attention to the human’s head. How to cleave the skull, so as to try the grey matter?

The wolf found a large curved and rusted iron tipped implement. Its changing paws had come to a form that could just grip the shaft of the old scythe. Swinging, it drove the point down hard and direct at the face of the dead human. The scythe cleaved the paper thin flesh of the forehead and partially staved in the weak and porous bone, before bouncing to the side and wrenching at the weakened shoulders of the wolf’s newly emerging form. In discomfort, the wolf struck again and again, until there was nought but a mushy soup of what had once been the human’s face.

The wolf fell to all fours and begun to pick through what lay before it. Sifting out chunks of the grey matter it sought. The wolf ingested its prize and took to its heels.

Again the wolf retreated to safety, away from the settlement and found a nest to sleep and dream. It dreamed more of the ways of man, of their atrocities and of their passions, the dreams of its victim. The natural sense of rearing and protecting their young warmed the wolf only briefly, seeing this as only perpetuation of the plague of humans. The wolf began to convulse now and sweat in fever in its sleep. It felt its bone shift, crack, begin to splinter and pierce soft tissue. The wolf lurched upright in its nesting place, retching and gasping at the pain. The wolf vomited, continuing to heave until its ribs cracked with the effort. More fluids came and blood began to pore from its nose and ears. Such pain! The wolf quivered, lurched, shook, seemed to be disgorging into a puddle of what was itself before its own eyes. The wolf convulsed and made to huddle into itself, feeling the crunch and crackle of its form being broken. Despite the pain the wolf’s mind was very clear, it understood the change it was undergoing. To fulfill its pledge of revenge, the wolf must change, it had found its immortality, so there was no level at which it could die, even from a total bodily disintegration.

Now the wolf had disgorged and crumpled to the point of being nought but an empty sack of skin and shattered bones. Before it, the gruel of its insides, mixed with the old humans chewed remains.

The wolf must re-absorb what was lost in order to reconstruct itself in its new form. The wolf ate. The process was almost unbearable. It understood this, from what was becoming its awareness inherited from the humans it had eaten of, still, the wolf must continue, or be doomed to lie here inert.

Eventually, done with its hideous feast, the wolf was left weakened but changed. Exhausted, It knew it must rest and build strength.

At first light, the wolf emerged ravening and entered again the dead world of men on its hind legs, sticking to the shadows.

It took the prey it needed again and made a feast of the grey matter and organs that would provide the wolf with more raw material to aid its metamorphosis.

The wolf continued its life in this way, taking of the young and weak humans in the depths of night, when they were unsuspecting. It came to know of the tails spread amongst the humans, as it travelled through the civilisation of man, ‘beware the thing that comes at night.’

At times it was confronted and pitched battle against the strong and bold humans and despite wounds that would destroy a mortal creature, the wolf escaped peril and endured. It continued to grow and learn with each consumption of human tissue.



IV.


What was once wolf, was certainly no longer. It moved towards human form, but was immortal, so like neither animal, but an entity unto itself.

This immortal creature still held its vow of revenge, it lived in constant agony from the perpetual change taken from every meal, each fresh consumption brought new human memories and characteristics. When the wolf could eat of the healthy, it remained in good health for such a time until its body began to reject the alien tissues. If the wolf consumed the sick or dying or in times of desperation, the dead; it would be weak and shuffle like a deformed corpse through the world.

The wolf found its way about the globe, stowing away on ships for months, working its way through the crew and emerging in new lands to hunt fresh new humans and learn of their ways, always trying to find an answer that would bring this parasitic race of creatures to an end.



V.


The wolf encountered tribes of humans who lived out in remote areas of the world and had little connection with their civilised cousins. These humans worshipped and revered the nature that sustained them. They lived in harmony with their ecosystem, but were threatened by their ever greedy cousins, who invaded and destroyed the gentle habitat and ways of life.

These humans were lead by wise ones who partook of certain concoctions, using sacred plant to help them see into the natural world and find answers for their plight.

What was once wolf, learned of these humans and travelled to find them. They had expected the immortal creature and welcomed and venerated it. The learned humans fed the beast with concoctions that helped balance and regulate its form and heal the myriad diseases that it had earned from its diet of the weaklings of humanity.

The learned ones introduced the wolf to the sacred plants that would bring clarity and new light to the immortal’s quest.
The once wolf ingested these preparations and partook of the rituals and saw what was to be seen.

Humanity, a parasitic race, feeding upon the host, Gaia, mother of all living things. Ravaging and polluting, until there was total imbalance. Ripping minerals and metals from within the earth, the humans had found a power source, one they wished to control, but had naively underestimated. The had made weapons of it and destroyed large parts of their civilisation and the natural world through catastrophes due to their arrogance.

A place, ‘Chernobyl,’ a site of great destruction and suffering. No human would now spend more than a day in this area, as they would become sick and be more prone to premature death - something which all humans feared so greatly.

However, in this abandoned place of humans, wildlife grew in abundance, the trees reclaimed their rightful place, dislodging the edifice of humanity and providing a new home to the animals that were migrating to and breeding in this land.

What was once a wolf, such a long time ago, saw this and laughed aloud to itself in a dark and guttural way of satisfaction, for at that time it saw that new life was inevitable after the destruction of humanity. The constant quest to bend the earth to their will would be the final undoing of the human race. The nature of the success of humanity would be its undoing, so all resources would be depleted, the race would continue to breed. War would result and the weapons would not be contained. Humanity would reduce itself to radioactive dust, which after a great passing of seasons, the wind would clear and leave the earth free again for harmony to re-establish.

The wolf saw it had little purpose in revenge now, as the humans would complete the job, in due time and the world would heal. However, a guardian must remain to maintain balance and harmony. The wolf, now more connected with the plants, could see what it should eat to maintain its corporeal form, but also saw that it could journey beyond the physical realm with the right introduction of chemicals to free its spirit.

That which was once a wolf, now a being of un-mortal existence, knew of its inextricable bond to the earth and would remain a guardian and witness to a new order.








Written in 2014 as part of the Endocrine Wolf Project. 

Thanks to T. Greenway - Lyrics and Vocals.

Music, Story and Art by S.J. Bloxsidge

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