"Where is the path to Paradise?"
SPOILERS: Episode 1 and 6.
By Ariss Tenoh
A gentle breeze blew under a clear night sky. It teased the silken petals of the blossoming flowers and bent the blades of green grass to flow in waves across the earth.
A very young wolf cub was trying to pounce on a purple butterfly.
The butterfly danced upon the wind currents and the tops of flowers as it gracefully led the cub to chase it in circles.
The cub's silver, almost white fur, became dotted with green bits of grass and yellow flower pollen. He growled, though it came out more like a yap, and pounced with all his might on the butterfly...
Only to fall on his face, crush a flower, and have its white petals decorating his head.
The butterfly's wings fluttered to show their black swirls, and they carried their owner away from its overenthusiastic predator.
One of his ears twitched. A petal fell from his head to land on his nose.
"Kiba", his mother, a gray wolf lying near him, admonished gently and exchanged an amused look with his sire.
The pack leader, a large silver wolf, gazed with love at his only son before turning his golden eyes to his pack.
The other wolves were scattered around the field of flowers under a black sky that twinkled with the light of a thousand stars.
The full moon had risen tonight. The Spring Moon heralding the awaited arrival of the year's best season.
A black wolf was licking her two cubs clean.
A blanket of white flowers spread over the valley floor.
A one-eyed wolf lay with his mate.
Blooming flowers with pure white petals, which encircled a faint purple center and bestowed a sweet bewitching fragrance upon the air.
A shimmering stream wound its way through the flowers. An aged brown wolf drank from it.
The world was alive again after Winter's slumber. The hunt would begin and the kills would be plentiful and more young ones would be born.
It was paradise.
A swell of joy and pride surged through the silver wolf's being at his pack members and the good tidings of Spring.
He threw his head back and let out a cry at the full moon.
Soon, the other wolves joined him in a long howl.
The wind carried the chorus of voices, a prayer song, as an offering to the full moon.
Kiba looked at his sire and mother, and pouted. It was not fair that he could not participate in the adult ritual. Well, at least all the other cubs couldn't either.
He used his small paw to try and remove a petal that was stuck between his ears. It was causing a severe itch at the moment.
He didn't seem to be succeeding. The petal was firmly lodged in its place.
The silver cub crouched low and almost buried his face in the ground as he tried again. He kept trying to reach the petal.
He finally removed the annoying thing. He raised his small head and....
And he saw his mother's still body in front of him. He blinked and turned to look around.
His other pack members were all lying in the same way.
Dead? His mind asked.
There was a scorching heat in the air. He turned to look sharply at his surroundings.
The wind was thick and black with something he couldn't identify. Orange, yellow and red waves covered the ground.
It was so hot. Hotter than the noon sun at Summer.
The cub remembered a lesson his mother had taught him last Summer. What had his mother call this heat?
But mother said it killed us if we were near it. Kiba began to grow afraid. He couldn't see his mother anymore because of the black wind.
He watched with a sense of wonder and fear when the fire ate the wolves' bodies and left them hard and black like rocks.
Fear and instinct made him run.
Run blindly. Anywhere, anywhere, he had to run to safety. His mother would find him. She always did. And his father would scold him at wandering away from the pack again. And the other cubs would stare in awe at his bravery.
And the world would be all right again.
His small legs ran as fast as they could.
It's all a dream. A dream. When I wake up, everything will be like it was.
It's just a dream
The silver cub ran. And ran. And ran. And ran.
Until he fell.....
.......... Snow fell from above.
The sky was gray. The earth was bare of life. Ensconced in layers of snow and ice, it promised a white death for any lost in its midst. Nothing grew and nothing roamed the earth's surface.
Among the dunes of snow, a body lay motionless on the spot where it fell.
The body of a silver white wolf.
The wind blew a curtain of snow past the body.
For a moment, the body was that of a young adolescent boy.
The snow shifted again like white sands.
And it was the wolf lying there.
Only the wolf's golden eyes distinguished it from the mass of white surrounding it.
The golden eyes stared blank and empty at the land before it.
Only one question echoed like a hollow wind in Kiba's mind.
Where is the path to Paradise?
~ End ~