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Quantum Musings

Raymond Coulombe, Michael Gallant, Timothy O. Goyette
Outrunning the Storm

Michele Dutcher
The Stang

Harris Tobias
A Fisherman's Guide to Bottomdwellers

Michele Dutcher



Ralph Alley

Smokey is mine.

I gazed over his fuzzy-looking hair, a dark side of grey that comforts her eyes. Smokey rolled over the small piles of leaves, then he got up and chased his tail around. A smile crept across my face, enjoying his excitement of seeing me again. Eventually, Smokey stopped and sat on his bum with his tail wagging crazy. His fur covered with mud and pieces of leaves. I breathed on him, a sweet minty breath that cleaned off all the leaves and dirt leaving his fur fuzzier than before, making Smokey a little ball of fur. I giggled, lifting him my right hand raised, a wind that sends Smokey levitating to the level of my eyes. His soft cobalt blue eyes touched my heart, his soul filling my chocolate brown eyes. I have my other hand petting Smokey. It only resulted in another chilly wind that caused Smokey to shiver. I cuddled him in my arms, and softly gliding above the ground. Smokey squirmed and wiggled in my arms, then fell asleep fast in my arms. I stared at my wolf pup in silence, couldn’t find the right word to describe how full my heart was. I turned back and crouched down to a hole on the side of a hill above the trees. I can sense another presence inside; a more friendly and mother-like, I put Smokey down to the ground at the entrance. I got up and started to glide away.

I thought of the day where Smokey and I met. It was the day I roamed the earth a few years ago. I shivered in the same white wedding dress that I am still wearing. I still have the golden ring on my finger, a promise that I broke by my fantasy of loving a werewolf. Anyway, I was crying near a small cave, a few feet away from a river that is the heart of the forest. I can remember the water coming out of my eyes, my head aching in pain that is reflecting the pain of my heart. I watched my tears fall and the tears running down the ground to the river bank. At the middle of my weeping, I heard a small howl. I looked up, scanned over bushes and wander around for the origin of the sound. Eventually, I discovered Smokey’s mother in a small hole on the side of a hill, a midnight black-fur wolf looking like a furry blimp on the ground. I went in with my head since the hole wasn’t big enough to go through in with my whole body. She was breathing heavy, and when she looked at me, she growled but didn’t move. With a shaky hand, I rubbed her head and stomach till she wagged her tail.

She then made a groan of pain. I scooted closer and whispered in my wind-like voice, “What’s wrong? Are you having stomach problem?”

Then she gave another groan, and I heard a thump. I turned, and the miracle unveiled before my eyes. Two little balls of fur snuggled close at the end of the mother’s tail. My heart almost burst, my mouth went to a large o. I kept my mouth shut, and I picked one up, and a smile appears on my face for the first time. It stared at me, and it's nose quiver as if trying to smell me. Its eyes were closed, and it shivered in my hands. I said,“Why hello there little one. You’re a cutie, I want to call you Lucy, like me, but I am Lucy so it would be a little confusion. Since you are a girl and having black fur, I’ll call you Midnight..”

Midnight was Smokey’s sister who sadly died a year ago from some hunters. I looked down and put down Midnight. I picked up the second one and it was like the mother, except the nose wasn’t quivering or shiver. I said nothing, a dreadful thought telling me that something is not right with this pup. I checked on the heart of the other pup, and I can sense a rhyming beat. I check on the pup before me, and I don’t detect one. I stayed quiet, my eyes becoming wet again and I whispered, ‘You’re, you’re dead… Dead.”

A memory went before my eyes, a dagger that is held by my hands and is high in the air. I then I had a hard time breathing, and I fell to the ground. Darkness befalls to my eyes, and I only made a soft sigh as now I can forever join with my love. But Death and Life are so cruel to me

Tears fall on the pup, making a blue light and I finally sense a heartbeat. The blue light dimmed down as I smiled, the pup snuggled close to my chest, and I hear snoring coming out of him. My heart’s strings were tugged, I then whispered to its ears that I decide to call him Smokey since his fur reminds me of smoke that I smelled before my fleshy body failed me. A year later, he is resting with his mother as I walk away, remembering the beginning of our friendship.

Rustle, rustle.

I froze. I slowly turned, finding a metal barrel shooting out of a tree. I looked in the direction of the pole; its target was on Smokey. I dropped my jaw, and immediately stand in front of the pole, finding it to be what I predicted, a rifle. A shadow loam over the gun and I saw a bullet blazing out of the gun, and I brace for the pain. A feeling of cold pierced my chest, reminding my brain that I don’t have a physical body. I jerked my body to Smokey, sleeping like an angel. I wanted to scream for Smokey to run=, but my heart went up to my throat. The bullet landed on its target, a place above the left leg of Smokey. 

Smokey squirmed a bit; a soft cry broke into my heart. I watched blood slowly drip from his body, leaving him motionless on a pool of red. My eyes dilated, my hands covering my mouth, my heart dropped like an atomic bomb to Hiroshima. I ran to just being above Smokey’s body, fell to my knees, and reached my hands for Smokey’s body. My hands raised Smokey up a bit; I try to sense his warmth, a begging feeling that I wanted to cherish for a long time. I want to pet him so severely, to cuddle him, to have him close to my heart, but I can’t. I felt my cheeks cooling with some liquid, a salty taste reaches in my mouth. 

Footsteps echo closer to me; I turned to find a man-like figure over me. A hat overshadows the face, only to have the jacket looking like tree branches. The being reached out its hand, passing through my chest. The man shivered, I turned to my back, finding him checking on Smokey. Another hand went through my chest, and the two hands picked up Smokey. My hands reach out to its fullest length to grasp Smokey away; the man apparently is taller than me since I can’t come into contact Smokey. Smokey’s body went out of my sight, but I raised up to find the man leaving with Smokey’s body. A soft cry started to creep into my throat; I felt another presence close. I went all directions, only finding Smokey’s mother sitting next to me making such sad whimpers.

At those cries, something within my heart snapped, I felt a sudden fire starting to burn within me. I stared at the mother, and she looked at me. Her golden eyes softened and looked damp. I laid my hands upon her head and breathed on her with a fraction of my soul into her. She started to shake and jerk around the ground as if she has a headache. Her whimpers were weak and her paws frail in the air as her transformation begins. Wings of a black crow spring out of her back and a red hole began to appear, almost close to the spot where the bullet killed Smokey. A skull covered the mother’s face and a symbol of a black fire burned on the space between the eyes of the skull. Black with white pupil eyes glowed from the eyeholes. Another tail, a skeletal one, sprang out of the mother. Her paws were unfleshed and turned to bones. The ground around her changed instantly, the soil becoming black with the grass turning to a color of a bear’s fur.

I slowly glanced at the man, he was observing what has happened, but I can smell the salty sweat, and his muscles are twitching. I pointed my finger at him and made a scream. The mother passed me with such speed that she sprang at the man in 10 seconds flat. The man fell backward to the ground, sending Smokey to fly through the air. I jumped, softly levitating from the ground, caught Smokey in my arms, and I slowly fall to the ground.

I placed Smokey on the ground and found the mother still on top of the man. I approached them, only to see a shot of lighting in front of them. The mother yelped, falling to the ground and a sudden pain stabbed through my arm. I ignored the pain and dropped to my knees next to the mother. The mother looked up at me with a line of red blood across its face, one eye looking poked. At the corner of my eye, the man scrambled up and dashed. I gently touched the mother’s face, and I let a tear fall to her injured eye. Soon, the blue light started to glow from her body, all the skin separated binding together, the eye regenerating itself, and the bullet on the ground dwindled. The mother looked at me, and I nodded. The mother gave chase, escaping my eyesight from the bushes.

I followed, smoothly soar close to the ground. Tall tree stalks pass by me, small snowflakes now falling to the ground, and the sun is coming down from the sky. Shadows cover over me, but my heart has one destination that it's determined to go. I scanned the ground and the high branches of the man. After a few minutes of searching, I heard a man-like scream and a shout of “Get away!”

The scream came from a decreasing slope near to the river where the man is lying prone to the ground with his rifle. The mother crouched down to a battle mode to the man, growling in her throat. I sneaked upon them, without giving any reaction. However, the mother turned her head to me, and I can sense her two tails wagging. I gave the mother a gentle pat on the head, another cool breeze, and was about to the give the order to finish the man off. As if it was possible, I heard a pup cry, a sound so familiar to my ears. I went behind my back, finding my Smokey on the ground, all alone in the white-turning dirt, snowflakes damping his fur. A rip started in my heart, a tear rolled down my face, and the mother charged with Smokey. I reached out my hand to her, not able to give her a warning. A scream caused me to jump, and a bullet went through my chest. I froze dead and only having a second realization what is going to happen.

I let out a scream, a cry of pain and anger, a cry of being sick of all the unfortunate events that occurred in my life, the losing of my lost love, the betrayal of my family, the genocide of thousands, all in just one word, “NO!”

The silver bullet acquired its target, a spot where the hole that was opened by our fusion. The mother collapsed to the ground, and a sharp knife-like pain struck my heart. She fell to the ground with a heart-wrecking whimper. I hurried to the mother, checking her mist-like breaths and her eyes moving around. I glanced for Smokey, only to find him behind me. I reached out to grab him, but the man got to Smokey first. The mother and I whimpered, the man backed away from us. Soon, I started to sing, a song from the past:

“Sweet little pup,
Go to sleep so peacefully,
Sweet little pup,
Dream big with ease.
Never fear my little pup,
My shattered heart bleeds for you,
Listen to my Wolfsong,
Let it carry you to the Stars.
Sweet little pup,
Go to sleep so peacefully,
Sweet little pup,
You will forever be in my heart,
For all eternity.”

The man froze and jerked his head around the place, trying to the find the origin of the sound. I had my body condensed, the man jumped away and his hat taken off. His hair was long and had a beard reaching to his neck. Wrinkles encrusted as if time did the makeup. His small eyes opened wide by my appearance, his jaw dropped to the ground.

I looked up to Smokey, his paw hang so lifelessly and his eyes were closed, almost like he’s sleeping, except for the continuous drip of blood that falls to the ground. I can feel a force of water below my eyes, swirling and wanting to burst from my eyes. Then I fell close to the ground, I tried to keep it in my throat, but I can’t stop it. A loud cry came out of me, reflecting the state of my heart. The sob turned to me wailing loud, and repeat a sentence to the man, “Why me? Why me? WHY ME?!”

Tears ran from my eyes, falling and wetting the ground. I can feel a knife in my chest, that one blade I hid so long from plain sight. I glanced down at my chest, a steak knife buried in the center of my chest. It doesn’t hurt me anymore, but it still there, a regretful remainder of my shadowed past. I had lost my long lost love, I lost my family, I missed the chance of saving hundreds of innocent lives, and with just one selfish thought, it all went out of my hands.

I looked up, finding the man having a shiny line on the left side of her face. We both stared at each other, minutes that felt like hours. I directed my eyes to him to Smokey, a silent plea of union love, then I started to speak, my voice with such heavy sadness in my throat, “Sir, please, give me back my Smokey. I love him with my broken heart, and he is the only wolf that I love. Now, you murdered him, and I am now lonely in this cursed world. Please, don’t him away from me, please, I beg you with all my heart. If you are kind enough, give Mother Nature back her children and let me rest in peace with Smokey. Please, I beg you, give me back Smokey.”

The man gazed at me and then shook his head. He walked away, Smokey’s head hangs out over the man’s arms. His eyes then went open, staring at me blank, yet life was long gone. I reached out to him, but the man disappeared from the falling snow. I turned to the mother, but she is gone too, her eyes also looking at me in guilty. I turned around; a soul is nowhere at sigh. Another cry escaped from my thorax, I fell to the ground and letting my eyes pour out. My tears create a small puddle, making it bigger by the second. Eventually, I raised my head high to the air and let out a mournful howl that I am sure it echoed through the woods. All of my anger, sadness, regret, pain, and love puled this howl, a reflection to my heart, cracks and a hole ripping my heart in half. My dress swirled like a hurricane while I was the eye. My howl soon died down, my head aching with such throbbing headache and a numb feeling spread through my body. My eyes seem to feel heavy, slowing closing and I fell to my knees. I looked back down to the ground, and the next thing caused me to jump back.

It’s a wolf pup. He is sitting on his bum, looking at me with a tilted head. My hands covered my mouth, and my eyes widened before the sudden appearance of the pup. He looks so familiar, it can’t be, I saw him in the murder’s arms, but he sure looks like him. A small whisper came out, “Smokey?”

He wagged his tail, and I smiled from ear to ear. I let out my arms and Smokey jumped and landed in my arms. I laughed, and Smokey started to lick my face, a warm and sticky feeling. A weight went off from my heart, and I got back up. I rubbed my hands against his fur, soft and fluffy as I always thought it would be. Then I gave kisses all over Smokey’s head, and he wagged his tail so ferociously that I can use it as a fan. My heartfelt ripped before, but I felt my heart sewing its isolated pieces together. I rubbed his smooth little head, he closed his eyes and made a soft sigh. Realization hit me, how can I touch him? Wait, he’s dead which mean… Of course.

Smokey cuddled next to my chest, just below the knife. I allowed my hand to comb his fur for a while until Smokey got off my lap and trotted over on top of a trunk. I glanced in his direction and finding a bright light coming out of the sunrise, and it makes a path before me. Smokey turned his head to me and made a whimper as if asking me to go with him. I stared at Smokey and back at the path. I turned back to the rest of the woods, the cemetery of the place of my death and grave. My time has come, I have been worthy of peaceful rest. With a deep breath, I grabbed the handle of the knife and attempt to pull it out of my chest, but it felt like drawing a shovel out of semi-dry concrete. I made a groan of pain, hearing Smokey whimpering in sympathy. The knife went out, a red stain appear on it, and I dropped it to the ground. I smiled at Smokey and picked him up. I cradled Smokey and walked through the lighted path while singing the lullaby to Smokey, the words of our eternal afterlife, and it is the Wolfsong.

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2019-01-14 18:59:26
A00558517 - Interesting! The diction and grammar, however, are somewhat odd in places, but that's more of a non-issue. In my opinion, it's the story itself that matters.

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