Sunday, October 26, 2014

fictwrig6 Minerva

by Will Wright

Minerva’s belly was full. She wasn’t a kit any longer. She had to hunt for herself. It was good to feel satisfied.
Her den was far away, and she was sleepy. The night was cold and windy. Foxes have thick fur, but she wanted to find a warm place to sleep.
She found a small den. She sniffed at the opening. There was a badger inside. A badger will not share a den with a fox.
Two coyotes were in the dry creek bed. They were curled together. They looked warm. She missed her kit mates. It was warmer sleeping together.
A rabbit hopped by. The rabbit saw Minerva and hopped faster. Minerva wasn’t hungry; she was cold. She let the rabbit go.
There was a clearing. It wasn’t like she remembered. The trees were gone. Now there were only stumps.
Minerva spied the trees. They were all lying down in a pile on something tall and hard. The thing smelled strange. It looked dangerous.
The trees looked warm in that tight pile. She would be comfortable if she burrowed into the trees. Her den was far away. She could be cozy right here.
She jumped up on the tall thing, and burrowed into the trees. She was warm. She fell asleep.
After a while, Minerva woke up. Something was wrong. The trees were shaking. There were strange sounds coming from the tall thing. It smelled like fire!
She climbed to the top of the pile of trees. It was difficult. Everything was shaking. The wind was blowing. It didn’t feel like any wind she’d felt before.
The pile was moving. It was going very fast and taking her with it. How could a pile of trees run faster than a fox? The tall thing must be a beast—a beast that smelled of fire.
Other beasts like the one that held the trees moved around the pile. The near ones ran with the pile, like wolves run in a pack. The far ones ran past them, going the other way.
They were loud and smelled like fire. Each one had large eyes that spread light like the moon in front. They had smaller red eyes in back.
Minerva wanted to jump. She wanted to run away. She wanted to find her den. She was frightened.
The pile of trees ran too fast. She couldn’t jump. She burrowed back in the pile. What else could she do?
She didn’t like the noise. She didn’t like the rumbling. She didn’t like the smell of fire. But, she was warm in the pile. She went to sleep.
Minerva woke up. The pile had stopped running. She climbed to the top of the trees. The running beasts were still near. Their eyes were open but the moonlight wasn’t shining out.
The stars were very close. They hung from trees and steep hillsides all around her. Most of the stars were white. Some were red or green or blue.
“Merry Christmas,” an animal barked. She had seen one of these animals before. It was a human. They were dangerous to foxes.
Minerva jumped from the pile. “Look, a fox,” barked another human. “Call animal services.”
Minerva ran. The hills were tall and in every direction. They were too steep to climb. Narrow valleys ran between the hills.
Everywhere she went, Minerva saw more steep hills. Humans were everywhere. So were the running beasts, some with moon lights shining, but most without.
There were trees. Trees only grew in the valleys. Each tree was by itself, far from other trees.
There were animals too. There were squirrels and birds. There were animals that reminded her of coyotes, but they were different.
There were cats. There were almost as many cats as humans. The cats didn’t like her but they left her alone.
“There it is,” a human barked. Minerva heard a bang. There was a tooth in her side. She ran in a circle to see her attacker but couldn’t find one. She fell asleep.
Minerva awakened. She was in the clearing. There were stumps all around. A human was nearby.
“Merry Christmas, little vixen,” barked the human. He walked away to a running beast. The beast made a roar. Moonlight shone from its eyes.
She was in the woods again. There were no more tall hillsides and narrow valleys. The trees grew in clumps.
Above her, the stars were far away. Only one was a little red. There were no cats. The running beast went away.
Now she knew the human greeting bark. It was, “Merry Christmas.” They didn’t harm her, but she didn’t want to see them again.
Minerva started walking. She was walking back to her den. She decided it wasn’t so far away after all.

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