Marcus' Darkest Hour

Marcus, with no consideration to his own safety, jammed the Glock in his pocket and lunged forward.

The cable had snapped; Braun, Gallin and the rest of the cable had fallen down, just before the flat bit beside the control room. Marcus threw himself forwards and reached out to seize what he could of the cable car - but his hands missed the seat by inches, and he seized the joint instead. Blood welled up around his hand, but he pulled the lift, almost slipping down the steep slope himself, his ungainly ski boots having no grip on the terrain. Braun had fallen out a little way away, and he took up Mr. Gallin's recumbent form and gesticulated to Marcus: "Get up! We've got to get to the top..."

Like a flash out of Marcus' peripheral vision, a black wolf slunk out from beneath the trees. Marcus struggled like a newborn foal up the slope, seeing the curls of silver cable, the smell of blood and the whimpers of wolves in his nose and in his ears.

"Jessica!" His voice was strangled and desperate. Jessica appeared at the top, and immediately stooped to help Braun. Marcus struggled up the slope on his own, his heavy ski boots flailing against the snow...

Something grabbed him from behind. Marcus whirled round - and was faced by a big, black wolf.

It was his move first. He kicked, but the wolf had his trouser leg in its jaw. Marcus waved his arms at it, and the wolf leapt towards him.

Marcus threw all his weight into the push that he now gave the animal - as it flew towards him, he grabbed its muzzle and literally pushed it away. He was astounded at his own strength. The wolf crashed in the snow, and Marcus fumbled for the Glock. He found it, but the wolf came for him again.

It bounded up the slope, its lips frothing, its eyes alight with the fire of madness, as Marcus scrambled up the precipice. He aimed the gun, and, panicked, was just about to shoot - but it was upon him once more, snarling and drooling and biting -

Marcus grabbed the animal by the scruff of the neck. He had never wanted to hurt an animal, and never had; but this was different. The animal in question was trying to kill him. Marcus wrestled with the wolf, catching the odd scratch around his face, while the Glock lay, a black smear in the red-and-white snow, waiting.

I've got to get to that gun, thought Marcus. Then the battle will be won...

As he was having this thought, he wrestled the rabid wolf by pressing it against the snow and holding its neck, trying to throttle it, just like the psychopath always killed the protagonist in one of those crazy thriller films. The wolf was snarling and fighting back, and Marcus' thoughts were racing with panic as he watched those rabid jaws close to his face. He had to think...

But of course. He was doing this all wrong.

He was a human being. The wolf was a wolf.

What advantages does a human being have over a wolf?

We can stand up.

Marcus struggled to his feet. The wolf spat, snarled and snapped at him, writhing in his arms. Marcus could barely feel his muscles from the cold, but he raised the wolf above the ground with every ounce of strength he had, he threw the damned animal as far as he trusted it.

The wolf hit the snowy slope and skittered downwards.

Marcus searched for the Glock, and fell over. As he saw the wolf bounding towards him, his ski glove closed around the gun, and he raised it, pointing it at his adversary, and fired the last bullet in his life.

The End

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