a short story I chose to write for my English gcse
It was a cold, moonlit night in the mountains of Canada, an aerie silence hung over the valley and the surrounding area, and a light mist hung over the valley, the mist was so low that it was as if someone had put a blanket over the mountains. Orion and I were concealed behind a bush: we were hiding so that we didn’t scare the bear we were watching, we had been watching this bear for hours upon hours and he still hadn’t done what we wanted him to do which was to take the bait, we had left out so that we could tag him and monitor him. We took turns to watch him through the long hours of the night and at just before Orion woke me he was on his turn and I was really hoping that he would stay on just long enough to give me some sleep because I really needed to sleep but that hope was shattered when he woke me and told me it was my turn, I had been asleep for less than half an hour and I was still tired but Orion looked a lot more tired than me so I gave in and took my watch.
As I took my turn I was thinking that another three hours awake was going to be of any use after we had spent so long watching this stupid bear. You could tell by now that I was getting agitated and no longer wanted to be here but I had to be because of my role towards Born Free. While on watch I started to doze off but every time I did I forced myself to stay awake then after about the fifth time of dozing off I remembered that I had some Kendal mint cake in my rucksack which was supposed to be for the walk down but it was now which I thought I would be needing it most. Well anyway with the help of the small amount of moonlight that was seeping through the leaves of the bush I managed to find my bag, but that wasn’t the hard bit of getting the Kendal mint cake that came a couple of minutes later and those minutes consisted of trying to find and retrieve the bar without making any sound I did this until I came to the main compartment of the bag which was where near enough everything was (certainly everything which made the biggest noise) and I got half way down the opening when my hand struck the safety blanket and the crackling noise of that split the silence my head shot up and we met and when I say we I mean me and the bear and I also mean that only our eyes met or so I thought. If this was the case the bear seemed to ignore me completely and carried on lying there ding nothing. As for me well after the bear relaxed so did I, I managed to find the bar but after that tense moment with the bear I didn’t really need it because I was by now wide awake but I still broke a piece off the bar and started to nibble it not really taking any notice of the taste of it at all.
After I finished the piece I went about watching the bear again but this time only subconsciously and I took no notice of the time which swept past me. But suddenly there was a nose which did spring me back to reality that was the distant howl of a wolf. As the howl faded off into the distance leaving only an echo behind, as the echo faded I woke up Orion and we both sat there watching the bear and listening to every miniscule sound that happened from the crack of a branch to the creak of a grasshopper, from the pad of paws to the squawk of a bird. While we were listening something happened that I was waiting attentively for which was the sound of the second howl but this time the howl didn’t fade anyway into nothingness it started to fade but soon the whole valley was alive with howls coming from all directions.
The howls were accompanied with loads of padding of paws. We knew something was coming but we didn’t know where from, then we saw them the shadows as dark as the real thing dancing vividly around us in the light of the moon: they were everywhere we looked encircling us trying to scare us. But that didn’t scare us half as much as the next thing which happened this was the beast which the shadows actually belonged to.
The wolves came from all over the valley, and they weren’t just one size either. But then we saw one wolf which wasn’t running with the other wolves but was gliding from rock to rock coming down the side of the mountain then at the bottom he made his biggest jump which was from the base of the mountain right over the top of us and into the space beyond, but he didn’t stay there not at all he soon wondered over to us and stood there staring into the bush. We all froze each studying the other but also both thinking. We were so still it was if time had just stopped for a couple of minutes. But while this was all happening I was thinking; what is going to happen? Where we soon going to be food? Or had we just got a safety warning?
The wolf that was studying us was dark grey in colour but under the fur you could see quite clearly that he had been in many fights, because of the number of scars he had some fresh and some not so fresh but he still had them, from the scars we came to think of him as the alpha male. Then he stopped looking at us and wondered over to the edge of the clearing and looking over his shoulder for one last look at us he ran off down the valley with the other wolves in close pursuit.
Orion and I dashed out from our hiding place and watched the wolves as they wound their way down the valley as a river would wind its way to the sea. After all that had just happened, it was over so quickly and the area where we were went back to the way it was before we had even entered the clearing.