Nic Sebastain wolf girl She packed a small bag with rain, high wind and a dozen words. She stepped into a reed coracle and set off down the bruised and swollen river. The coracle sped downstream, past the wolf families on the river bank. Wolf babies like fresh cinnamon, wolf teens like spring hail, wolf mothers like hot blood and oboe song. The beauty of wolf pierced her and she wept, but already her bones had become hollow. Her lungs had thinned and packed themselves against her spine. She breathed through her stomach now. She was ready. She released the rain and the wind, loaded the words from her bag onto her crossbow. Now the coracle raced over violent water under blue-dark cloud. Her aim was steady through the rain, fixed on the Wolf Mogul, who watched her from the far bank with yellow-black eyes. Had he cared to, he could have reached her in one bound. She fired the leaden words at him in quick succession, heard twelve blood-thuds, saw the Mogul fall. The coracle shot over the falls into a thousand-foot drop and she heard a root-cracking behind her, as if a sky pillar had fallen. She heard the voices of the wolf mothers and wolf children rise in terror behind her. Have I done a good thing? she asked herself, in the last moment she could ask anything at all. As she fell, a thick life curtain dropped and new breath flared. She skimmed out of the waterfall mist on a storm petrel's cry, wheeled mindless on an updraft, set course for the open sea.
T he M eadowland R eview Summer 2013