Long Snows Moon

by Stacey Darlington

A young socialite finds herself hurled from her comfort zone of luxury and self-denial into the esoteric world of animal magic. When her pet wolf/husky hybrid, Long Snows Moon, plummets from her car window to the forest below, Devon Danforth must explore the haunted woods to find her. During her drunken stumble through the forest, Devon finds love in the arms of Jameson Jordan, the Native American girl she met as a teen during a family skiing vacation. During her sexual awakening, Devon discovers her own animal nature and her wild family lineage.

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Her night vision was excellent. From her vantage, she noticed a mouse scurry under a root. Perhaps it sensed her presence and feared her. Her mission was not about a mouse, she was there to observe a transformation. She was a sentry, a protector, an ardent spectator. She was quiet and invisible. She was empathic.

She watched Devon Danforth topple down the embankment, then her drunken spill into the woods. She suppressed a maternal urge to help. Devon would be more afraid than comforted by her presence, besides, to soothe was not her purpose.

The forest floor seemed offensive against Devon's backside. The bloody gash on her forehead crystallized from the frigid winter air. Her ragged breath formed a cloud as she gasped from the bumps and bruises she gained from her fall. She strained to distinguish the unfamiliar sounds around her, the rustling of leaves, and the hoot of an owl. She was a city girl with her non-sensible shoes and her flimsy garments. She’d grown into a beautiful woman, of course, she had, but she was scattered and lacked discipline. She needed to learn.

A lewd root made her yelp. She used a low branch to pull herself up. Her eyes were wild as she searched the dark woods for foe. Beauty paid no homage to this goddess this night and the haunted forest did not give a damn what she looked like.

The occasional sounds of civilization receded, no more headlights, or winking taillights, marked signs of civilization. The clouds coveted the moon and begrudged a single wish in the sky. It seemed Devon had nocturnal vision because she screamed when she noticed the bear towering above her.

She scrambled to sit, tried to stand but fell backward, again, victim to the rogue root. She huddled on the ground and trembled, waiting for the bear to make its move.

Fumbling with numb fingers, she untied her monogrammed scarf from around her neck. She waved it in the air as if the bear would see it as a flag of surrender. The bear did not surrender. Its desire was instinctual.

"Long Snows Moon" by Stacey Darlington


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