Originally Submitted to FurAffinity.net on Sep 25th, 2016 08:10 AM. Before it was transferred to Inkbunny it had 194 views and 12 favorites.
Yes, I remember, I met him once.
It was years ago, when the seasons had just begun to grow cool.
The one who said he could soothe the anguished spirits in the cave.
That place. The place none but the bravest.. or most foolhardy, dared to go after the sun died each day.
Yes, he came to our village that day, a quiet wolf who wore the clothes of the ghost road.
Straight to my master's tent he went. He was humble and respectful, and after tobacco was given and trade goods offered, he said he had heard their cries in a dream, and it was his mission to help them.
The elders sat in council, my master among them, and cautioned him not to go.
Only a few had braved the cave where the light could not reach, urged by their fellows or to impress their courters, and those who had not immediately run from the cave in a fright had staggered back to the village hours later, bodies scratched and bitten and eyes unseeing for days.
But the wolf shook his head, and spoke to the elders as he paced the Old Circle.
Within his dreams, he had walked those ancient caverns, far beneath the earth where the sun's light could never hope to reach.
The dead ones, the darting ones, they who screamed in the night, eyes of cold fire and breath like winter's kiss,
They were not the cries of vengeful souls, screaming out for the blood of the ones who sacrificed them so long ago.
No.... They were lost, trapped below in the darkness of the depths, crying like frightened children and yearning for someone to comfort them.
They were not murdered, they were not sacrificed by ancients. They were simply lost souls, pulled to that place like helpless leaves in a river's current.
The boys who foolishly ventured there were as ones caught by a drowning person in a lake, clutched at, clawed at, begged for help in a voice they could not hope to understand.
The village was silent when the wolf finished, and after a moment's counsel my master finally spoke.
We allow you to enter the cave, honored one, and our prayers with you.
By then, the violet mists of twilight were upon the village, and the wolf immediately went.
Straight to the cave, he walked, and not once did his paws hesitate in their stride.
My master and I went with him, but he bade us wait at the cave's mouth. We watched as he went inside, and his torch vanished below as he climbed down, down, and down.
He made his camp there, and all night long, he prayed.
He filled the deepest depths of that terrifying place with sweet smoke and ancient rites.
He answered each anguished cry with a soothing prayer.
And when dawn with her rosy fingers spread across the village, he emerged from the cave, weary and disheveled, and greeted my master and I with a peaceful smile.
Down to the Old Circle he went, and the elders were summoned to meet him.
The ghosts are soothed, he said to them, and a new shrine rests within the cave.
To my master, he presented a medicine bundle, gathered from within the cave's walls, urging him to store it with the others in our village shrine.
He would accept only the customary gift of food and a waterskin, and this he did with humble thanks, before he blessed the village once more and went on his way.
And ever since, the cave has been quiet and peaceful at night, for the first time that anyone can remember.
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1 week ago
16 May 2018 10:49 CEST
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