My pulse raced at the sight of the wild animals so close to me and my sons.  My breath steadied as I herded the children in to the house.  No need to panic them.  I called the police who arrived quickly and took off to do a parameter run along my fence.    

I walked around the side of my house when I heard a low growl from behind me.  There he was, a large and shaggy dark gray wolf, deep black eyes outlined with a silver mask.  His teeth were barred as his nose wrinkled back.  Slowly, my hand reached out and my fingers grasped around the slim, cold handle of a rake I left there the day before. 

Walking backward slowly, I drew him away.  That was not my intention.  I just wanted to get away.  Alive.  His growl grew louder and my voice grew softer.  Yelling for help was about as effective as if I threw a Kleenex at the animal.  But I tried.  My scream was hoarse and low and worthless.  Of course. 

My neighbor’s front door was steps away from me.  Sidestepping and keeping the rake between me and the wolf, I pounded on the thick panel of glass on the door.  Movements inside caught my eye and the outline of a head and shoulders came in to view.  The low murmur of her voice and lack of return response from whoever she was speaking with indicated that she was talking on the phone.  Having a great conversation and apparently irritated that someone was slamming her door.

The wolf came closer and swiped a pancake sized paw with four sharp talons at me.  My rake poked at him but it’s only aluminum, and it’s not going to do me any good if he lunges.  Which he is about to do.  His back legs squatted under his body and his eyes drilled in to mine.  I pounded harder and tried to make my voice work.  My neighbor, a petite older woman who lives alone, finally opened the door a crack.

“He’s gonna spring!”  My voice sounded strange to me, raspy and surreal.

“What are you talking about?  Why are you pounding on my door?”  Anger flashed in her beady eyes, her phone was pressed against her shoulder.

“If I’m pounding on your door, then you should assume there’s an emergency!”  Idiot.  “Let me in!”

She finally peeked out and saw the gray beast just feet from me and opened the door wider.  I slipped in and slammed it behind me.  Out her front window, we could see the wolf and the smaller coyote, seemingly best friends, sniffing around her lawn.  Isn’t that odd?  Two different species working together to find food?

I ran to my neighbors’ back deck and yelled at the officer still in my backyard, informing him of the animals’ location.  Was he going to be able to handle them on his own?  There was something not normal about this situation.  We have coyotes all over the place and they always skitter way at the sight of humans.  NPR recently had a report that the wolf population in Washington was rising, a good sign of their reintroduction.  But what the hell was a wolf doing in a suburb of Seattle?  And why weren’t they afraid of us?

I welcome any feedback on my writing and any ideas on what could happen next in the story.  My dream took a left turn after the above scene, and there’s nothing else interesting to post about it. 

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