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The wolf speaks

You have me wrong. You think I feed my hunger but it is my hunger that feeds on me. The darkest part of the heart keeps beating. There is no escape. Eat lives in the mouth of death and that is how we live. No matter what you call it we are all beasts. What I stalk in you is what you stalk in me.

I never asked for this. This fur, these claws and teeth are carried like your cross. This endless need for flesh. I run away from it, hide myself in the forest, away from farm houses, from cities and towns, away from men with their axes and guns, away from their livestock, their women and daughters, deep in these woods, away from the sun. My life is a shadow, a shade so deep that the sky is a dream. I run through the night, but hunger hunts me like the moon. And so I keep howling.

Even then you can't stay away. You walk through the woods in a blood coloured coat, searching for me. I become prey. What instinct brings you here? Lamb of God, what is it you want? Am I not also a creature of God? Granted, not a lamb, but none the less a living feeling creature, like yourself.

And so you are here, and I have become your grandmother, and yes, I have big teeth.

Don't pity her, for she wanted me. The cruelty of youth is that you outlive it. Time is a hunter that traps us all. Our scent of love goes stale, and yet, inside the witch remains the girl, imprisoned in herself, still needing, yet no longer needed, still wanting, yet no longer wanted. Live long enough and you will see. The desire of youth belongs to youth. Live beyond it and there is nothing to do but live lonely, resent and await death.

Your grandmother was waiting for me. There'd been decades since anyone wanted her in the way I did. You could see it in her eyes, the reawakened flicker of that yearning girl, wanting out, her body warming, quivering, once again ready to receive. Granted she was afraid. Mortality makes us all afraid to live. Wary she was, but also weary, ready and resigned to fate. I did her a favour.

So here we are, but fear not me, for I am your saviour.

Fear your woodcutter. He is not to be trusted. Do you not see? I am true and honest to my nature. True to the world as you are to me. I am as you see. I live in my skin. Yet look at him. He feigns goodness, conceals his true self. Lamb of God, look at his coat of lambskin. Look at his rawhide boots. Your righteous protector, wielding his axe in the name of peace, in the name of love, yet without question, he is a murderer.

We are the same, you and me. Do you not see how he looks upon your flesh? Do you not see it is you he wants to possess? His tired act of hero and villain is trickery, designed to keep you indebted to him and to make me a terrorist, to make me the enemy.

See him now. See him wield his axe in the name of God. Watch him cut me open until I bleed. Weep for your grandmother, yes, but my blood is red, the same as yours. See him cover my fur with it, so much red, until my coat is just like yours.

He is a fool. A dangerous fool who will not stop. He will certainly kill me and, like your grandmother, I will be glad of it, for I am ready to rest. But even when I am dead he will not stop. For he is hungry and he will kill, thinking he is right to do so, thinking he is wielding justice in the name of God. He will not rest until we are all dead. He will kill you and then he will turn on the world. He will kill and kill and kill and never stop because he will never know that what he is trying to kill will always live. What he is trying to kill is what he fears most. It is the darkest part of the heart, and it is not only in me, it is not only in you. It is in the deepest part of himself.