Ichor Falls

Wolves of the Stillwood

by on Nov.21, 2008, under Submitted

There are no wolves in the Stillwood.

The gray wolves of Virginia were made extinct over a hundred years ago. According to the regular surveys by the National Forestry service, no sign of any such animal has been found since 1900. The occasional reports of large predators, just after dusk or late at night, usually by the occasional hiker or party of campers in the Stillwood (residents of Lower Alethia, nearest the woods like myself, know better than to try), receive the same tired reply from Animal Control.

“There are no wolves in the Stillwood.”

When a pet gets lost in the dark of the Stillwood and never returns… or worse is found, mauled, the blame falls on the usual suspects: foxes, wild dogs or teenagers with too much time and too little compassion. A few years back, when the Bradleys, a little family brand new to the Falls, had their boy David go missing from their own backyard, never finding more than scraps of his jacket and a little blood at the edge of the forest, the official response was adamant: this was a kidnapping, not an animal attack. Old-timers like me just shook our heads and muttered to ourselves:

“There are no wolves in the Stillwood.”

So, if you want to sleep at night this close to the forest, keep your doors locked tight and your shutters closed fast, if just to buy some peace of mind, to stop you from catching a glimpse of the Stillwood late at night. And should you somehow find yourself walking near, or God forbid through, the woods some evening, head home as quick as you can. Try to ignore the sounds of the night wind, howling as it does… it will only make your imagination run wild, after all. And should you see what cannot be polychrome eyes, shining through the mists from the underbrush or somehow in the branches above, or even through your gauze of your windows should you be blessed enough to make it safely home, take what comfort you can in this thought.

There are no wolves in the Stillwood.

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12 comments for this entry:
  1. Tom

    this is proof that emphasis can make a story

  2. ilitchev

    I’m sure this wasn’t the intent but the title “Wolves of Stillwood” placed right before the first line “There are no wolves in the Stillwood” was really funny in an ironic sort of way.

    Also, the use of italics to change the emphasis of the phrases was really well done.

  3. Sean

    oh.. this is one of my favorites so far… I love all the denial and misleading..

  4. format

    i love it. it goes from being in denial to much much more. it’s amazing how putting the emphasis on wolves makes the entire story take a jump into something supernatural without even saying it.

  5. Rowr

    Brilliant.

    I read this story this morning, and really enjoyed it then. I have to walk through a small park to get home – I just had to walk through it, about quarter to midnight, and the path that leads through it leads through a small wooden copse.

    There was a fox sitting on the path, and it was staring right at me, and the first thing I thought was:

    “There are no wolves in the Stillwood.”

    Thanks for haunting my trips home for the next few weeks :P

  6. Archfeared

    Excellent use of emphasis. Totally changes to story.

  7. Ashmedai-Rex

    Epic… best story on this site. Who is the author?

  8. Andrew VanOrden

    So, I know the site went down a while ago, and that’s probably why my name isn’t on this anymore, but would it be possible for it to get attributed to me again? I’ll probably register for the forums to post this there too…

    Andrew VanOrden

  9. Zadok Regex

    Epic. And I mean that

  10. meeeeeeee

    at the end i was like “i know there are no wolves in the stillwood…” then it hit me. stupendous

  11. David Igor Edward

    I’m a bit of an idiot so can someone explain this to me?

  12. OmegaUltima

    @David Igor Edward:

    The final line places emphasis on the word ‘wolves’, implying that there is something OTHER than wolves out there.

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