Published: October 9, 2008
Walking through the streets, leaves litter the pavement. It is October and I feel Autumn in my bones.
I find a quiet bench in the small public green on Main Street, barely attracting a glance from the older passerbys even if I'm sitting wrong. Perched more than relaxed, feet where most people sit. I watch them, one ear forward, the other scanning. My lip twitches, phantom whiskers trying to gain information. Mouth open, tasting the air. No one notices. My wings are folded. No danger. I have to remind myself not to lean on forelegs that aren't there.
My teeth tingle. I want to bite on something. A bone. Meat. Hard Bread. Gum, if I need to.
My agemates (in body, not in mind or soul) prance through the Nano-park, circling the non-working fountain and passing me with a few glances. They're unsure if they recognize me, if I'm going to greet them, if I'm going to challenge them. I chose to ignore them, although they are tresspassers and this is my outer territory. I look them in the eye before going back to people-watching, fighting my submissive nature. (Hide, look down, tail down, ears low not back, head lower than theirs, not challenging, just a pup, weak, don't want a fight.)
As they move to behind me, heading toward the gazibo to chat or smoke, I try to feel out my age. But I don't feel sixteen, not at the moment. Now I feel old, ancient, like Autumn itself, the aging part of the seasons. I look at the ground, the dirt, and think I'm as old as the earth there. I am not old in the sense that I am aged and weathered and brittle. I am young in body, I am strong. I am ancient. I feel I am like the first wolf, the Wolf of Folklore.
I spread my wings, look at the ghost primary feathers, and laugh at myself. Even this comes out as a bark. Silly wolf creature. Silly winged canine. What are you? Neither wolf nor bird proper. Only a mess. A mutt. The ultimate mutt. I wag my tail just to feel it's there.
A back-tilt of the head, a few deep breaths. I can't gain the information I'm looking for, and curse my limited senses.
Bored, I rise from my perch, and start walking down the street. Head down, leaning forward, head level with shoulders. Arms in pockets, elbows tucked against my ribs. Tail swinging, just because I can. Walking on the pads of my feet, comfortable and manuverable. I can turn and run if I need to.
No one gives me a look. No one notices.
I'm just the girl, the wolf, the pup trotting though the fallen leaves. The girl who carries Autumn in her bones.