Wendigo, hour seventeen

Crunching snow beneath heavy boots, I walked alone.

Hands tucked in my pockets, breath fogging as clear light glinted.

But as snow began to fall, there was such a weight. Such a weight

like a man’s, heavy, when pure, clear air was sliced open

with a stench from a something. And though I couldn’t look,

not until I turned, I could see it, waiting, watching, with manlike intelligence.

Wendigo, a small voice said, but it was already too late.

It sat, long arms propped on thin knees, shaggy head bent,

baleful eyes watching with a glinting red.

“I was starving,” it rasped. A clawed hand flexed, but still its’ head bowed.

“My children cried.”

Was it asking redemption, I wanted to ask. But I remained silent.

My heart pounding, but feet frozen, waiting. Almost daring.

Animal cunning, manlike hatred.

Again it spoke with the voice of a man, in a growl,

so hard my teeth rattled and my legs bowed.

“The hot anger in your heart will leave you cold in the ground.”

Then I woke. But still the memory remains, and

“The bodies of three individuals were found. Witnesses claim to have seen the father wandering through blizzards, but they had been deceased at least three months and partially—“

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