In the dry leaves and brittle twigs of the last of the trees, the fox curls and sleeps. Nothing moves, except what is nudged by the erratic breeze. No mice stir, no birds. The fox dreams of scurrying rodent feet, the trickle of rain water running into a stream. She dreams of soft grass beneath her dry, cracked pads, and a cool dark night sky glittering with stars. She dreams of a tiny cry, and the sound is almost real enough to wake her, but her cubs are long since dead, forgotten except in an instinctive memory.
She curls tighter against the dust, bitter and dead, that fills the air that used to be full of the smell of the rain, rabbits, and warm blood. Night is falling, cold comes. She should find her earth and shelter. But she lies still, uncaring. There is nothing left to care for. The cold bites, deeper than a dog bites. Warm blood slows, heart’s pulse falters and stills. The last fox sighs and lets her soul go free.
Last day, last story. I pass the challenge on to Peter Bouchier. I can’t find a blog address for you, Kyra Thomas, but please consider yourself nominated too.
The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:
1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!