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Solitary Traveler
Andrea, Age 14, Portland, ME

My head ached horrifically. That's all I could recall before I was flung from driver's seat. There was the blinding high beams, the roaring of a motor, a blaring horn, and then it was as if my head was shoved into oblivion. It was a irenic sleep, undisturbed by any foreign noise. My body wasn't at ease, however, because I could feel a ruthless agony in my left arm and hand. I thought I was unconscious, so how could that be? Was I dead? Is this Heaven? What happened- how did I die?

Color began to ripple as I tardily opened my eyes ajar. The lambency of the moon made me close my eyes once more. The tar stretched before me, and as I closed my hand into a fist I could feel the dew clinging to the frigid grass wipe off on my hand. I couldn't move my left hand though, and the pain was unendurable.

Off into the distance I saw tendrils of smoke rising from a completely terminated metal object. That couldn't have been my car, could it? After all, it didn't appear to be a car. It was just a smoking metal chunk. That was when I saw the gore that puddled underneath my head. So I had been in a car accident, but the driver of the other car was too panic-stricken that they fled the scene and left me to die. I hoped that person felt so shamefaced they could bare to live. I was enraged that I was miles away from any civilization on a wintry mountain peak with not even a cell phone to receive emergency assistance. Since I wasn't dead already, I was to die soon. Hope was dwindling, so I slumped in defeat on the side of the road counting the stars to disregard the excruciation.

The rustling hadn't fazed me when it first began. Perhaps it was just a field mouse or squirrel out at nocturnal events. When it grew louder the pit of my stomach began to boil. What if it was a wolf? I'd rather die in a car accident than be eaten alive by any wild animal.

My suspicions proved correct when a speculative black wolf swaggered over. His eyes weren't fierce as if it was ravenous; they were wide like the moon, and equally pale. He pawed at the ground a my head running his snout through my hair. I was paralyzed with dread when he licked the lesion upon my head. He was most likely going to eat me, so I lashed out with my acceptable hand and screamed with all the breath in my lungs.

“Help!” I shrieked with a hoarse voice.

The dog was unflinching. He nudged my head again with his snout and then lay down beside me, despite my tantrum.

“You've got a mighty fine punch there, Elizabeth.”

Was I wrong or did the wolf just talk to me? Did he just say my name?

I sighed, “I guess I'm dead, aren't I?”

The wolf nodded. “Sadly no.”

“I'm schizophrenic?”

“Hm...” he grumbled, “I think not.”

I slapped my forehead and pinched my skin. “Am I asleep?”

“Negative.”

“Then what's wrong with me?” I inquired dragging myself closer to the wolf. He was so tepid, and my skin was rather chilly.

He gazed at me with those shiny silver eyes. “Seems like you've banged up your head, broke your arm and a rib, and completely shattered your hand.”

“What about my leg?”

“Looks as if you tore a bit of muscle, but don't fret, Elizabeth, I'm going to heal you.”

He stood back up and began to lick where the pain was. “Nonsense,” I said, “how can a dog heal me?”

The dog was now on my head injury and was running his velvety tongue across it. “Like this.” He ambled back to the edge of the forest. “Now get up.”

“Are you deranged? I just suffered a severe car accident and you think you're a god?”

The dog stood with comportment. “I said stand up, Elizabeth.”

I did as he told, and my limbs lifted from the ground. Even my crushed hand could bend. “How-what-did-huh- how did you do that?”

“I'm the only one of my kind. I'm a solitary traveler, and I have no pack,” he responded indifferently.

“But you haven't answered my question.”

His muzzle lifted into a derisory grin. “I cannot explain so a mere human could understand. All I can say is that I aid in unsuitable situations.”

“What is to become of me now?”

He sniffed the air. “Your parents have notified the authorities, you will receive medical attention in about forty minutes. Sit tight.”

The wolf turned to leave, but I didn't want him to go. “Please, I want to thank you.”

“It's not necessary, Elizabeth,” he growled tenderly.

“But I must thank you. I don't even know your name.”

He sighed and turned his tail to me, striding into the foliage. “My name is Miracle.”

 
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