The Last of the Wil'ders
A Dying Breed Lusting For Life...
“They rode as a strange token of antiquity. Born of the wilderness, with sharpest claws, fullest tails, and keenest senses. Born to savor one thing: freedom.
“The broad-shouldered barbarian of a gray drove like he had nothing to lose, his thin, light-furred lover made voluptuous by his manic zest. Both never spoke as you or I would, only in the old tongues. The growls, the whines, the howls. And it was with a playful growl the driver kicked the brakes of their blue machine.
“He looked to her with hungry eyes, and she to him, but it wasn’t love they craved just yet. He cocked his head to the desert, and both wolves stripped themselves of what little they wore, chucking all their shorts and shirts and sandals into the back of their slender car. Their tails wagged something fierce as they ran across the sands, before dropping down onto the desert floor.
“He sat down first, then she, nestling herself between his legs as they began to look around. It was all by the light of a new moon, and even in that darkness, they could see all! The distant hills, houses, the cactus or cliff. See it in a way no one ever had. With crystal clarity, there in the dark.
“And by God could they hear! What noises! With perked ears they caught the rumbling of an engine, the banging of a door, occasional nip of conversation. Further still, they could hear the alien beasts made of the Bombs, the strange mutations, and even beyond that, the Earth. Somehow, someway, they could sense their motion upon the rock as it spun, and hear the planet groan and creak. They could hear it all through the hum of bugs and the wind that began to whip and stir about them.
“They looked into each other’s eyes. She was a wolf, but had the face of a vixen, her jade eyes bright as the sun for her man. And for all his brawn, his brown eyes went soft at the sight of her. The only two enraptured in their own world. Not of the mind, but the last of a great tribe. A tribe whose tails were long and whose senses were sharp. He began to kiss her all over before both wolves let out a real howl. One shot straight from the gut and out through the ages. The kind of howl looking for a pack no longer. A pack yet to be rebuilt.
“This was the feral pact they consummated that night, there on the desert floor. When they finished, he kissed his lover’s stomach and helped her up, his tail wagging all the way back to the car, something she could only chitter at in amusement. She dressed herself, but her lover only met halfway, grabbing the shorts and leaving his sandals on the car floor.
“When the machine roared to life, he killed the lights. He pressed one bare paw on the brake and the other on the gas. Knuckling at the rubber with his claws, he shifted and floored the great blue beauty, their ride and future sent flying into the desert, from out of the past.”
I was told this story years ago, and though forged in myth, I can’t help but feel there are those like them, out in the wild. The Wil’ders, born to live and die in primordial obscurity. Upright, unable to resist the allure of certain technologies, but willing to put those in service to something beyond the modern world.
When my mind wanders, I wonder what a pack like that would look like today. And if you go north and hear that lone, lightening strike of a howl from over the hills and across the sands, you may soon find out. And if so, go to them not as you are, but as you were, as far as you can go.
They’ll help you back through the rest.